Balers edge Mustangs in battle of league’s best

Gilroy teammates cheers for Savannah Silacci as she runs the

The Gilroy and San Benito girls cross country teams entered Monday’s Tri-County Athletic League dual meet undefeated – the Balers left that way, too.

Vanessa Estrada came across the line one minute and change ahead of the rest of the field, to anchor a San Benito 19-36 victory over the Mustangs at Christmas Hill Park.

The Balers took the top-three spots before Gilroy’s Savannah Silacci posted her team’s top time of 16 minutes, 57 seconds to place fourth on a shortened course.

The path the runners took was 2.5 miles instead of the normal 3.1 due to construction at the park.

Athena Alarcon (17:21) and Maritza Ruelas (17:43) finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Chelsey Kalata (19:19) and Noemi Rivera (19:23) crossed in ninth and 10th. Sorayama Perez also raced and clocked a 21:22.

On the boys’ side, San Benito grabbed the top-five positions to defeat the Mustangs 15-40. Humberto Gaeta was Gilroy’s top finisher with a 15:11 to place sixth. Ryan Swenor (15:18) and Enrique Villanueva (15:23) round out the Mustangs’ top-three placers in the race.

The Mustangs were coming off of a performance at the Crystal Springs Invitational on Saturday where eight of the 12 runners set personal bests at the course.

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