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Turlock and Pitman eye personal bests
Bulldog runners jump two spots in league meet
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Turlocks Makenzie Salyer continues her quest to break 18 minutes during Wednesdays second CCC center meet of the season at Donnelly Park. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR/The Journal

Central California Conference runners converged on Donnelly Park Wednesday afternoon for the second CCC center meet of the season. After circling the park and covering three miles worth of ground, the boy Bulldogs emerged as the story of the day as they took second place in team standings with 59 collective points — a 64 point improvement from their last race where they finished fourth overall.

“They had a monster day,” Turlock head coach JoAnne Davison said. “I was not expecting that. It’s unheard of, that type of progress.”

Led by Rex Doo, five of Turlock’s boys finished in the top 15 — and all who ran clocked in a personal best. Doo finished 6th overall with a time of 16:30, while sophomore Gali Farias was the next Bulldog to cross the finish line with a time of 16:57 and the 11th overall position. Justine Ambite, Erik Sousa, and Nico Lopez finished 13th, 14th, and 15th, respectively.

The much improved performance gives Turlock a shot at finishing in second or third as a team in league standings by season’s end.

“Sometimes you don’t know how good you are until you’ve crossed that bridge and tested your tolerance,” Davison said. “Now they’re fired up. They’ve crossed that bridge and they want to see what they can do next.”

The Lady Bulldogs also did well on Wednesday. Makenzie Salyer finished second overall with a time of 19:10, while teammates Cassie Derdivanis, Yadira Vazquez, Fallon Beaber, Raveena Samra, and Jocelyne Montes ran in a pack and helped land Turlock’s girls third in team standings with 74 points.

“She’s on a mission to break 18 minutes,” Davison said of Salyer. “I have no doubt she will get there.”

Also present were the boys and girls of Pitman High who finished sixth and fifth in team standings, respectively.

Standout runner Isaac Gonzalez finished third overall in the boys’ race with a time of 16:09 while Vandon Weaver finished in the 20th slot with a time of 17:20. As for the Lady Pride, Nina Shahi crossed the finish line in the 16th position with a time of 20:57 and was followed by Erika Dwight, who clocked in a time of 21:18.

Turlock and Pitman will race again next Saturday at the Hughson Supercross Invitational before the final CCC center meet on Oct. 30.