Ramona junior Anna Mazzola wins the race
By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s girls cross country team opened its Valley League dual meet season Sept. 27 with a 23-28 win over Orange Glen at Dos Picos Park.
“It was very good, very exciting. Good way to start off,” said Coach Kim Toth.
The dual meet victory was the first for Toth in her Ramona High School coaching career, which began in 2011. Last year the Bulldogs were in the Palomar League and lost their five dual meets.
“If they keep working together, then they’ll still get two to three years together as a team,” Toth said. “They can only get stronger and they’re continuing to work together.”
In dual meets and in the league and CIF meets, a team’s score is determined by adding the positions of the top five finishers. A team’s sixth and seventh finishers are not scored but can displace runners from other teams and add points to those opponents’ scores. Ramona’s sixth and seventh varsity runners displaced all but two Orange Glen competitors even though the two Ramona girls would have run in the junior varsity race had Toth not pulled Teresa Leon from competition due to shin splints and had Francheska Gonzalez not withdrawn after fighting a cold earlier in the week.
“They came through,” Toth said of her two unexpected varsity runners. “They did what I was hoping that they would do.”
Ramona junior Anna Mazzola won the race, finishing the 2.75-mile course in 17:27. The Patriots had the second and third finishers, but the next six girls across the finish line were wearing Ramona uniforms.
“We had a real good race,” Toth said.
The fourth overall finisher was Ramona sophomore Arianna Ruland, who took 18:57. Freshman Ciara Lucas needed 19:05 for her first high school dual meet race, which gave her fifth place. Junior Rachel Brown spent 19:31 on the course and took sixth place. Sophomore Cassidy Blankenbaker earned seventh place with a time of 20:08.
The two girls who would have been junior varsity competitors were it not for the two absences were freshmen Perla Cruz and Delaney Toth. Cruz had an eighth-place time of 20:10 and Toth finished ninth at 20:14.
“Everybody finished strong,” Kim Toth said.
Five runners competed for Ramona’s junior varsity team, which not only took the victory but also had the first five finishers. Angelina Gray won the race in 21:00, Kim Klarer took 21:35, Chloe Knowd finished 21:38 after the start of the race, Elizabeth Schweizer spent 21:42 on the course, and Jazmin Cordova finished in 23:35.
“Really happy with the JV performances,” Toth said.
The Bulldogs travel to Vista for a dual meet against Mission Vista High School on Thursday.