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Lady Trojans win first showdown with Davis

By: Matt Long
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It’s early in the season, but Oak Ridge’s girls’ cross country team made their presence known to the Davis Blue Devils on Saturday at the Hornet Jamboree Cross Country Meet at Granite Regional Park. In the first showdown against the Blue Devils, winners of eight straight Division I Sac-Joaquin Section titles, Oak Ridge outscored them 24-31 to win the meet. “It’s a real boost to us,” Oak Ridge coach Rob Fairley said. “It’s definitely our best performance of the year and the conditions were great. It was a flat course and the competition was there. We beat them, but we know Davis is a strong team and we’re not going to be overconfident when we see them again.” Oak Ridge senior Hayley Scott won the race, outkicking Davis’ Christine Bowlus to beat her by one second, passing her just a few feet before crossing the finish line. Scott’s winning time was 18 minutes, 46 seconds. “I was running with the front pack for awhile, but then fell back behind Christine and my teammate, Jackie Mansoor,” Scott said. “Jackie did a good job pulling me along and then on the last hill about 300 meters from the finish I started to kick. “It was exciting to beat Davis, as we got to see where we’re at with them. They’re a tough team and it’s early. We know that in October and November is when it really counts, but it gives us confidence in knowing that all the work we put in over the summer is starting to pay off.” Mansoor ran what Fairley called the race of her life, placing third in 18:52. “Last year Jackie was probably our sixth or seventh runner, but she put the most work in over the summer and she ran a tremendous race. I could see this race coming for her.” Samantha Ralstin place fourth in 18:58, followed by teammates Brittney Putman (7th, 19:24) and Maxine Goyette (11th, 19:47). The varsity boys also ran well, but not quite well enough to beat Davis, finishing in second place 46 points behind. The Trojans, however, were without top runner, Amjed Aboukhadijeh, who was taking the ACT test for college. Benji Xie led the way for Oak Ridge, finishing the race in fourth place in 15:59. He was followed by Nathan Williams (16:31), Clay McNamee (16:33), Jeroen Keukenkamp (16:45) and Zach Speno (16:47). “It’s pretty tough when you’re missing your top runner, but the boys did very well,” Fairley said. “Benji stepped up and ran a really nice race and Clay, like Jackie, has put tons of work in and it’s paying off for him. Nathan is adapting well to the highly-competitive runners in California after transferring from Las Vegas.” At the freshman-sophomore level, Oak Ridge’s Evan Baxter won the race in 10:37. Rounding out the scoring for the Trojans were Zach Thornton (11:28), Jake Zeltner (11:32), Marcos Conde (12:48) and Josh Michael (14:06). The team placed fifth in the meet and would have placed much higher, but sophomore Parker Prestegard and freshman Dusty Armstrong competed with the varsity team. Holli Arrieta came away with a win for the Lady Trojans in the freshman-sophomore race, finishing in 12:14. LeeAnn Hold (12:53), Mia Brower (15:25) and Hailey Heil (17:04) also ran on the team. Oak Ridge’s only contest this week is Saturday at the 5th annual Trojan Cross Country Invitational at Willow Hills on Saturday. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m.