Oak Ridge boys wins Delta River League cross country title

By: Staff Report
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Rob Fairley knew his varsity boys’ cross country team would have to finish in a tight pack to have a chance to win a league title. Fairley said Dusty Armstrong, the team’s No. 1 runner, would have to have a good race and the rest of the team would have to stay close together for the Trojans to score better than Pleasant Grove, knowing all along that it wouldn’t be easy to do. The Trojans, however, accomplished the feat, as the five scorers finished within 23 seconds of each other and Oak Ridge scored 52 points, nine better than Pleasant Grove, to claim the Delta River League title. Armstrong ran a strong race, placing sixth in 17 minutes flat, to lead the way. Sean McHone finished four seconds behind in ninth place with Marcos Conde in 11th seven seconds later. Ryan Prestegard finished 12th in 17:21 and Jake Zeltner was the fifth scorer in 14th place in 17:23. “The boys raced strategically very well,” Fairley said. “Most of the varsity boys did not go out too fast and ran a very solid second loop all the way to the finish line. The top-seven runners were within 33 seconds of each other which is a fairly tight group.” Things didn’t go as well for the rest of Oak Ridge’s teams, starting with the varsity girls who had two runners, Reaghan Emrick and Mikayla Mefford, miss the meet due to injury. Without those two runners, Oak Ridge placed second to St. Francis, 17 points behind. Maxine Goyette ran third, finishing the 3.1-mile race in 19:44. Ellie Velez and Rachel Peterson also earned all-league patches with top-10 finishes, Velez running fifth in 19:51 and Peterson in sixth a second behind. Sabrina Andrus placed 14th in 20:42 with Maddie DeZordo rounding out the scoring in 17th in 20:53. “(Freshmen) Sabrina and Maddie stepped up very well,” Fairley said. “The girls are hoping Reaghan and Mikayla will be able to recover from their injuries so they can race at the sub-section and section meets.” The Oak Ridge freshman-sophomore boys also took second at the meet finishing 11 points behind Ponderosa, but still won the league title. Jordan Hordesky, JT Janecek and Colin Pilcher placed third, fourth and fifth to lead the way. Hordesky finished the 2.l-mile course in 11:59 with Janecek five seconds behind. Pilcher finished two seconds after Janecek. Nick Campanello and Brett Ford rounded out the scoring, finishing 15th in 12:30 and 16th in 12:33, respectively. Oak Ridge had nine other runners competing including Alex Merry (17th, 12:36), Bret McNamee (20th, 12:52), Zac Forte (38th, 13:21), Garrett Bardini (47th, 13:59), Kyle Denison (48th, 14:04), Taylor Savage (56th, 14:33), Joey Linares (57th, 14:35), Ian Feekes (72nd, 15:48) and Justin Hong (75th, 16:10). “The boys raced very well,” Fairley said. “While they finished second in the league finals, they finished two points in front of Ponderosa in the season scoring and won the league title. They put forth a great team effort.” The freshman-sophomore girls placed third behind St. Francis and Sheldon. Sami Kilcollins and Whitney Wilhelmy both finished in the top-10 to lead the way, Kilcollins running sixth in 14:00 and Wilhelmy eighth in 14:07. Aishani Kumar (11th, 14:42), Femke Keukenkamp (14th, 14:51) and Alison Bamford (15th, 14:51) rounded out the scoring. Sarah Reinhart (21st, 15:15), Mindy Ong (22nd, 15:17), Lauren Martinez (27th, 15:38), Maile Tostenson (28th, 15:40) and Sami Jo Sanfelice (37th, 17:05) also competed for Oak Ridge. The Oak Ridge cross country teams will compete at the sub-section meet at Angels Camp on Saturday. The section meet is on Nov. 11 which is the qualifying meet for the state meet. The top-two varsity boys’ and girls’ Division I teams at the section meet will qualify for the state meet on Nov. 26.