Ramona High School’s girls cross-country team won the varsity race at the South Bay Invitational held Sept. 27 at Rohr Park while Ramona senior Brittany Balcom took first among the 149 individual varsity runners.
The positions of Ramona’s runners gave the Bulldogs 62 points to take first among the 21 teams. Sweetwater finished second with 121 points.
“Our girls are shining,” said Coach Steve Emery. “The varsity girls are really working great together. They kind of work off of each other.”
Balcom’s time of 15:45 on the 4,025-meter course not only won the race but was also the tenth-fastest time in the history of the course.
“She just had an outstanding race. She looked strong at the end. She was tough all the way through,” Emery said.
Balcom completed the first mile in 6:15 and took the lead approximately 1-1/2 miles into the race.
Ramona took the ninth through 11th finishing positions in the varsity race. Chelsey Cortez posted a time of 16:23, Lindsey Spieker ran the course in 16:30, and Lauren Cortez completed the race in 16:32.
Chelsea Maurer had a time of 17:35 to finish 32nd. Ashley Duck’s time of 17:47 was worth 42nd place, and Tessa Balcom’s muscle tightness relegated her to an 89th-place time of 18:52.
Emery cited the Bulldogs’ depth as the reason for the team’s success.
“That’s the centerpiece of the team,” he said.
Ramona’s junior varsity runners finished fifth among the 14 teams in that race. Anna Phillips had a time of 18:38 to finish 11th among the race’s 177 runners, Erika Stinchcomb was 32nd with a time of 19:18, Ruth Spitsbergen finished 35th at 19:21, Jessica Russo placed 40th after completing the course in 19:28, and Adena Pepich completed Ramona’s scoring with a 52nd-place time of 19:59.
Ramona’s next meet is the league opener Oct. 2 against Mount Carmel.