Cross country teams look to build foundations at state meet
Madera Tribune File Photo
The Madera Lady Venom 12-under travel softball team won the third annual Monica Abbott Classic in Salinas. They defeated the San Mateo Dirt Devils in the championship game, 5-2. The tournament was also a canned food drive and the Venom donated the most canned foods out of the 44 teams. Their prize was having Olympic gold medal softball player Monica Abbott coach the team for a game. The coaching paid off with a victory. Back row, from left, are coach Manuel Perez coach Keith Davis, Genna Sanchez, Roxanne Gaona, Alayna Munoz, Olympian Monica Abbott, Camille DeAnda, Kaylee Patlan, Sofia Perez, Alizae Vasquez, Belen Gomez and coach Smiley Ornelas. Front row, from left, are Destyne White, Mikayla Arrieta, Lealani Ricks, Joslynn Davis, batgirl Erika Perez and Valerie Ornelas.
FRESNO — While both the Madera South and Liberty cross country teams looked to build from it success, Madera will try to add to its solo success.
Sixteen Madera area athletes competed in the CIF State cross country championships and came away with a certain amount of success, but it wasn’t in how they finished, but rather on what they could build upon.
Both the Liberty and Madera South girls cross country teams participated in the state meet for the first time, the Stallions in its first Div. I race.
The Madera South girls team placed 18th in the Div. I championship race with 384 points. Junior Dariana Miramontes led the Stallions with a 43rd place finish with a time of 16:49.6. She missed the Valley race the week before because of a family emergency.
The Liberty Hawks’ girls team placed 21st in the Div. V girls race. However, it wasn’t Liberty’s first experience at the race. Sopha Napier and Mattison McCombs and others also competed in the state meet two years ago.
Napier, who placed second to her teammate in the Valley meet, led the Hawks in 52nd place. She finished the race in 20:31.1.
McCombs, the Div. V Valley Champion, was second on the Hawks in 79th place. She was 36 seconds behind Napier.
Running in her second state meet, Madera’s Unique Ford, the Div. II Valley Champion, said she didn’t run the way she wanted.
“The other one, I did way better,” she said. “This one was hard and I couldn’t push. I had another one to run with in the first one.”
Ford, a junior, finished the Div. II race in 110th place with a time of 19:46.2, which was more than two minutes behind the race winner.
“I got a slow start at the beginning and the crowd hurt me,” she said. “When I first started, I felt I was going to do bad because of how I felt. The course was challenging and was harder than any other race I ran.”
Stallions overcome struggles in season opener
After watching nine varsity players graduate last season, Madera South boys basketball head coach Jody Sharp expects an adjustment period early in the season.
The first game of the season against Firebaugh proved Sharp’s sentiment. The new-look Stallions struggled to gel in the season opener, but still came away with a 48-35 win at home.
“We have so many new faces,” Sharp said. “I graduated nine guys last year and 14 from the last two years, a team that has been successful over the last three years. It’s understandable that the new faces are going to take time to adjust. They have to adjust to playing at this level because we don’t have as many returning varsity players.”
With the turnovers mounting and the shots struggling to fall, the Stallions only managed a 9-7 lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, however, the Stallions were able to make a run and expand the lead. Jaden Arroyo’s three-pointer at the end of the second quarter gave the Stallions a 20-12 lead going into halftime.
The Stallions pushed the fourth-quarter lead to 18 and won by 13. Senior Andre Johnson led the Stallions with 12 points. Terrance Knox put in 10 points for the Stallions.