CROSS COUNTRY: CHS girls team qualifies for CCS; three Mustangs individually qualify

Gilroy's Karla Lozano and Noemi Rivera race to the finish during the Monterey Bay League finals at El Toro Park in Salinas.

The Christopher High girls cross country team ended the Monterey Bay League Pacific Division season Saturday during the league finals in Salinas, wishing they could get one more shot.
The Cougars took second place in the MBL’s Pacific Division for the season – behind North Salinas – and sixth overall at Saturday’s MBL race – thanks to a strong finish by freshman Jamie Boutte, who captured the individual Pacific Division title in 19 minutes, 59 seconds.
The race pitted members from both MBL divisions – 13 schools in all. Christopher’s sixth place ending qualifies them as a team for the Central Coast Section Championships.
But if it wasn’t for a untied shoe lace and an illness, things could have been much better for the Cougars. Fellow freshman Natalie Filippi, who was among the Pacific Division’s top runners all fall, was hit with that bad luck on the course, placing her sixth in the division (22:10) and 26th overall.
“I think nerves got her a little bit,” head coach Mike Bonomi said. “But she ran with a lot of heart.”
Nerves, though, didn’t get Boutte, who ran well and stayed with the race’s top pack.
“I thought I did pretty good today,” she said. “It was pretty good. I felt pretty good about it. It was cool running with other people. I worked hard to get to where I am. The hard work paid off I guess.”
The Central Coast Section Division III finals are on Nov. 10 at Crystal Springs.
“Jaime has a a good chance to go to state,” Bonomi said. “I’m going to keep pushing her so she gets there.”
Boutte finished first in all three of the MBL Center Meet’s during the regular season.
Overall, the girls, with strong finishes by Allison Taylor (22:41) and Bridget Brown (23:13) had hopes of completing the league title run, Bonomi said.
“We had a chance to win the league title today so of course I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t,” he said. “Other than that, I’m proud of all our girls. I just want them to keep thinking about training and don’t get discouraged.”
The Christopher boys team didn’t fare as well, placing fifth overall in the Pacific Division. Only once runner – Matthew Switzer in 67th place – finished in the top 70 during the race.
“We have a really young team,” Bonomi said. “I’m happy with the boys. Overall, they are a little behind the girls but they are still doing well.”
GHS cross-country
Gilroy High had three runners – Enrique Villanueva, Karla Lozano and Noemi Rivera – individually qualify for the Nov. 10 sectional meet Saturday.
The Gilroy boys squad finished ninth overall in the combined MBL and sixth in the Gabilan Division, as senior Villanueva posted the team’s top time of 17:29 – good for 26th place.
“Enrique had been working on running relaxed. His practice-mile times have been consistently in the low 5-minute times, but at meets he would tense up and lose energy during mile two,” GHS coach Cathy Silva said. “Saturday he was able to break the curse. He came through the hills relaxed and under 6-minute pace,” clocking his best time for the course.
Teammates Bryan Kachakji (18:44, 52nd place), Kairo Barrosa (18:52, 55th place) and Jorge Murillo (19:03, 56th place) finished off the best Mustang times.
On the girls side, freshman  Lozano (22:36) placed 31st and senior Rivera (22:38) finished in 33rd place to help the Mustangs finish in 10th place out of 12 teams in the overall standings.

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