The 2014 cross country season came to an end for Pitman, Hilmar and Turlock High School athletes last Saturday at the Subsection meet held in Angels Camp.
The Turlock varsity girls had the best outcome of the day with 14th place in the Division-I bracket, finishing 35th out of 88 teams.
The Bulldog boys took 23rd place in D-I, 64th overall out of 106 schools in every division.
Pitman boys finished in 70th place, and Hilmar topped out at 83.
“Overall, we did really well. Division I is stacked this year,” said Turlock head coach Joann Davison. “I was pleased with our finish in the section for our girls.”
The top performer for the girls was Arianna Lara-Chavez (22:00), followed by Cassandra Derdivanis, who finished 10 seconds later.
“As for our Lady 'Dogs, they are a small but mighty group. We had strong leaders throughout this season. Their work ethic is a coach’s dream,” Davison said. “They are always willing to do one more interval, one more mile, one more sit up or push up. They are willing to put in the work to get better. And on top of it all, they are genuinely nice kids.”
For the Turlock boys there was a mix-up as a couple of the varsity runners veered off the course and cost the team points.
“That probably cost us several spots in the ranking. But, what it did show us was that our guys were totally in the zone,” Davison said. “They were hanging with the top runners in the section. Coach Ebersole coaches them to do just that, get out hard and hang in there as long as you can...get in that zone. We couldn't be prouder of the effort we got from all our athletes. They never disappoint.”
Javier Lara was the top performer for the Turlock boys after placing in the number 77 spot with a time of 18:25 in the D-I standings.
“We have strong finishers out of this incredibly deep team that we have,” said Davison. "Our top seven fluctuates from week to week. Each guy on this squad, from first to last, contributes in their own way. We have sprinters who have worked hard out here and pushed the guys on speed days, we have true distance guys who help on long run days, and all bases are covered.”
Pitman’s Richard Turknett finished 86th with a time of 18:43. John Puffer of Pitman was not far off with an 18:57.
Hilmar’s Kenzye Spears finished with the best time of all local runners at 17:46, good for an 18th place finish in the varsity boys Division IV. Hilmar's Natalie Gutierrez took 85th place with a time of 25:55.