Central California Conference cross country competition began Wednesday afternoon as runners from six schools braved a three-mile course through Merced's Applegate Park in the first CCC center meet of the season.
Atwater High's boys and girls both finished the race in first place with respective team scores of 39 and 44 points. Turlock High's girls finished just behind the Falcons in second place with 61 team points and the Bulldog boys finished in third place with 69 points while Pitman High's boys and girls both finished in sixth place with respective team scores of 152 and 158 points.
Despite finishing second in the team standings, the Lady Bulldogs finished first individually with freshman Arianna Lara-Chavez clocking an overall time of 20:07.
Turlock's Makenzie Salyer also ran well with a 9th place finish of 22:03. Pitman's top girl runner, Nina Shahi, finished 25th with a time of 23:34.
On the boy's side, Javier Lara of Turlock finished in 8th place with a time of 17:18 while Pitman's John Puffer finished in 12th place with a time of 18:01.
Other notable runners from Turlock included Jesus Robledo, Erik Sousa, William Anderson, Brian Mendez-Martinez, Casey Avellar, Amanda Medina, Cassandra Derdivanis, Reveena Samra, and Erin Knopp-Sargoni who finished in the top 20.
The Buldogs will now send their top seven varsity runners to the Artichoke run in Half Moon Bay in two weeks on Oct. 4 while the Pride jumps back into competition almost immediately with Saturday's Frogtown Invitational at the Calaveres Farigrounds. The second CCC center meet will be held on Oct. 8.