Ramona High School’s boys cross country team defeated Westview by a 25-30 score Oct. 10 at the Ramona Oaks course while the Bulldog girls lost to the Wolverines by a 27-28 score.
“It was a day of victories, challenges, successes, and near-wins,” said Coach Steve Emery.
The meet was actually a tri-meet that also included Orange Glen.
Because the Patriots did not have five runners for either the boys race or the girls race, Orange Glen forfeited both races to both opponents, so Ramona’s boys received two wins while the girls received one win and one loss.
The runners of a team that does not field the minimum amount of competitors are still allowed to run individually, and Diego Vega of Orange Glen won the boys race.
In a tri-meet, the runners from all three teams race together and each team is scored against each of the other teams as if those two teams were engaged in a dual meet.
In a cross country dual meet, the positions of the first five finishers for each team are added to determine the team score. While a team’s sixth and seventh finishers are not scored, if they finish ahead of any of the other team’s top five runners their places would add positions to the opponents’ score.
The North County Conference realignment moved Westview into the Valley League, and during the pre-run the Wolverines noted that part of the hill did not meet CIF width standards.
The course was changed to comply with the ability to have three runners alongside each other. The boys course remains 3.0 miles, although approximately three-tenths of a mile up the hill was removed, and the girls course was reduced from 2.7 to 2.6 miles.
“It definitely made it a faster course,” Emery said.
While Vega won the individual boys race, the next three finishers all wore Ramona uniforms to give the Bulldogs the top three places in the competition against Westview. Paul Reynolds took 16:07 to complete the new course and actually had an approximate 20-yard lead over Vega two miles into the race. Dylan Blankenbaker and Chance Varnardo-Richardson each had times of 16:21.
The Wolverines had the next five finishers, but Nathan Morgan and Tanner Perfect ran ninth and tenth in the Ramona-Westview matchup.
“Nathan Morgan and Tanner Perfect kind of held off and defended the fifth-place position,” Emery said.
Morgan and Perfect each had times of 17:07. Westview’s Wil Mumby finished 11th with a time of 17:09.
Ramona’s Max Hughes placed 12th at 17:19 and Bulldog senior Chris Fabian’s time of 17:20 was worth 13th place.
The girls race was won by Westview’s Julia Young, who set the initial course record with a time of 15:59. Ramona’s Cortez sisters earned the next two places with Chelsey Cortez taking second at 16:05 and Lauren Cortez finishing third with a time of 16:15.
Westview took the fourth and fifth positions. Ramona’s Lindsey Spieker was sixth at 16:26 and Bulldog senior Brittany Balcom finished seventh at 16:37.
Westview earned the 1-point victory with eighth-place and ninth-place finishes while Ramona’s Chelsea Maurer took 10th with a time of 17:31.
“It was close,” Emery said. “We put up a good fight there.”
Ramona’s Ashley Duck was 11th with a time of 17:52 while Bulldog junior Tessa Balcom had a time of 18:20 for 12th place.
The Bulldogs will compete Saturday in the Southern California Invite at the Guajome Park course in Vista.