Liberty boys and Heritage girls took home big wins at the Bay Valley Athletic League cross-country championship, which was held Wednesday, Nov. 6.
Led by junior Nic Lewis, whose 5k time of 17:03.02 was the best in the meet, the Lions came away with the boys’ championship. Senior Anthony Portillo and junior Curtis Reichardt came in fifth and sixth, respectively. Junior Jackson Schwartz (11th) and senior Alexander Bergqvist (12th) rounded out the team, giving the Lions a score of 36 points.
Heritage finished with 48 points to come in second as a team, led by sophomore Dominic DePiero, who came in fourth place with a time of 17:51.57. Freedom, who hosted this year’s event, finished third. Each runner earns points based on his or her finish, with first place earning one point. The team score is the sum of the team’s top five runners, so team depth played a significant factor in the results.
On the girls’ side, Heritage took home the win, thanks in large part to four top 7 finishers. Senior Sarah Smith came in third, while sophomore Sabrina Rogers, Junior Renny Buchanan, and sophomore Lauren Lane finished in fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
Kylee Denver, a sophomore from Freedom, finished with the best overall girls’ time at 20:24.67. Pittsburg freshman Gabriella Hernandez finished second with a time of 20:54.38.
The Heritage girls’ score of 42 won them the meet. Liberty’s girls’ team won second place with 47, and Freedom finished third with a score of 82.
Heritage coach Robert Miller was impressed with his team’s performance, noting that nearly all his team’s runners achieved a personal best time for that track.
“I always tell the kids that it all counts in the last race of the season,” Miller said. “It all came together for the whole team.”
In particular, Heritage freshman Jordan Maldanado ran the fourth-fastest time on his team, earning him a place on their varsity team for the upcoming North Coast Section race, which will be held on Nov. 23 at Hayward High School.
The top 10 finishers overall earned places on the BVAL All-League First Team. On the boys’ side, those runners included: Lewis, Hunter Phillips (junior, Deer Valley), Joesiah Kriston (junior, Freedom), DePiero, Portillo, Reichardt, James Woolery (sophomore, Heritage), Hunter Sturtz (senior, Heritage), Abel Avalos (junior, Pittsburg), and Wyatt Erickson (sophomore, Freedom).
The BVAL Girls’ All-League First Team includes: Denver, Hernandez, Smith, Keanna Shipley (junior, Liberty), Rogers, Buchanan, Lane, Lily Castro (junior, Liberty) Jasmine Chuey (senior, Liberty), and Ashley Hernandez (junior, Deer Valley).