‘Stangs Make Most of Return to CCS Meet
Belmont – The Gilroy boys’ cross country team didn’t waste its long-awaited return trip to the CCS Cross Country Championships.
As a team, the Mustangs had their best meet of the season. Three Gilroy runners finished in the top 20, propelling the Mustangs to a seventh place team finish in the Division I race. Arnulfo Velasquez (16:07) took 11th, Humberto Pineda (16:13) took 13th and Anthony Dragotto (17th, 16:18) finished 17th.
The Gilroy plan was to at least take down Hollister. That didn’t happen, with the ‘Balers taking fourth as a team. But the ‘Stangs top three runners came in before Hollister’s top three.
“It was close,” Velasquez said. “Only two (Hollister) guys beat me and Humberto and Anthony.”
Added Pineda, “It felt good because this is like the first time we’ve had our best runners together. We haven’t had a race like that.”
All season, the Gilroy boys have battled either illness or injury. Pineda said he’d been sick. Derek Pesta was injured for the TCAL Championships. Jose Velasquez split his shin open playing soccer and needed stitches.
“The fact that everybody could come out after injury, the morale was pretty high,” Dragotto said. “This is the best race of the whole year.”
In the Division I girls’ race, Gilroy freshman Kathleen Miller surprised the Mustangs and herself with a 14th place finish. Her time of 19:22 was fourth best time for a freshman in the race.
“I beat my expectations,” Miller said.
Junior Megan Litle, the only other Gilroy girl to qualify as an individual, finished in 21:40 for 57th place.
The Gilroy boys graduate just three runners this year – Arnulfo Velasquez, Dragotto and Allan Chan. And with Miller just beginning her cross country career, this could just be the beginning of the resurgence of Gilroy cross country.
“The fact that we got three runners in the top 20 and everybody else did awesome, it was good for Gilroy,” Dragotto said. “This year and the next couple years, it’ll be good.”
n Alisal’s Enrique Lopez (15:32) and Carlmont’s Hayley Pascale (18:17) won the Division I races.
n San Benito’s Amanda Boyd (2nd, 18:35) and Eddie Trujillo (6th, 15:59) qualified for the state meet in Division I. The San Benito girls missed qualifying as a team by one spot, finishing behind Carlmont (46) and Monta Vista (73) in third place (118). The ‘Balers’ Rigo Vasquez finished in eighth with a time of 16:01, missing individual qualification by one spot.
n Boyd, who came down with strep late last week, said she’ll be ready to have a better race at the state meet, especially with her college decision up in the air. The senior decided not to sign with UC-Davis in the early signing period, but is still considering the school, along with Cal. She’s also interested in Duke, UCSB, Pepperdine and Princeton.
n UCLA-bound Cobbie Jones of Live Oak battled a mild asthma attack to hang on to an eighth place finish of 18:48 in the Division II girls’ race. Sobrato freshman Lance Wolfsmith took fourth in the Division IV boys’ race with a time of 16:16. Both qualified as individuals for state.