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RedHawks strong on home course
The Colusa High cross country team put the rest of the Butte View League on red alert Wednesday in the first official league meet of the season at the Sacramento River State Recreation Area in Colusa.
In the varsity boys race, the RedHawks put three runners in the top-five to win the meet, and the varsity girls team put three runners in the top-10 but finished a close second to Durham.
"It's really exciting this year because we haven't had that in a long time, especially the boys, we're really excited. They're working well as a team and they understand that every place counts," Colusa coach Matt Giffin said.
Colusa struggled to field two full teams of at least five runners in the past, but will have a chance to compete for the league title with a deep boys team.
Max Valdez won the junior varsity boys race by nearly a minute and will likely move up to varsity soon, giving the RedHawks added depth, according to Giffin.
The girls team, which has the minimum five runners, will be competitive as long as the team can avoid injuries and keep everyone on course all season. Last year there weren't enough runners to field a full varsity girls team.
Senior Ross Cervantes took second place in the varsity boys race, covering the 3.1-mile course in 17 minutes, 38 seconds, three seconds behind the Trojans' Ryder Pisenti.
"I'm trying to make it to state, it's my senior year. When you have chances of going to state as a team like we do, it inspires you, Cervantes said.
Sophomore Christian Marzan made the move up to varsity and finished third (18:36) and senior Luke Corriea (19:04) claimed the fifth spot with a comfortable gap back to the sixth-place runner, Sutter's Diego Montes, who beat Colusa junior Felipe Granados (19:29) by a second.
Ernesto Mendez (20:21) finished in 12th place, just ahead of teammate Ryan Mead (20:23, 14th).
The entire RedHawk team finished in the top half of the standings.
Paige Townzen led the varsity girls team with a second-place finish after Durham's Madison Schell pulled away in the final mile. Townzen finished 12 seconds back with a time of 21:58.
"(Schell's) a junior this year and we've been running together since her freshman year and we've been pretty close (timewise) the whole time," Townzen said.
Aimee Maldonado (26:48, 8th) paced Mariana Martinez (26:39, 7th) for the first two miles but Martinez pulled ahead of her teammate in the final mile.
Giffin has high expectations for Maldonado and Martinez, who are both seniors. Newcomer Alexia Vargas (28:03, 11th) will contribute as she continues to improve during her first year on the team, and Nancy Lopez (28:34, 13th) returns for her senior season.
"We've done a couple extra races this year and it helps get us mentally ready for when the real races start," Townzen said.
Valdez won the 2.1 mile junior varsity boys race, and Alan Iniguez (14:32, 8th) and Teddy Vaillancourt (14:43, 10th) finished in the top-10. Cai Dunham (15:03, 12th), Sal Valencia (15:47, 13th) and Bryan Garibay (16:34, 18th) helped the RedHawks to a second-place finish.
Nadine Ahola finished second in the junior varsity girls race with a time of 16:52 and Andrea Thomas (21:55, 9th) ran a good race as the only other Colusa competitor.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.