Vats Takes First Position for CV at Clovis

By Leonard COUTIN

Woodward Park in Fresno saw many of California’s best runners assemble this past weekend for the 40th Asics Clovis Invitational. The invitational offered 16 races featuring two elite championship varsity boys’ and girls’ races. This is the first time runners can get acquainted with the state course before they return after engaging in the CIF preliminary and final races later in November.

Gaining the experience to compete against the state’s best runners is essential in learning more about each of the their strengths and weaknesses. This meet serves as a halfway point in the cross-country season.

The number of Falcon participants was lower than other invitationals. CV brought only its boys’ and girls’ varsity runners, its soph/frosh team and part of the JV team. The CV varsity girls faced a dilemma when, two weeks ago, three of their top runners left the program to return to track training instead of running in cross-country. This put a great strain on the varsity athletes and JV and soph/frosh runners had to fill in the necessary positions.

The championship boys’ race gave the crowds something to howl about. Running as an independent again, Liam Anderson of Redwood (Larkspur) looked smooth throughout the course and post a winning time of 14:57.8 beating his last year mark of 15:03.0 when he took second place.

Great Oaks’ lead runner was Tyler Tickner who took second running (15:08.4), greatly improving his position and time over last year when he placed 37th (15:41.00). Newbury Parks’ Nico Young scored third (15:09.4).

The Falcons’ first runner was Manan Vats, who ran alongside Thousand Oaks’ Michael Mireles, who edged him out at the finish to run the same time placing 21st (15:36.30). Vats’ placed 22nd and scored 18th position for team points. Teammate Dylan Wilbur ran a time of 15:37, placing 25th and scoring 20th for team points.

Remaining Falcon varsity team members scored the following: Grant Lauterback, 54th, Erik Faeustle, 72nd, Jack Myers, 81st, Evan Doloszychi, 86th, and Ameer Mohammed 94th. Falcon graduate Colin FitzGerald in 2017 scored third place (15:13.0) on this course.

Final team score: Great Oak 41, Newbury Park 142, West Ranch 154, Dana Hills 214, Dublin 239, St. Francis (MView) 240, Crescenta Valley 245, Ridgeview 265, Amador Valley 309, Thousand Oaks 323.

The Falcon girls did well and placed eighth in Race 2 of the extra large schools. Sophia Atin led her team placing 19th running 19.11.20. Teammates Samantha Moore placed 22nd (19:24.9), Gabby Borraez, 32nd (19:39.8), Sarah Benitez, 116th, Ily Nelson 119th (21:12.6), Sarah Nakama, 168th (22:14.9) and Rachel Hart scored 185th (22:56.9).

Final team score: Dana Hills 119, Granada Hills 127, Burbank 131, Alta Loma 228, Cosumnes Oaks 241, Clovis North 285, Valencia (Valencia) 266, Crescenta Valley 307, Madera South 323 and Lowell 352.

With only four JV runners, CV was not able to score as a team in Race 12, but the runners did well on the course and gaining experience. From CV, Ethan Sharp placed 34th (17:28.3), Christian Peraza, 49th (17:38.9), teammate Alex Davis, 50th running the same time, and Kevin Tasci 70th (17:57.9).

The soph/frosh boys did well in Race 11 for the large and extra large school category placing third in the team stats. The Falcons scoring team was composed of Chris Cubias scoring seventh (16:46.2), Max Burton, 19th (17:04.7), Nolan Brown, 20th (17:05.4), Jace Milford, 39th (17:28.3), Dylan Haworth, 44th (17:33.3), Rowan FitzGerald, 55th (17:47.5) and Bryce Bitteti, 60th (17:51.1).

Final team score: Great Oak 51, Dublin 70, CV 129, Dana Hills 157, Sanger 168, Hart 202, Monte Vista 262, Arcadia 271, Jesuit 280, McClatchy 282.