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PREP ROUNDUP: 2023 CIF State XC Championships
Turlock boys cross country state
Turlock’s Daniel Zaragoza and Behniya Esmaeilabadi compete in the state cross country championship at Woodward Park in Fresno on Saturday (Photo courtesy of StanCo Distance).

Dozens of Turlock High School campus community members gathered at 5 in the morning on Saturday to give the Bulldogs’ varsity boys cross country a celebratory sendoff to the 2023 California Interscholastic State Cross Country Championship at Woodward Park in Fresno. It was the first time in program history that the boys team qualified for the state meet.

 And while their 21st place finish in the Division I race of 182 runners wasn’t the result they were hoping for, longtime head coach JoAnn Davison told her team they have everything to be proud of.

 “We’ve had people go, but we’ve never had a boys team qualify before,” Davison said at the sendoff. “It is uncharted territory… We are so proud of you.”

 Junior Logan Petty was Turock’s top finisher with a time of 16:34.9 for an 133rd place finish. Not far behind were seniors Daniel Zaragoza and Behniya Esmaeilabadi, who finished 135th and 137th, respectively. Zaragoza had a time of 16:36.1 while Esmaeilabadi finished his race in 16:37.2.

 Senior Jackson Hall has a 144th place finish with a time of 16:40.4. Junior Theodore Santos’ time of 16:55.9 was good for 162nd place. Rounding out the Turlock runners was senior Angel Solis De La Cruz with a 173rd place time of 17:23.0 and senior Julian Hernandez with a 181st place time of 18:17.3.

 Also representing the region was Hilmar’s Sidney Logsdon in the women’s Division IV race of 197 runners. She finished in the middle of the pack with an 110th place finish with a time of 20:57.5.



Central Valley Tip Off in Atwater

 Local basketball teams, including those from Turlock, Pitman and Hilmar, came together in Atwater over the weekend for the third annual Central Valley Tip Off, a two-day, 10-game event featuring 20 varsity teams from Stanislaus and Merced County.

 In the headlining game between Turlock and Atwater, senior Knoland Harris led all scorers with 21 points to help the Bulldogs outlast the Falcons by a 78-71 score. 

 Pitman saw a similar performance from junior Avery Sanchez, who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pride past the Cougars of Cornerstone Christian (Antioch) 55-43.

 In the opening game of the tournament between Hilmar and Central Valley (Ceres), the young Yellowjackets, whose roster of 10 includes five underclassmen, had their hands full on defense as four different Hawks finished in double figures in scoring as they fell 68-23. Meanwhile, the Yellowjackets only had one scorer finish in double figures in sophomore Aaron Solorio, who had 12 points.