Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Victor Ochoa points celebrates winning the County/Metro Athletic Conference boys cross country title Friday at Woodward Park.
When it comes to cross country in the County/Metro Athletic Conference, all signs point to Madera with both high schools capturing County/Metro Athletic Conference championships.
Despite the championships, the gap between the top teams and the rest of the CMAC is closing with both schools winning championships by a combined six points at Friday’s championships at Woodward Park.
The Madera South Stallions boys team kept its CMAC winning streak with a team victory, by five points, over Bullard-Fresno (41-46). Victor Ochoa led all runners for the CMAC championship, by two seconds, with a time of 16:17.0.
“The boys ran well,s” Madera South head coach Eloy Quintana said. “We didn’t run our very best. It happens like that at the league championships. They don’t run to their abilities at the league, for some reason. It was a close one. It means Bullard and Edison stepped up. Sanger is in there. Madera will be there. We’re very fortunate to come out with the win. Our league is getting better and better. The next two or three years, we’re going to have five teams in there neck and neck.”
With her second straight CMAC title, Unique Ford had total control of the girls race to help the Coyotes to a narrow 45-46 victory over a wounded Stallions’ team.
“We had different goals that didn’t get accomplished today,” Madera head coach Russ Stanford said. “There was some misfortune from some other teams that allowed to get that title. A win is a win. It’s kind of nice to get the win against the strength of everybody. I’m happy for our girls. I don’t think anyone counted us in because of what went on early in the season. They went over a lot of hurdles and worked hard for this. We have to wait and see what happens next week. I hope we turn better times.”
Madera South was missing its No. 1 runner Darianan Miramontes, who had a family emergency, but still had a chance at the CMAC title. Emily Montoya led the Stallions with a second place finish, but she was 50 seconds behind Ford.
“Dariana would have made a difference because she would have placed in the top three,” Quintana said. “That’s not taking from Madera and what Russ Stanford is doing over there. Our girls understood that without our No. 1, they had to step up. Emily Montoya stepped up in a tremendous way. Perla (Jimenez) helped the team out a lot. We got beat fair and square.”
For the Stallions, Ochoa led the team to the victory. Francisco Maciel placed second on the team in sixth place, 19 seconds behind Ochoa. Ochoa’s younger brother, Remi, a freshman, was third on the team in eighth place, finishing the course 39 seconds behind his senior brother. German Villavicencio also earned All-League honors in the top 12 with an 11th place finish, three seconds behind Ochoa.
Closing out the scoring for the Stallions was Angel Cobian in 15th place. Salvador Martinez placed 17th in sixth on the Stallions’ team. Luis Ortega was seventh on the team in 26th place.
Guillermo Guzman was the first Coyote across the finish line in 24th place. Aaron Jackson was second on the Coyotes’ team in 30th place.
Ford, a junior, ran away with her second CMAC title in three years with a time of 18:51.8. Linda Perez was second on the team in fifth place while Julia Martinez was sixth. Jasmine Castillo placed 13th and was fourth on the Coyotes.
Fifth on the Coyotes and closing the scoring was Paola Sanchez in 22nd place with a time of 22:20. Also running for the Coyotes was Alejandra Alonso in 24th place and Evelyn Zambrano in 27th place.
Madera South made a run at the Coyotes, but came up a second short of tying the score.
Montoya led the Stallions with a second place finish. Maria Aguilar was second, two seconds behind Montoya. Jimenez was seventh with a time of 20:09.9.
Fourth for the Stallions was Jaydah Aguilar in 18th place with a time of 21:36.1. Placing fifth and closing the scoring was Paola Cruz in 20th place, just seven-tenths of a second behind 19th place.
Also running for the Stallions were Elisa Vega in 21st place and Betzabe Bautista in 23rd place.
Both schools will be in action Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. in Woodward Park for the Central Section Cross Country Championships, hosted by the Coyotes.