FORESTHILL — Despite not having all hands on deck, Golden Sierra’s cross country team represented well at the Wildfire Invitational in Foresthill on Saturday.
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The Grizzly varsity boys placed second in their division, race falling just short of the title while scoring 39 points for its first five runners. Foresthill won with 36.
Noted for its pine tree-lined, red-clay trails, and its turkey trophies, the Wildfire Invite is a favorite stop on the Golden Sierra Cross Country schedule. The boys team performed well by placing three runners in the top 10 with junior Ryan Sewell finishing third in 17:33 over the 5,000-meter course, three seconds behind winner Jesus Alcarez of Sierra Ridge Academy.
The team ran out quick. Sewell, Hunter Hughes and David Blanton were in the top 10 at the first mile marker. By the second mile, the three had moved into the top five with Sewell leading the race.
“Ryan lost the lead on the track with 200 meters to go. He just didn’t have the speed at the end,” Grizzly coach Mike Brown said.
Blanton ran a good race finishing 6th (18:05), while Hughes struggled through the second half of the course nursing a hip injury and dropped to a still respectable eighth place (18:14).
Grizzly sophomore Chris Pugh edged out Vacaville Christian’s Carl MacLean, in a season best 19:21 to 19:22 for 12th place, and Alan Nicholson secured 19th (19:41) to round out the scoring five.
“Chris made a big time improvement today,” said Brown.
Wrapping up the race, Grizzly junior Nick Blanton and sophomore Nicholas Ayana, nabbed 20th (19:59) and 26th (21:07). Senior Jason Yurgelevic, Golden Sierra’s top runner, missed the race due of SAT testing.
Freshman results, 2-mile course: Casey Mitchell, 13, 13:22; Max deBecker, 26, 14:14; Tommy Christie, 30, 14:27