Oak Ridge to send both cross country teams to state meet

Trojans upset Davis to win Division I title
By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Rob Fairley said his varsity boys’ cross country team would have to run their absolute best to qualify for the state meet. The boys did just that and not only did they qualify for the state meet, but they also won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship, upsetting Davis 50-51 and ending the Blue Devils string of seven consecutive Division I titles. To put it mildly, Fairley and his team were overjoyed when they learned they had defeated Davis to win the section title. “I’m ecstatic,” Fairley said. “The boys were on fire today and the girls ran a solid race.” Junior Dusty Armstrong paced the Trojans by finishing in third place in 16 minutes, 35 seconds. Oak Ridge’s five scoring runners finished within 29 seconds of each other. Sean McHone, the team’s lone senior, placed fifth, four seconds behind Armstrong. Ryan Prestegard, the team’s only sophomore, ran 11th in 16:53. Juniors Evan Baxter and Marcos Conde rounded out the scorers in 14th and 17th place, finishing in 16:59 and 17:04, respectively. Juniors Jake Zeltner (20th, 17:09) and Zach Thornton (40th, 18:02) also ran for the Trojans and though he wasn’t a scorer, Zeltner’s finish made a big difference in the outcome of the race. Conde and Zeltner both passed Davis runners in the final 200 meters that lifted the Trojans to victory. “I passed three Davis runners at the end,” Conde said. “I really didn’t feel that great for the majority of the race, but I knew I had to push hard at the end. It feels amazing to have qualified for the state meet. We’ve worked hard all year for this and I’m glad we pulled through.” Zeltner was not a scorer for the Trojans, but passed two Davis runners late that hurt the Blue Devils’ score. “I felt tired at the end of the race, but it felt amazing to pass those two Davis runners,” Zeltner said. “We knew we could beat them. It was just a matter if we could execute and we did.” Fairley added, “That was the race when Marcos and Jake passed those Davis runners at the end. That was it.” The girls placed a distant second behind St. Francis, 31 to 65, but still qualified for the state meet. Freshman Ellie Velez led the way by finishing seventh in 19:51, while sophomore teammate Rachel Peterson finished right behind her in eighth in 19:57. Senior Maxine Goyette ran 11th in 20:10, while freshmen Sabrina Andrus (16th, 20:35) and Maddie DeZordo (23rd, 20:56) rounded out the scoring. Senior Holli Arrieta placed 25th in 21:07, while junior Taylor Ashby ran 38th in 22:17. “The girls ran very competitively,” Fairley said. “Sabrina and Maddie really stepped up. I don’t know how many girls Sabrina passed in the second loop and Maddie ran with Sabrina for a majority of the race and hung on at the end. Rachel also moved up a lot on the second loop. She is just nails. She’s unbelievably consistent and an incredible competitor. A lot of these kids are. I’m elated.” The sophomore boys also won a section title, as the Trojans placed all five scorers in the top-10. Jordan Hordesky and JT Janecek placed second and third in 11:49 and 11:53, respectively. Colin Pilcher ran fifth in 11:57, while Alex Merry (eighth, 12:04) and Brett Ford (ninth, 12:05) also scored. Nick Campanello (12th, 12:09) and Bret McNamee (21st, 12:41) also ran for the team. The freshman-sophomore girls placed fourth with Samantha Kilcollins leading the way by placing ninth in 13:58. Whitney Wilhelmy placed 11th in 14:00, while Femke Keukenkamp ran 14th in 14:16. Mindy Ong (27th, 15:01) and Aishani Kumar (28th, 15:01) also scored, while Alison Bamford (30th, 15:04) and Lauren Martinez (32nd, 15:14) also ran for Oak Ridge. At the junior varsity level, Abby Walker placed 11th in 22:51.