CoEd Varsity Cross Country
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Cougars sweep SVC cross country finals
El Dorado captured all four divisions in its league cross country meet finals at the Folsom Lake College course last Wednesday.
The El Dorado Cougars dominated the Sierra Valley Conference championships taking the boys and girls varsity and junior varsity banners in Folsom. Union Mine tied for second in the girls and third in the boys standings.
“I think what you see in races like this is people that emerge and respond to the competition,” said El Dorado head coach Peanut Harms. “And we knew what we had to do. We weren’t just focused on the team results but individuals improving times.”
The varsity girls continued to command the league sweeping the top three podium places and taking six of the top ten spots while winning their division by 51 points.
The Cougar girl runners captured 12 all-league honors and the Union Mine Diamondbacks scored two of the honors.
Maddie Hutchings took top honors in the girls varsity division, winning her race in a time of 18 minutes and 53 seconds and finishing over a minute faster than the rest of the field.
“This was pretty cool to just to see our team come back and win the championships again,” said Hutchings. “This is a really big accomplishment because we have a young team with lots of freshmen and sophomores. It’s amazing to realize that we are going to do even better next year.”
Other girls all-league recipients were Maddy Dufour, Ava Dufour, Kasey Cope, Slaney Stringer, Julia Dreiling of El Dorado and Lois Kearney of Union Mine.
“From freshman year you always want to work your hardest to try to get here and you never really think you are going to achieve your goal,” said senior harrier Dreiling. “But when you do it’s the best feeling ever. I missed all-league by one last year, so getting it this year is especially rewarding.”
El Dorado’s girl varsity and junior varsity squads have controlled the competition all year, and maintained a team grade point average of 3.85. In a sports that appears on the surface to be an individual endeavor, these harriers depend on teamwork for success according to members of both squads.
“We just feel like family, that’s the cool thing about cross country,” Hutchings said. “We come together just like brothers and sisters. We help each other with the simple problems in life. We fix it together and work it out together.”
For the coaching staff the focus was on improving and challenging the boys team. Especially since a streak was on the line. The Cougar boys varsity and junior varsity have not lost a league title since 2010, while girls teams have won it every year since 2013.
The Cougar boys struggled for victories throughout the season losing the first couple of races of the season by only a few points, but steadily improved and impressed the coaching staff. It was at the Bella Vista Bronco Invitational Meet on Oct. 14 that Coach Harms felt the team had turned the corner.
“We knew we improved when we were at Bronco,” said Harms. “We were fifth overall and beat some really good teams. So I thought we’re probably a little bit better than we think we are.”
The team and coaching staff talked all week in the buildup to the SVC finals about pack running, rushing into recovery and about the various nuances of running during the race.
“These kids put it together amazingly,” said Harms. “This is why this is such a great sport because everybody can have success. Not everybody can be in the top five or all league. So you focus on improving your time. That’s how it resonates with the kids that aren’t in the top finishers.”
It all seemed to work. The Boys won their race by 14 points placing 11 runnings in the top 20 finishers.
“I’m happy with how we did,” said Robert McGown who finished fourth in the boys varsity race in 17:12. “I ran my heart out. I’m definitely tired and threw up a little bit after the race. But I’m glad we finally got Liberty Ranch. Honestly, I’m so happy to be running with the guys on my team. They are like brothers to me.”
Senior Tim Bluementhal led the boys in a tight league race against Liberty Ranch. Bluementhal finished third in the finals in 16:56.
“We tied the SVC, that was the best we could do,” said Bluementhal. “But it’s worth it. We got the W and kept our streak. I’m happy how the team pulled together.”
For the boys, all-league honors went to Cougars Blumenthal, McGowan, John Putt, Jacob Combrink, Nate Prettyman, Andreas Escobar and D’back Peter Huerta. Huerta placed fifth for the D’backs in 17:23.
Both the Cougars and D’backs advance to Frogtown the CIF Sac-Joaquin Subsection Meet at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds on Nov. 4 at Angels Camp. The boys and girls varsity teams will compete in a 5,000 meter race while the freshman and sophomore squads will run a 2.1 mile course.
Girls Varsity top 10
1 – Maddie Hutchings ED 18:53
2 – Maddy Dufour ED 20:13
3 – Ava Dufour ED 20:29
4 – Maddy Peterson G 21:12
5 – Citlalli Chavez C 22:10
6 – Lois Kearney UM 22:15
7 – Kasey Cope ED 22:19
8 – Slaney Stringer ED 22:20:00
9 – Zada Arias G 22:27:00
10 – Julia Dreiling ED 22:43:00
Boys Varsity top 10
1 – Collin Ullrich LR 15:52
2 – Christian Martinez LR 16:44
3 – Tim Blumenthal ED 16:56
4 – Robert McGowan ED 17:12
5 – Peter Huerta UM 17:23
6 – John Putt ED 17:26
7 – Jacob Combrink ED 17:28
8 – Ethan Reece G 17:30
9 – Nate Prettyman ED 17:33
10 – Andreas Escobar ED 17:33