Placer boys win section title at cross country meet

Hillmen are State Meet-bound
By: Journal sports staff
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Placer’s varsity boys cross country team did it again.

“We raced beyond our expectations,” coach Randall Fee said of his section-winning, state-bound team.

Toby Qualls’ 15 minutes, 49 seconds clocking was good for second overall, the Hillmen’s Nos. 2 through 5 runners all finished with in 26 seconds of each other, and the Placer varsity boys won a section title for the second straight year at the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III Meet at Willow Hills in Folsom Saturday.

“Anytime you come away from sections with a banner you can hang in the gym to enjoy forever more and all the alumni get to see, it shows the accomplishment and the training this team has done,” Fee said.

Qualls was followed by teammates Gama Gomez (11th, 16:27), Josh Mason (15th, 16:44), Viktor Dorofeyev (18th, 16:52) and Zach Stelzer (19th, 16:53).

Prior to the section meet, only seven runners had ever raced under 16 minutes on the 5K course in Folsom, Fee said.

On Saturday, five athletes accomplished the feat, and Qualls’ time was good for the top ten of all time at Willow Hills.

Placer High’s varsity girls finished in 10th place at the section meet, with Ruth Braica (48th) leading the way.

The junior varsity boys, led by overall first-placer finisher Garrett Jordan, also won a section title.

But the big winners on the day were the varsity boys, who’s 65-point finish topped El Dorado (69) and Will C. Wood (71) for the crown.

All three squads advance to the Nov. 24 CIF State Meet in Clovis.

“It was a total team effort today,” said Fee, who was coached six section championship teams and three in the last four years. “We had a great week of training. It all just came together on the right day. No injuries or illness, we couldn’t ask for a better day. I really look forward to the state championship. The way our runners are grouped, I think we’re going to have a really good State Meet.”