SACRAMENTO — It took 24 years but Golden Sierra’s boys cross-country recaptured a league title.
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Runners dashed for the tree-lined, narrow trail of the Renfree Field course at Wednesday’s Sierra Delta League finals. The lead pack consisted of Jason Yurgelevic, Ryan Sewell and David Blanton of Golden Sierra, Ruslan Suleimanov of Highlands, and Carl MacLean of Vacaville Christian.
Heading into the back section loop, Yurgelevic made a surge which Sewell covered and the two began to pull away. Over the top of the bridge en route to the finish, Yurgelevic held about a 20-meter lead over Sewell and Blanton had closed the gap in the third position.
In the team battle, Golden Sierra’s pack held a solid advantage over Highlands and Vacaville Christian at the half way point. Grizzly runners Allan Nicholson and Nick Blanton powered through the last half of the course to increase the advantage over the Vacaville Christian.
“Allan and Nick really performed well today,” Golden Sierra coach Mike Brown said. “We grabbed four of the top eight all-league positions.”
By the end of the race, Golden Sierra won the position battle taking 1-2-3-8-9-10-13 places. Grizzly depth won the day as they put all seven runners in the chute before any other team had their top five through.
“Jason has been outstanding this season, he won all three league meets and is the MVP,” said Brown of Yurgelevic.
In the varsity girls action, Grizzly senior Jenna Pendzinski finished 10th at 27 minutes, 30 seconds. Mia Belluomini navigated the 3.1 mile course in 34:19 for 21st place.
The Grizzlies are in action Saturday, Nov. 9 for Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section in Frogtown.
“We have over two weeks off before sub-sections in which we hope to have two of our top runners back,” said Brown in referring to Hunter Hughes and Chris Pugh, who are both struggling with nagging injuries.
Below are results of the Golden Sierra boys.
1-Jason Yurgelevic, 17:01 (MVP, All-League); 2-Ryan Sewell, 17:24 (All-League); 3-David Blanton 17:31 (All-League); 8-Allan Nicholson, 19:23 (All-League); 9-Nick Blanton 19:35; 10-Thomas Christie, 20:01;
13-Casey Mitchell, 20:29; 16-Nicholas Anaya, 21:34; 19-Max deBecker, 23:11; 22-Evan Michul, 28:06.