Perhaps the familiarity of running the Frogtown course nearly a week earlier at the Mother Lode League championship gave Calaveras and Bret Harte runners a slight edge over their competition.
Both Bret Harte and Calaveras had very strong showings at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section subsection meet Nov. 6 at Frogtown in Angels Camp. Over 3,500 runners and nearly as many spectators flocked to Calaveras County for the annual race.
“It was a busy and long day, as I was the meet director and Bret Harte meet host,” Bret Harte head coach Vicky Johnson said. “All our athletes had to help out, race and then again help out, and then finally clean up. It was a tremendous effort from everyone: coaches, athletes, parents and volunteers. There were 3,500 runners and almost the same amount of spectators. It was a busy time at Frogtown and in Angels Camp. It is an honor to host this meet, and it really takes a community to help make this work.”
Both individual and team success was gained by the Calaveras and Bret Harte runners, and positive results are exactly what both teams need heading into the section championship meet. Calaveras took part in the division IV races, while Bret Harte competed in division V.
In the division IV boys’ race, Placer took first with a score of 91. Calaveras placed 12th overall (319), finishing behind Livingston (299) and ahead of Casa Roble (355). Sonora freshman Broen Holman placed first overall (15:42.2), followed by fellow Wildcat Adin Dibble (15:42.3). The St. Mary’s duo of Daniel Winter (15:53.0) and Elijah Sulivan (15:59.3) placed third and fourth respectively.
Calaveras senior Garrett Hesser placed fifth out of 209 runners with his time of 16:04.0. Hesser improved from his time of 16:26.81 at the MLL championship meet.
“Saturday’s race was interesting in the way I reacted,” Hesser said. “I was pretty disappointed coming across the line just short of (Former Calaveras standout Jacob) Christopher’s record, but once I calmed down and regained my thoughts, I was pretty happy to have run as well as I did, especially considering the fact that I had a really tough week in terms of training. (Calaveras head coach Doug) Avrit came up to me after the race and was very happy with my performance. He and I are the only ones who know what I was put through in the week leading up to the race.”
In regards to Hesser’s performance, Avrit said, “Garrett, after a heavy practice week, performed like the top tier runner that he is. This coming week for him will be more focused on running fast on Saturday, so we are hoping for the best.”
Other Calaveras times were: Logan Gomes (No. 49, 18:23.6); Daniel Acevedo (No. 63, 19:03.3); Ethan Lynn (No. 95, 19:52.0); Alexander Garcia-Miller (No. 147, 21:58.8); Ethan Haro (No. 190, 26:12.5); and Tyler Davidson (209, 40:44.8).
In the division IV girls’ race, Colfax placed first with a score of 94. Calaveras finished eighth (194), behind Amador (187) and ahead of Hughson (263). Woodland’s Mahalia Quintana placed first overall (18:45.2), followed by El Dorado’s Chloe Gautschi (19:12.4) and Colfax’s Jade Bittner (19:34.5).
The first Calaveras runner to cross the finish line was senior Lexy Beadles, who was 14th overall with her time of 21:15.6. Other Calaveras times were: Sage Miller (No. 34, 22:21.6); Emma Alliende (No. 39, 22:35.8); Bridgette Boriolo (No. 64, 23:54.9); Rosalind Acevedo (No. 71, 24:18.3); Grace Damin (No. 78, 24:.33.2); Peyton Curran (No. 85, 24:58.2); and Emma Fabegues (No. 94, 25:32.4).
Calaveras’ girls’ team, along with Hesser, will compete at the section championship Saturday at Willow Hill in Folsom.
“My expectations for sections are like any other meet—compete,” Avrit said. “If we are smart and tough in how we race, we will walk away feeling good about what we have done that day. Times don't matter a whole lot in cross country; competing to your best ability on that day does. This time of year is great, it is the final exam, and we intend to pass with flying colors.”
As for Hesser, he won’t be holding anything back at the section race.
“I’m definitely feeling very confident going into sections and am looking forward to racing with some of the fastest runners in our state,” Hesser said.
In the boys’ division V race, Summerville placed first (76), followed by Central Catholic (108) and Bret Harte finished third overall with its score of 127.
Andrew Burr, of Sacramento Country Day, placed first (16:39.9), followed by Summerville’s Cruz Vasquez (16:51.7) and Waterford’s Evan Espinoza (17:31.6). Bret Harte junior Jordan Smith was the first Bullfrog to finish and he was fifth out of 129 runners with his time of 18:51.1.
Other Bret Harte times were: Alexander Mejia (No. 9, 18:57.5); Broderick Burita (No. 16, 19:23.8); Logan Jodie (No. 53, 20:50.3); Conrad Felix (No. 57, 20:55.3); Kyle Whitsitt (No. 59, 21:05.2); Matthew Barajas (No. 86, 22:26.5); Avery Strauch (No. 90, 22:43.2); and Mateo Arce (No. 113, 24:58.0).
Bret Harte was without junior Winter Whittle, its top male runner. Although Whittle was unable to compete at the subsection meet, he can still run as part of Bret Harte’s boys’ team at the section meet.
“I’m very impressed with the composure of Jordan Smith this season and his consistency in leading the varsity boys’ team,” Johnson said. “I was also glad to have Alex (Mejia) back. I am seeing weekly improvement with Brody, and Kyle. Logan Jodie made a big improvement that I have been waiting to see all season, so I was glad to see him in the top 5 of our boys’ varsity team. Conrad Felix stepped up nicely from the frosh/soph division to help us out in the top 5 as well.”
In the division V girls’ race, Bret Harte took first place as a team, finishing with 25 points. Vacaville Christian placed second (46) and Ben Holt Academy finished third (86). Argonaut’s Maeve Klement placed first overall (19:56.5), followed by Foresthill’s McKenna Lechner (20:17.4) and Summerville’s Sofia Vasquez (20.19.9).
“I was pleasantly surprised that they won the varsity girls’ division V race.” Johnson said. “It is looking favorable for them to place in the top two teams to also move on to state. And even better that they can win sections.”
A familiar face returned to the race for Bret Harte, and that was junior Kadyn Rolleri. After missing the final regular season league meet and the MLL championship meet, Rolleri returned to the course and finished fourth with her time of 20:41.1.
“I was super bummed that I had to miss the last two meets because I was looking forward to them,” Rolleri said. “Being sick the last two weeks hindered my workout, and I wasn’t able to run. I felt pretty good (at subsections), but I was nervous because I knew I wasn’t in as good of shape as I was before being quarantined. My confidence isn’t super high yet, but I hope it changes after a hard week of practice this week. I’m looking forward to seeing where my team will go.”
Other times for the first place Bullfrogs were: Anika Jodie (No. 9, 21:51.5); Addison Heermance (No. 10, 21:53.5); Savannah Inks (No. 14, 22:58.8); Lilly O’Geen (No. 16, 23:05.1); Taylee McDaniel (No. 27, 24:09.1); Sophia Keirns (No. 29, 24:37.2); Callie Hormel (No. 42, 26:00.0) and Megan Johnson (No. 43, 26:01.9).
Bret Harte will have a chance for both its boys’ and girls’ team to capture a section championship Saturday in Folsom.
“We just have to keep everyone motivated, practice running smoothly and keep the athletes healthy and happy,” Johnson said.