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Spartans be-Devil Sweetwater for girls cross country dual meet victory Phillip Brents | Fri, Oct 11 2013 01:24 PM

The Chula Vista High School girls cross country team can starting thinking about a South Bay League championship three-peat after scoring a somewhat shocking 23-32 dual meet victory against Sweetwater last Friday at Rohr Park.

That’s a step better than dreaming about a three-peat after finishing 56 points behind their west side rival at the preceding week’s South Bay Invitational on the same course.

“We did really well compared to last week,” CV’s Brooke Martinez piped up. “We had our whole team here today.”

It turns out the Spartans were missing three girls at the SBI. Regardless, the two-time defending SBL champions ran an inspired race in the teams’ latest match-up.

Yoceline Ramirez out-dueled Erika Gonzalez, SuHi’s state meet contender, by 14 seconds to emerge on top of the 79-deep field. Ramirez finished first overall in 16:05 on the 2.3-mile course, followed by three more teammates before the Devils could push another runner across the finish line.

Otay Ranch and Hilltop also competed simultaneously on the same course in a Mesa League dual meet. Returning state meet qualifier Darla Osuna handily earned medalist honors in that match-up with a time of 16:12.

For those who might be counting, Ramirez finished seven seconds ahead of Osuna on the course while Osuna finished seven seconds ahead of Gonzalez.

It appears that trio has clearly established itself as the premier pack to beat this year in Metro Conference competition. All are clearly contenders to earn berths to this year’s state championship finals in Fresno in November.

“I was really focusing on winning just for my team,” Ramirez said. “The other girls are great runners but I knew if I finished in first that my team would have a better chance of winning (against Sweetwater). It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year for the team.”

Chula Vista placed four runners ahead of Sweetwater’s second scorer to record the surprising win.
The teams will rematch at the South Bay League finals in November on the same course. The Spartans can sew up another league banner with a win there while the Devils could force a co-championship with a revenge victory.

Front runner

The SuHi-CV boys varsity dual meet was a reverse of the girls meet. The heavily favored Devils placed all five scorers ahead of Chula Vista’s top scorer and had six runners place ahead of the Spartans’ No. 2 man to win 15-47.

The top male Metro runner this year? Sweetwater’s Gerardo Marquillo scored an amazing finish last Friday by topping teammate Carlos Aviles-Sullivan by a 35-second margin at the finish line of the 5K race.

“His training is right on,” SuHi coach Adrian Garcia said. “He had a great race at the Mt. Carmel Invitational (10th place in a 194-deep field). I’m hoping he can perform like that at CIF. If he does, he’ll be up with the top runners.”

The Devils could stand tall with the top teams before it’s all over. Sweetwater will compete in the Division I race alongside favorites Rancho Buena Vista, Torrey Pines and San Pasqual.

SuHi finished as the No. 1 team at this year’s South Bay Invitational when combining runners from the frosh/soph, junior varsity and varsity races. San Pasqual finished nine points behind the Devils for the second-best team finish in the combined field.

“We have to look at the teams in North County,” Garcia said. “Hopefully, we can have a strong showing when we go against them for CIF. If we peak at the right time … watch out.”

Alexis Diaz de Leon was third in last Friday’s varsity boys race with a time of 17:18, followed by teammates Raphael Grajeda (fourth, 17:35) and Bryan Alvarado (fifth, 17:45). The Devils’ five-man spread was 1:08 compared to the Spartans five-man spread of 2:05.

Luis Sosa crossed the finish line in sixth place in 17:57 as Chula Vista’s top scorer.

Mesa League
Otay Ranch recorded a sweep against Hilltop, winning 15-50 in the boys dual meet and 17-46 in the girls dual meet.  The Mustangs placed eight runners ahead of the Lancers’ complement of nine runners to win the boys match-up in runaway fashion; Otay Ranch placed seven runners in front of Hilltop’s top scorer in the girls off-road clash.

Otay’s top five male scorers included Martin Martinez (first, 17:49), Steven Liu (second, 18:10), Isaiah Thomas (third, 18:15), Chris Perdio (fourth, 18:18) and Rafael Patricio (fifth, 18:23). The Mustangs’ five-man spread totaled 34 seconds.

The Mustangs’ top five female scorers included Osuna, Eyra Alfaro (second, 17:05), Monique Anguiano (third, 17:21), Krystina Moreno (fourth, 17:33) and Jasmine Lahbabi (fifth, 17:37).

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