Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
FIRST SLIDESHOW PHOTO —Madera South’s Seth Garcia points to the sky after crossing the finish line to win the County/Metro Athletic Conference boys varsity race. SECOND — Madera South’s Veronica Ortega leads the varsity girls race to help the Stallions sweep team and individual championships at Woodward Park on Wednesday.
FRESNO — The Madera South Stallions boys and girls cross country team prepared for next week’s Central Section Championships by winning the County/Metro Athletic Conference title, yet again.
The Stallions boys team hasn’t lost a CMAC crown since entering the league and dominated the boys race, outpointing Sanger by 45 points. The girls team also claimed the top spot on the CMAC podium.
“We’re proud of the kids,” Madera South head coach Eloy Quintana said. “What else can we say about the kids. They sacrifice so much. People always come to the coaching staff and say good job. We can only go so far with the coaching. At the end of the day it’s up to the kids to take on that guidance and do the work. It’s all the credit to the kids. They did exactly what they’re supposed to do. All the credit goes to the kids.”
The Coyote girls team had a good chance to wrestle the CMAC title away from the Stallions, but they were missing four of their top seven runners and ended up in second place.
“One of the strong points of the girls this season was we didn’t have five solid runners, we have seven or more,” head coach Sal Lozano said. “I lost one to grades, I lost another to a medical reason, not with cross country and lost another when her mom passed away. Even with that, we had a shot at winning today, but I lost my No. 1, Unique Ford.”
Ford won the CMAC individual title last season and teamed with Olivia Zambrano to help the Coyotes win the team championship.
However, they placed second, 18 points behind Madera South.
“I think half of the girls that competed ran pretty well, but the other half didn’t run as well,” Lozano said. “We ran second to Madera South and they ran great. Even if we had our No. 1, I think Madera South would have won out. Maybe the pressure got to them because they were expected to do more because of the losses.”
Madera South’ Seth Garcia easily won the varsity boys race and was the first of four Stallions in the top six. On top of winning the CMAC championship, he officially committed to run cross country at Fresno Pacific University.
Garcia finished with a time of 16:13, 21 seconds in front of teammate Victor Ochoa, who placed second.
Adrian Alvarez placed fourth in the CMAC and third on the Stallions team with a time of 16:45.0, 11 seconds behind Ochoa. Freshman Aaron Segura was fourth on the Stallions’ team and sixth overall. His time of 16:54.3 was nine seconds behind Robles.
Alejandro Duran closed out Madera South’s scoring with a time of 17:17 to place 11th. Angel Reyes was 14th, Francisco Maciel was 16th and Junior Segura was 17th for the Stallions.
“Sanger is a tough team,” Quintana said. “They are coming up. The CMAC is becoming more respectable and competitive. The boys stepped up to the challenge and do their best. Seth did what he was expected to do.”
The Coyote boys team finished in sixth place. Gursharan Singh led the Coyotes with a 12th place finish. Brandon Ebersole was 22nd and Kevin Keller placed 23rd.
“It wasn’t a good performance for the boys,” Lozano said. “We had one or two that had a shot of doing well on the individual side, but they went out too fast and it cost them at the end of the race. We’re still young and we’ll be able to build towards the future.”
Senior Veronica Ortega and sophomore Dariana Miramontes paced the Stallions to the team title. Ortega won the race with a time of 18:56.2. Miramontes was the next runner across the finish line 32 seconds behind Ortega.
Perla Jimenez was the next Stallion across the finish line in 10th place and almost two minutes behind Miramontes. Nine seconds behind Jimenez was Jaydah Aguilar in 11th place.
Rebeca Yrigollen finished the scoring for the Stallions in 14th place. Maria Aguilar was seven seconds back in 15th place and sixth on the team.
“Madera was missing some of their top girls, but our girls did what they were supposed to do,” Quintana said.
Zambrano led the Coyotes with a fourth place finish. She was more than a minute behind Ortega. Linda Perez was seven seconds behind Zambrano in fifth place.
Freshman Julia Martinez earned a medal with an eighth place finish 15 seconds behind Perez.
Evelyn Zambrano was the next Coyote across the finish line in 17th place, but she was almost a minute behind Martinez. Ruth Martinez closed out the scoring with a 25th place finish.
The Coyotes and Stallions compete in the CIF Central Section Cross Country Championships on Thursday at Woodward Park.