Mustangs win TCAL title again (Prep Roundup)

Mustang runner Tim Williams competes in Saturday's TCAL

Gilroy’s varsity girls cross country team wins back-to-back
league championships, girls water polo looks to make its first
postseason appearance and girls tennis takes on league opponents in
final tournament of the season
SALINAS – Gilroy’s varsity girls cross country team became the first back-to-back league champions in school history Saturday in Salinas.

With six of the top 11 finishers representing Gilroy in the 3-mile race taking place at Toro Park – including the fastest female runner on the day in Kathleen Miller – the Mustangs claimed a Tri-County Athletic League title for the second straight season, beating second-place San Benito by 13 points.

“To be able to repeat is just amazing,” GHS coach Cathy Silva said. “The girls have worked so hard, (they’re) very dedicated.

“When they show up to a race, they put everything aside.”

That would include the competition.

The win was achieved through a balanced effort, with four of Gilroy’s top six finishing within 20 seconds of each other. Miller crossed the finish line in 18 minutes, 56 seconds, Savanah Salaci placed fifth (20:13), Brandie Rodriguez took seventh (20:26), Paty Hernandez placed eighth (20:31), Christine Bobula took 10th (20:42) and Athena Alarcon rounded out the bunch at 11th (20:46).

“They came (over the hill) in this big ol’ clump and left no doubt,” Silva said.

The Mustangs also took first as a team in the girls junior varsity race, which could set the stage for a possible TCAL dynasty of sorts. Along with Salaci and Alarcon, who are freshmen, Gilroy had four JV runners in the top eight of the frosh-soph race.

“If we can keep them all, we’re definitely getting stronger,” said Silva, referencing the possibility of runners leaving GHS to attend Christopher High School, which will be opening next year.

The varsity boys just missed out on a trip to the Central Coast Section Championships. The Mustangs placed fifth, missing the top four, which advance to CCS, by just six points. Tim Williams was the lone Mustang to qualify as an individual, coming across the line in 17:29.

“That was really good because he’s been injured and this was his first time running and feeling good,” Silva said.

The section finals will be held at Toro Park Saturday, Nov. 15.

Girls water polo

Gilroy’s varsity girls water polo team (9-4) will host Monterey (1-8) today at 3:30 p.m. in the first round of the TCAL Championships.

Holding the No. 3 seed, five slots higher than Monterey, the Mustangs feel confident about moving on to play the winner of Watsonville (1-8) and Robert Louis Stevenson (12-7) on Thursday. That game will be played at 6 p.m. at Carmel High School.

“If we play our game, then we don’t have to worry,” GHS coach Sean La Guardia said. “We just have to be prepared.”

Senior goalie Lauren an Herk is out with a hand injury, which means Devan Lauber will start after recently being pulled up from the junior varsity squad.

“I’m very confident she can do the job,” La Guardia said. “She has progressed really well over the course of the season. Her teammates are also confident in her.”

Gilroy needs to win its first two games of the tournament to advance to the Central Coast Section playoffs. Doing so would give the Mustangs their first CCS appearance in program history.

Girls tennis

Alissa Castro had the only Gilroy victory in seven varisty girls tennis matches at San Benito Thursday. She won by a score of 6-2, 7-5 over Kristina Slavich.

No. 1 GHS doubles partners Kim Johnson and Holly Hunter had the closest defeat, losing to Marisa Ibarra and Crystal Perreria 2-6, 6-4, 10-12.

Results from the first day of TCAL Championships, taking place Monday afternoon, were unavailable as of press time.

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