Cross Country: Monarchs girls take third, boys fifth at CSL meet

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Defending champion Rosalind Dixon finishes second as boys’ team continues to improve

By Patrick Dillon
@PDillon_SGN

DINUBA – Exeter’s Rosalind Dixon reign as individual Central Sequoia League champion might be in jeopardy. Last Wednesday the sophomore was defeated by a newcomer to the league Hanford West’s Natalie Gonzalez by 18 seconds in the CSL Cluster Meet at Ridge Creek Golf Course.

In true Dixon fashion she was in the lead group right from the starting line last Wednesday. As the five runners jockeyed for position both Dixon and Gonzalez broke away from the others in the first mile. The two runners continued to run side by side until the second mile. It was then Dixon tried to quicken her pace and put some distance between her and Gonzalez. Unfortunately, Dixon’s legs were not able to sustain the faster pace, and she had to continue to run along with Gonzalez.

“The race was a little bit faster than Woodward,” Exeter head coach Darin Lasky said.

Dixon’s inability to switch gears, even for a little bit in order to put some distance between her and Gonzalez was the deciding factor in her finishing second. In the half mile Gonzalez showed she had a lot more left in the tank and pulled away to finish with a time of 18:27.50. Dixon finished with a time of 18:45.40.

The Monarchs are not hitting the panic button just yet with the CSL Championships on the horizon. Lasky knows that his top runner will have to put some distance between her and the other runners early on, but is not going to try any drastic changes to her form this late in the season.

“Dixon just has to run the race she knows how to run,” Lasky said.

Jasmine Mendoza joined Dixon in the top ten as the eighth overall finisher with a time of 19:51.70. It was her best finish in a three-mile race this season. Mendoza tried to quicken her pace at the two-mile mark as well, but her legs were not able to keep up due to the faster pace.

“Mendoza has been running well all season,” Lasky said.

The Monarchs finished in third place with 83 points. Two more of their runners finished inside the top 25 places in Elina Grimm at 23rd (23:36.90), and Brianna Maciel in 24th (23:42.80). Sydney Silva finished in 33rd place with a time of 24:15.00 and Jimena Deharo-Soto took 39th place with at time of 25:50.60.

One of those underclassmen, Alex Jacuinde, just barely broken into the top ten at ninth place with at time of 17:03.30. That was the sophomore’s best finish this season. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

One of those underclassmen, Alex Jacuinde, just barely broken into the top ten at ninth place with at time of 17:03.30. That was the sophomore’s best finish this season. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

In contrast to the Monarchs girls’ team who is seasoned with top runners the boys’ team is very young and inexperienced. With mostly underclassmen running they finished in fifth place with 120 points. One of those underclassmen, Alex Jacuinde, just barely broken into the top ten at ninth place with at time of 17:03.30. That was the sophomore’s best finish this season.

“That is a very good improvement for him,” Lasky said. “There are just a lot of things he doesn’t have a feel for yet.”

Only one other boy runner finished inside the top 20 and it was Jeremy Adams who finished on the number, with a time of 18:16.50. David Garcia finished in 29th at 19:18.30. Aldo Hernandez finished in 32nd with 19:27.80. Noah Peltzer finished 33rd at 19:29.90. Tyler Madrigal finished 34th at 19:52.80. Alex McEwen finished 38th at 20:21.80.

This was the last time the CSL teams will see each other in a league meet until next month. On Saturday, Nov. 6, the CSL Championships will be held at Woodward Park in Fresno.

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