GHS boys give San Benito all they can handle

GHS boys give San Benito all they can handle

If you want see just how improved the Gilroy boys’ cross country
team is this year, just look at what separated the Mustangs from
TCAL power San Benito in the team score at Tuesday’s meet.
Gilroy – If you want see just how improved the Gilroy boys’ cross country team is this year, just look at what separated the Mustangs from TCAL power San Benito in the team score at Tuesday’s meet.

One point.

“It’s the best meet since we’ve been around,” said second year co-head coach Art Silva, in reference to himself and his wife, co-head coach Cathy Silva.

“For us to even be this close, we’re right there,” Art Silva said. “We can run with them.”

The boys’ race was one of the closest the two teams have had in recent history. San Benito, who finished fifth as a team in the Division I unseeded division at this weekend’s prestigious Stanford Invite, edged Gilroy 28-27. The ‘Balers were led by junior Rigo Vasquez’s first-place time of 16:21 on Gilroy’s new course.

“(The new course) is nice,” said Gilroy senior Arnulfo Velasquez, who finished second to Vasquez with a time of 16:44. “You get to cheer people on. It’s good.”

The Gilroy coaches modified the route so that the runners wouldn’t have to run on any streets. Art Silva said he also mapped it out to mirror Salinas’ Toro Park course because the team runs there so often. The first half of the new Gilroy course is flat while the second half is a mile and a half of hills.

The two teams had an equal amount of finishers in the top ten, but San Benito came out ahead in point placement.

“Hollister is very good at knowing their positions and coming in at the times they need to come in at,” said Cathy Silva. “Our kids are learning that, but it’s not second nature yet.”

Rounding out the top five were Gilroy’s Humberto Pineda (3rd, 16:59) and San Benito’s Alfredo Lopez (4th, 17:01) and Adrien Rodriguez (5th, 17:27).

Other top Gilroy runners were Anthony Dragotto (6th, 17:37), Jose Velasquez (8th, 17:55) and Ramiro Diaz (9th, 17:56).

As a Gilroy alum, San Benito coach Jess Morales is happy to see the Mustang cross country program improving.

“Gilroy ran good. I was really impressed,” he said. “It feels good to see their team coming up. I give a lot of credit to the coaches.”

As a team, the San Benito girls’ won 48-15 over the Gilroy girls and took the race’s top five spots. Senior Amanda Boyd, a top runner in the Central Coast Section, was the runaway winner of the girls’ race, rebounding from a Stanford invite performance of a 9th-place 19:36 that she wasn’t too happy about.

Said Morales, “She probably ran her worst race (this year). … She’ll perform a lot better than what you saw Saturday.”

Added Boyd, with a laugh, “You have bad days. Of course, I had to have it at Stanford.”

Against Gilroy, Boyd had a time of 19:13. The next runner in was Alison Meyer (20:57), followed by freshman Courtney Allen (3rd, 21:54), Christina Albright (4th, 22:39) and Jamila Saqqa (5th, 23:16).

Gilroy’s top runners in the girls race were Megan Litle (7th, 23:19) and Kathleen Miller (8th, 23:54).

Top Finishers

Boys

1 H Rigo Vasquez 16:21

2 G Arnulfo Velasquez 16:44

3 G Humberto Pineda 16:59

4 H Alfredo Lopez 17:01

5 H Adrien Rodriguez 17:27

6 G Anthony Dragotto 17:37

7 H Eddie Trujillo 17:39

8 G Jose Velasquez 17:55

9 G Ramiro Diaz 17:56

10 H Andrew Yavacone 18:00

Top Finishers

Girls

1 Amanda Boyd 19:13

2 Alison Meyer 20:57

3 Courtney Allen 21:54

4 Christina Albright 22:39

5 Jamila Saqqa 23:16

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