Three local cross-country teams started their season on Friday, Aug. 30, at the second Jaguar Invitational, hosted by Kimball High School at Eagal Lakes.
The organizer of the meet, Ben Trombley, Kimball High’s coach, said the event was a success simply in terms of participation. Held on the opening day of the high school fall sports season, it attracted 560 runners from 17 schools, including Kimball, Tracy and Millennium.
"With the early season, you don’t know how many kids you’re going to get," Trombley said. "We got a real good turnout, especially being the second time doing it."
The leading team was Sheldon High of Sacramento, which won the varsity boys event with 30 points. Kimball’s boys placed fourth (150), Tracy was fifth (194) and Millennium was 12th (293).
Sheldon also won the varsity girls event (35), with Kimball sixth (148), Tracy seventh (160) and Millennium eighth (168).
Coaches and runners took advantage of the chance to predict how the season might shape up.
Trombley said Kimball senior Francesca Loyaza — who placed second out of 78 runners in the varsity girls 5K race with a time of 21 minutes, 39.44 seconds — will lead the Jaguar varsity girls, and he’s counting on a group of sophomores to make the team competitive.
"It’s going to take us three or four weeks before we really know what we’re going to have," Trombley said.
Kimball’s varsity girls team on Friday included sophomores Kyli Huynh (25:09.15), Jessica Kwan (25:30.21), Kayla Pereira (28:31.38) and Bayley Stavolone (29:15.45).
Kimball’s top varsity boys finisher was freshman Nathan Perez, in 25th place among 114 runners (20:15.50). Filling out the team were senior Eduardo Calderon (20:17.03), junior Fernando Carrasco (20:47.62) and seniors Greg Dawson (20:55.22) and Giovanni Miranda (20:56.25).
Tracy High junior Kaitlin Spencer, who placed 12th in the varsity girls race (23:45.59), said a group of more than 60 runners at Tracy High will make the Bulldogs strong at all levels.
"We have a lot of new people and a lot of returners," Spencer said. "Everybody is pushing hard and we’re strong together, so we’ll have a lot of top finishers."
Tracy’s varsity girls team included seniors Ellie Fisher (23:45.59), Kaeli Vierra (25:48.08) and Brenda Lopez (28:18.31) and junior Fanny Lopez (30:52.82).
Leading Tracy’s varsity boys on Friday was Alfonso Gonzalez, in 18th place (19:47.69). The team also includes seniors Andrew Canlas (20:45.03), Chris Garcia (21:00.06) and Derek Paris (22:25.69) and junior Blake Lazar (22:26.31).
Millennium High has its biggest cross-country team yet with 40 runners, including returning runners from 2012, when the varsity girls went to California Interscholastic Federation state competition in Division V.
Anneliese Bradley, a senior, was the fastest runner for the Millennium varsity girls on Friday, finishing in 24th place (25:16.25), and fellow senior Spencer Blackwell was the Falcons’ top boy, finishing 45th (21:16.50).
Blackwell said the new runners on the team give Millennium the potential to advance further at the championship meets.
"The girls took it further than the guys did, but we have that fighting chance now that we have the numbers," he said.
Rounding out the Millennium girls team were junior Serena Cho (26:17.57), freshmen Mae Sandhu (26.58.12) and Valeria Diaz (27:28.31), and junior Estefania Torres (27:54.87).
The Falcon boys team included two sophomores, Josh Harrison (22:07.25) and J.T. Amador (23:09.31), and two freshmen, Paolo De Los Santos (23:20.28) and Steven Blackwell (23:48.69).
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.