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Turlock, Pitman race for first in cross country league opener
Adelae Fredeen places 9th for the Bulldogs in the girls 3 mile cross country run Wednesday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The Central California Conference Cross Country kicked off their league opener at Donnelly Park Wednesday with Turlock and Pitman gunning for the finish line in the first cluster meet.

Of the six teams competing, including Merced, Atwater, Buhach Colony and Golden Valley, Turlock’s boys’ varsity finished in fourth place with 91 points and Pitman boys’ varsity finished last with 147 points, respectively.

Turlock High’s David Bosquez finished ninth overall with a time of 16:11, followed by Uriel Alvarez finishing fifteenth overall with a time of 16:58.  Pitman’s top finishers for the boys were Joshua Van Allen with a time of 17:11, placing twentieth overall, and Kyle Reid topping off at thirty-first overall with a final time of 17:48.

“We expected to compete within our individual team, and that’s what we did,” said Pitman Coach Sara Smith. “We were not surprised Josh finished top for our team, he’s been either first or second all season.  He is an experienced cross country runner and that helps him.”

On the women’s side for the meet, Turlock took second overall with a score of 55 points and three of their runners placed in the top 10 times. Hope Salsig finished seventh overall with a time of 20:10 and Maria Varela and Adelae Fredeen followed closely behind locking in eighth and ninth place.

“I have great faith in this team; they all ran super yesterday,” said Turlock Coach JoAnne Davison. “We have a really strong league and competing against such a large group of incredible athletes will help us in our post season. For now, we are happy with our performances and looking to moving up in the standings in the next round.”

Priscilla Bazan was Pitman’s female varsity top finisher with a time of 20:26, placing thirteenth overall in the meet and Bianca Barcia kept alongside her pace finishing fourteenth overall and just 3 seconds shy of taking Bazan’s top spot.

“Priscilla and Bianca are great runners; we pulled them to the varsity level so they could gain that experience,” said Smith. “This meet was a great start to our division as our first league meet and we look to continue to improve during the season.”

The next CCC Center Meet will be held Oct. 7 at Applegate Park in Merced.