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Placer XC teams advance to section finals

By: Nick Pecoraro
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ANGELS CAMP– The Placer boys cross-country team continued its hot pace at the Sac-Joaquin Subsection race at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp Saturday afternoon.

The Hillmen won the Division IV race by more than a comfortable margin, 48-108, ahead of second-place Calaveras. It was Placer’s fifth first-place finish for the boys varsity team.

Senior Jesus Guerra-Reyes earned his fifth individual win of the season, coming in at 16 minutes, 1.5 seconds in the 3-mile run. Jesus Carrasco finished second overall, picking up his fourth Top-3 finish of the season at 16:17.0. Connor Ryan (4th, 16:24.5) and Devin Muzzy (9th, 16:46.9) each collected their sixth Top-10 finish of the season for the Hillmen.

“Subsections is a dress rehearsal for the section meet and I was very pleased with how we raced,” said Placer head coach Kevin Vasquez.

The top 10 team and individual scores qualify for the Section final, which is scheduled for Saturday in Folsom.

Colfax, led by Billy Groth’s personal 3-mile record of 17:15.1, finished 13th as a team. Bear River’s Sean Cullers led the Bruins, who placed 18th collectively, with a season-best mark of 18:34.7.

Placer’s girls team also hit the qualifying mark, finishing second as a team behind El Dorado, who also had the top individual runner, Madison Hutchings, who checked in at 19:28.8.

Placer’s top runner was Riley Lasher, who ran a 20:56.2. Teammates Alison Wright (16th, 21:27.9), Maddie Lasher (18th, 21:30.2), Grace Holness (20th, 21:52.9) and Kate Haydon (24th, 22:05.4) all finished within the top 25.

“We had some great team and individual performances today on a tough course,” said Vasquez. “While it is not a definitive forecast of how the section meet will race, it gives a bit of a snapshot on how things will unfold on (Folsom’s) Willow Hills course. I like where we are at as a team and now we need to continue to train smart and stay healthy.”

Also qualifying locally for the section final is Colfax, who placed fourth as a team, led by Sierra Hagen, whose personal record 20:32.8 gave her a fifth-place finish. Teammate Emma Sanders placed 23rd overall with a PR of her own, 21:58.0.

Bear River finished just outside the top 10 team scores with a 265, which put the Bruins in 11th place. Grace McDaniel paced her team with a personal-best 22:25.3.

In the Division V girls varsity race, Forest Lake Christian junior Amber Jackson earned her third individual win of the season and fifth Top-5 finish in as many races.

Jackson’s 19:12.1 was more than a full minute faster than the second-place finisher and defending section champion Sara Sabra of Western Sierra Collegiate Academy. Jackson also won the Oct. 6 Wildfire Invitational in Foresthill and the Central Valley California League championship Oct. 24.

The Lady Falcons collectively finished seventh overall, four spots behind Foresthill, who finished third as a team. The Wildfires were led by Elizabeth Bradley, who placed ninth with a 22:04.9.

The section will qualify the top two teams for girls in Division IV and V. For boys, the best three teams in D-IV and the best two in D-V will advance.