SACRAMENTO — Alex Sinigur (17:17) led the 1-2-7-9-14 finish for powerful Highlands in last Wednesday’s showdown for the Sierra Delta League cross country championship against Golden Sierra’s young developing squad at Renfree Field.
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Grizzly sophomore Hunter Hughes delivered a gutsy performance in the varsity boys individual race, finishing third and shaving over a minute off his season best in the 3-mile course with a time of 17:28.
“Everyone improved on their times today,” Golden Sierra coach Mike Brown. “I’m very excited about the next two years and to challenge Highlands for the league championship,” referring to the 3-4-5 finish by Hughes, sophomore Ryan Sewell (18:22) and freshman Tristan Rollins (18:31). All three also grabbed All League honors.
The race started as expected with Siginur setting the pace and Hughes, Sewell and the Scots’ Ruslan Suleimanov forming the front pack as they faded from view. At the halfway mark the trio had created a 15 second gap on Sewell while Rollins was in sole possession of fifth place and sophomore Stanley Marciel and freshman Alan Nicholson were among 10 runners vying for places 12-20.
In the end, Hughes, Sewell and Rollins held their positions but as in any major meet, the depth scorers (positions four and five on a team) are key to the team’s success which goes to Marciel who nabbed 13th (19:42) and Nicholson finished 17th (20:01) to round out the team scoring.
San Juan was the surprise victor in the varsity girls league championship. Although the team never won an individual league meet it pulled off the overall win with its accumulated team score over the season. Golden Sierra did not field a full team in the final race and finished a disappointing fifth in the team standings.
Katarina Stashyn was the runaway individual race winner for Vacaville Christian in 21:08 while Gabby Martinez was the Grizzly’s top runner in 4th place (22:01).
Among the top 8 finishers for All League honors was Golden Sierra senior and homecoming queen Bailey Birello who crossed the finish line in 7th place (22:13). Junior Jenna Pendzinski finished 15th in a time of 24:33 and freshman,Alexis Martinez opted to run varsity instead of JV and turned in a performance of 26:47 for 22nd place.
“All our athletes did really well today,” Brown said.