Simpson and Hughey lead Yosemite in NSL sweep

editor@sierrastar.comNovember 12, 2013 

On Nov. 6, the Yosemite High School cross country team achieved a feat accomplished only three previous times in the 37-year history of the school — the team made a sweep at the North Sequoia League Championship meet, winning all four titles — the boys varsity and frosh/soph and the girls varsity and frosh/soph.

In the boys varsity three mile race, it was Yosemite's seniors Alek Simpson (17:12), Liam Womack (17:27), and sophomore Jonathan Mulkey (17:47) placing first, second, and third, respectively. Teammates Issac Soliz (17:53) and freshman Alex Williams (18:31) finished fifth and eleventh.

"The race started pretty slow for me, Liam (Womack), and Jonathan (Mulkey), but we pulled away half a mile into the race and ran as a pack until the last mile where I eased away," said Simpson.

In the girls three mile varsity race, Yosemite again dominated with senior Brittney Hughey (20:37) placing first, followed by three sophomores, Jessica Fine (21:38), Rose Curley (21:45), and Natalie Chamberlan (22:06) in third, fourth, and fifth place. Jamie Lewis (21:18) of Liberty placed second, 51 seconds behind Hughey.

Hughey, who placed in the top 10 at the NSL meet as a sophomore, did not run cross country last year, opting to be a member of the YHS pep squad.

I was in the top 10 at the start of the race and at the quarter-mile mark I was in the lead. I kept a fast pace for the next mile when I realized I had a good lead and backed-off a little bit. At the second mile mark, a coach from Kerman told her to keep it up and that girls behind her were catching up.

"I didn't know if it was true and he was trying to help me, or it wasn't true and he wanted me to tire-out," Hughey said. "I heard the crowd behind me and knew that some of the runners were in fact, getting a little closer to me, so I picked-up the pace again and finished the last mile strong."

Hughey expects to improve on her season's personal best time of 19:58 and finish in the top nine to advance to the Valley championship.

"I plan to run my best race of the year and I want to go to state real bad," Hughey said. "It could also be my last high school cross country meet so I will go all out."

Hughey and Simpson have been running together since they were in the fourth grade at Bass Lake Elementary School.

"We've liked running since we were little and have stuck with it all these years, and we both hope to make our senior year memorable," Hughey said.

The girls varsity competition saw one of the biggest upsets of the day with Yosemite dominating the favored Kerman team.

"In both the girls and boys varsity races, the strength of the No. 4 and 5 runners were deciding factors," coach Ellen Peterson said. "The fourth and fifth spot became critical in race totals — there is no team score until five runners from the team have finished."

Peterson felt Soliz, freshman Alexander Williams, Chamberlain and freshman Caden McCoon, each ran the race of their lives.

The team depth of runners the Badgers have enjoyed all season contributed to domination in the boys and girls frosh-soph races also with sophomore Shane Eckstein and freshman Hannah Scott winning their races.

The team will run at the Valley Championship meet against 22 other D-III teams on Nov. 21 at Woodward Park.

"We hope to move to state as a team," Simpson said. "It would be the first time in school history if the team made it to state but we have to place first or second in the Valley Championship to advance."

Simpson is one of the favorite's to win the section meet Nov. 21 and hopes to break 16 minutes. Top finishers at the section meet will advance to the state meet which will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, at Woodward Park. Simpson placed 32nd at the state meet last year.

NSL varsity boys top & Yosemite finishers

1. Alek Simpson - 17:12 Yosemite
2. Liam Womack - 17:27 Yosemite
3. Jonathan Mulkey - 17:47 - Yosemite
4. Jesus Murmolejo - 17:51 - Kerman
5. Issac Soliz – 17:53 - Yosemite
6. Rodrigo Cazares 18:10 - Kerman
7. Alexis Cruz – 18:12 - Kerman
8. Michael Sassano – 18:14 - Liberty
9. Mauricio Centeno – 18:23 - Kerman
10. Rafael Fonseca – 18:29 - Kerman
11. Alex Williams – 18:31 - Yosemite
12. Adam Valdez – 18:37 Kerman
13. John Castellans – 18:41 - Kerman
14. Vsevolod Descor – 18:49 - Kerman
15. Craig Stieler – 18:50 Yosemite
16. Tristan Webb – 18:53 - Yosemite
17. Caleb Wiens – 19:01 Liberty
18. Oscar Valencia – 19:02 - Kerman
19. Joe Campbell – 19:08 Yosemite
20. Tristan Rhoan – 19:09 - Yosemite
22. Kevin Kirk – 19:20 - Yosemite
24. Russell Warmerdam 19:29 - Yosemite
30. Kenny Jeffries – 19:53 - Yosemite
32. Ben Williams – 20:02 - Yosemite
35. Sam Williams – 20:09 - Yosemite
37. Adam Scott – 20:13 Yosemite
39. Kyle Kingsland – 20:36 - Yosemite
44. Greg Royse – 21:04 - Yosemite
45. Jordan Rose – 21:09 - Yosemite
47. Oliver Curley – 21:18 Yosemite
48. Chase Lassos – 21:27 Yosemite
50. Alex Mello – 21:29 Yosemite
58. Matt Springer – 22:16 - Yosemite
65. Devon Potter – 24:51 Yosemite

Team Scores

Yosemite 22, Kerman 36, Liberty 80, Sierra 126, Washington Union 137

NSL varsity girls top & Yosemite finishers

1. Brittany Hughey 20:37 - Yosemite
2. Jamie Lewis – 21:18 Liberty
3. Jessica Fine – 21:38 Yosemite
4. Rose Curley – 21:45 Yosemite
5. Natalie Chamberlan 22:06 - Yosemite
6. Brenda Castellanos 22:14 - Kerman
7. Veronica Solorio 22:14 - Kerman
8. Cassie Garibox 22:23 Liberty
9. Jaqueline Macias 22:27 - Kerman
10. Cassidy Santa Cruz 22:29 - Liberty
11. Robi Velasquez 22:49 - Kerman
12. Erin Nance – 23:04 Kerman
13. Genesis Martinez 23:32 - Kerman
14. Arielle Sanchez 23:34 - Kerman
15. Brittany Subinger 23:51 - Kerman
16. Sarai Torres - 23:54 Washington Union
17. Caden McCoon 24:15 - Yosemite
18. Ellen Saunders - 24:25 - Yosemite
19. Rebecca Madoza 24:43 - Liberty
20. Gabi Gibeault 24:51 Sierra
21. Christen Cogdell – 24:57 Yosemite
24. Maya Mendoca 25:20 - Yosemite
25. Sharon Warmerdam 25:24 - Yosemite
26. Katie Whitcomb – 25:28 - Yosemite
30. Azani Pusina – 26:23 - Yosemite
31. Rachael Arroyo – 26:28 - Yosemite
32. Katelyn – 26:41 - Yosemite
44. Andi Whitcomb – 32:59 - Yosemite

Team scores

Yosemite - 29, Kerman - 45, Liberty - 59, Washington Union - 101, Sierra - 135

NSL frosh/soph boys top & Yosemite finishers

1. Shane Eckstien – 19:40 Yosemite
2. Joel Bradshaw – 19:52 Yosemite
3. Mathew Horton - 19:58 Yosemite
4. Gavin Medrano – 20:01 Liberty
5. Alexis Hernandez – 20:09 Kerman
6. Bredan Rhoan – 20:13 Yosemite
7. Aaron Arroyo - 20:32 Yosemite
8. Paul Esposito – 20:56 Yosemite
9. Mathew Roberts – 21:02 Yosemite
10. Andrew Volpetti – 21:08 Yosemite
11. Noe Tapia – 21:15 Washington Union
12. Tyler Wallace – 21:23 Yosemite
13. Dalin Hass – 21:32 Yosemite
14. Mike Vanbalingham – 21:34 Yosemite
15. Johnny Zhang – 21:38 Yosemite
16. Jordan Berg – 22:11 Yosemite
17. Garrett White – 22:16 Yosemite
18. Luke True – 24:02 Sierra
19. Blake Palmer – 24:12 Yosemite
20. Quentin Lawrence – 24:23 Yosemite
21. Caleb Eicholtz – 25:49 Yosemite
24. Narayan Black – 27:04 Yosemite
25. Ian Pincus – 27:07 Yosemite
26. Evan Morton – 27:29 Yosemite

NSL frosh/soph girls top finishers

1. Hannah Scott -24:39 Yosemite
2. Balanna Ramos- 24:46 Yosemite
3. Allie Donnell – 24:49 Yosemite
4. Brooke Veater – 25:35 Yosemite
5. Odessa Pusina – 25:49 Yosemite
6. Maddie Noonkester – 27:11 Yosemite
7. Chloe Susoeb – 28:29 Kerman
8. Georgina Royse – 29:13 Yosemite
9. Gianna Defelice – 29:19 Yosemite

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