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Section champ Del Oro ready for the State Meet

By: Gold Country News Service
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Del Oro High cross country coach Kevin Ostenberg can’t remember it ever happening before. 
When the Del Oro Lady Eagles squeaked past Vista del Lago two weeks ago to bring home the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III championship, Ostenberg said it was a first in his long coaching career.
“I think it was the first time that I’ve had all seven runners have to be used where it came down to deciding a championship,” Ostenberg said. “The girls just did a great job.”
Saving their best performance of the season for the most important meet of the year, the Lady Eagles blistered the Willow Hills course in Folsom to turn the tables and stun a heavily favored Vista del Lago squad to bring home the school’s 13th girls CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship pennant. 
Second-place finishers to Vista two weeks ago in the subsection meet at Frogtown, the Del Oro squad used a gutsy effort that saw them out-kick the No. 3 ranked Div. III girls team in the state for the crown.
The outstanding team showing earned the Lady Eagles a berth in the CIF State Meet set for Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.
“We had been preparing for the section meet all season long,” Ostenberg said. “For it all to fall in to place, the credit goes to the girls.” 
The Lady Eagles figured to be in an uphill battle against Vista as the Folsom team landed their two fine runners Madeleine Ankhelyi (17:44) and Clare Carroll (18:46) in a strong 1-2 finish but the Lady Eagles were able to stay the course and get the win.
Leading Del Oro’s charge was Megan Gentes. Only one of two seniors on the Del Oro squad, Gentes grabbed third place with a solid 19:00 effort. She was followed in by junior Lizzie Meredith (19:20), who placed fifth and freshman Maddy Lyons (19:21), who was sixth.
Del Oro continued their run to the top when junior Amy Heyn clocked a 20:16 time to grab 13th place but the pivotal finish by junior Maddy Montgomery at 21st in 20:39 pushed the Lady Eagles over the top.
Completing Del Oro’s win were pivotal places from Libby Runte who was 23rd in 20:45 and Dominique Tristant, who took 25th in 20:54.
When the final scores were tallied Del Oro’s 45 points nipped Vista’s 47 score. Rio Americano was a distant third with 116 points followed by El Dorado (119) and Manteca (152). 
As far as Friday’s State Meet, Ostenberg isn’t setting any goals for his team.
“The southern part of the state is so tough this year,” said the Del Oro coach. “We’re honored to be here and we’re shooting for our best times of the year.”    
Also joining the Del Oro girls at the state meet will be varsity boys runners Trevor Stephens and Kyle Ebert. Stephens finished fourth overall in the boys Div. III race with a time of 16:11 while Ebert, a junior, earned his bid by finishing in seventh place in 16:18. Teammate Moses Wolfe-Polgar was 14th in 16:41.