The Yosemite High cross country team continued its busy season schedule last week, competing in two invitational meets back-to-back - the 34rd annual Golden West Invitational in Visalia Oct. 2, and the Madera High Initational, Oct. 3.
“We had two really strong meets,” Coach Ellen Peterson said. “Golden West allowed us to compete against the best small-school programs in the Valley. The races were loaded with quality runners with more than 250 participants in some races. The quality of athletes is similar to what we will see in the Valley championships.”
For the third straight meet, Yosemite came home with a title. The Badgers were the overall winners in the JV girls division at Golden West - not just small schools.
“We had a really strong performance at Golden West,” Peterson said. “To win the overall title with 37 schools is quite an honor.”
Golden West Invitational
The varsity girls finished 10th in the meet that was won by Clovis High. Elyse Espe and Gabby Stegge were the top finishers for YHS. Espe was 37th (21:26) and Stegge 39th (21:34) out of the 190 runners in the division.
The winner of the division was Mikayla Sodersten of Clovis with a time of 17:30.8.
“These were great performances from Elyse and Gabby,” Peterson said. “It was against the best of the best, especially in the small school division.”
The JV girls were led by Hannah Scott who finished 42nd (24:43). Amy Whitcomb was 50th (24:54) in the meet held at Cutler Park in Visalia.
The JV boys were second in the small school division. Aaron Arroyo had the highest finish for the JV team (24th - 19:18) out of 153 runners. Russell Warmerdam (19:56), and Thomas Lazar (19:58) were 33rd and 34th respectively. Paul Esposito was 41st with a time of 20:19.
The Yosemite JV girls and boys each placed third in the 16-team meet held at Town and Country Park in Madera. The YHS frosh/soph girls were fourth overall.
Stegge had the best overall individual finish for the Badger girls. Competing in the varsity division, Stegge, a sophomore, placed seventh with a time of 22:00. Espe had another strong performance by placing 17th with a time of 22:30.
“Gabby and Elyse had great performances,” Peterson said. “Gabby is so mentally tough and has such a great attitude. Elyse is improving every week. She has such raw talent and works very hard. Both are going to be major factors in the North Sequoia League.”
Joseph Campbell 24th was the leading YHS runner in the varsity division with a time of 19:11.
For the YHS JV girls, Scott placed eighth (25:23), and Meghan Schneider was 18th (26:36). Other YHS finishers included Sidney Hilliard (24th - 27:57), Allie Donnell (25th - 27:57), and Audrey White (26th - 28:30).
In the girls frosh/soph division, Randi Johnson placed 12th (25:44), and Addison McCully 13th (26:04). Natalie Guynn finished 18th in a time of 26:27. Natalie Lawrence 20th (26:54), Linnea Lineau 22nd (27:36), and Jasmine Tanoury 24th (28:04) were other top finishers for the Badgers.
The Badger frosh/soph boys had the strongest team placement overall. Four Badgers placed in the top 20. Russell Zelazo finished second at 18:28. It was the highest individual place for the Badgers in the meet.
Issac Rumohr was right behind finishing fifth in 18:54. David O’Brien was ninth with a time of 19:36. Ethan Conti was 12th at 19:56, and Henry Curley rounded out the top 20 finishing 18th in 20:55.
“I like to call Russell and Issac thunder and lightning,” Peterson said. “They are dynamic runners, a great one-two punch. It was a great overall performance by our frosh/soph team.
Russell Warmerdam was the highest finisher (14th) for the Badger JV boys at 20:09.