Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Unique Ford runs the course by herself to win the County/Metro Athletic Conference championship by almost 30 seconds for her third CMAC title.
FRESNO — Last season, while the rest of the County/Metro Athletic Conference closed in on the Madera South boys team, the Sanger Apaches caught up and took down the reigning champs while Madera’s Unique Ford helped her Coyotes to a second straight league championship.
For the first time since entering the CMAC, the Madera South Stallions boys didn’t come away with the league championship after the Apaches dethroned them by 18 points Thursday at Woodward Park.
Last year, the Stallions won by five points with the rest of the CMAC coming closer.
“We didn’t reach our full potential for the day,” head coach Sky Fierro said. “We have been experiencing some small minor injuries and it really showed. It’s hard to mentally be in the race when, physically, you aren’t 100 percent. We did have a couple of individual performances that were great. As a team, we didn’t reach our full potential.”
Meanwhile, Ford, a senior, kept up her dominance in the CMAC with her third league title, although, if you ask her, it was her first.
“It feels good,” Ford said. “I have been pushing my whole season. To be able to PR (get a personal record) here, it was awesome.”
Ford led the Coyotes to a 36-39 victory over Sanger with three other teammates placing in the top 10. Last season, Madera edged Madera South by one point to win the CMAC title.
“It was very important to lead the team to the league championship,” Ford said. “I don’t want to PR by myself. I want them to PR with me. I want them to win with me.
“We got the second one and now we know it belongs to us,” head coach Russ Stanford said. “Last year, people had some doubts about it. The kids said they wanted to try to get it. They did. It was probably the best race they’ve had all year.”
Ford could have lapped the field if there were laps. She outdistanced the second place runner from Sanger by almost 30 seconds, finishing with a time of 18:15.57.
Next up for the Coyotes and a chance at the Div. II Central Section Championships where Ford hopes to lead her team to a berth at the CIF State Championships on Nov. 30.
“Our next aim is to win Valley,” Ford said.
Ford won the Div. II championship last year by almost 30 seconds. However, the rest of the Coyotes finished fourth as a team.
“I hope we can live up to what we did today,” Stanford said. “It’s hard to repeat what we just did. Hopefully, with practices next week, we will all understand what needs to be done. They missed going to state the last couple of years. Let’s hope we can all be there and run on Nov. 30.”
Junior Julia Martinez and senior Linda Perez finished sixth and seventh, four seconds apart. Freshman Bianca Scott was fourth on the team in 10th place.
Closing out the scoring for the Coyotes was junior Paola Sanchez in 12th place, two places ahead of Sanger’s No. 5 runner.
Junior Evelyn Zambrano placed 26th and sophomore Tori Medrano was 30th.
The Stallions placed third and had two runners place in the top 10 in the girls race led by Dariana Miramontes. The senior was third to lead the Stallions.
Sophomore Diana Cortes placed ninth, three seconds ahead of Scott. Sophomore Milca Martinez placed 16th for the Stallions.
Seniors Elisa Vega and Monika Gutierrez finished out the team scoring in 20th and 21st place, respectively. Junior Mayra Santiago placed 23rd while junior Jaydah Aguilar was 27th.
The Apaches placed three runners in the top four and all five of its scoring runners in the top 10 to topple the Stallions from the top spot in the CMAC.
Senior Luis Ortega led the Stallions with a third place finish. Junior German Villavicencio placed sixth as the only two runners in the top 10.
“We will mend the injuries a little bit,” Fierro said. “We will have a moderate workout at the beginning of the week. I think they can have a better day next Thursday than they had today.”
Junior Angel Cobian placed 11th while junior Bailey Montoya was 13th. Senior Francisco Maciel closed out the scoring in 15th place. Freshman Adrian Hipolito placed 16th for the Stallions, eight seconds behind Maciel.
Sophomore Alejandro Gutierrez placed 23rd for the Stallions.
Junior Naisaiha Reyes led the Coyotes with a fifth place finish, however, he was the only Coyote in the top 17.
Junior Aaron Jackson placed 18th. Senior Axel Loredo-Gomez was 31st.
Juniors Antonio Pimentel, Gerardo Mondragon and Nathan Gonzalez came in 33rd through 35th and were nine seconds from each other to close out the team scoring.