Madera South, Madera win first competition after 11 month wait


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

The Madera and Madera South girls cross country teams take off to begin the first athletic competition in 11 months. The teams ran in the Mad-Town Showdown on Friday at Madera South. Madera won the girls team race while Madera South won the boys team race.

In the first athletics competition in 11 months, the Madera and Madera South cross country teams came away with victories at the Mad-Town Showdown at Madera South.


The Madera Coyote girls team scored 18 points to easily defeat Madera South. The Stallions boys teams came away with a sweep of the first seven placings to win in front of Matilda Torres High School, which participated in its first-ever varsity competition.


However, it was the atmosphere of the COVID-19 pandemic and what the schools were able to achieve that was the ultimate result Friday afternoon.


“I don’t think I can put a value on it,” said Marty Bitter, Madera Unified School District Athletic Director, on how important it was to have a competition. “It was so important, not just for us who have missed sports, but it’s important for the kids. The kids can see some hope and some sort of normalcy. I think that will spread and bring kids out of their shell. This was extremely important for the kids.”


For the athletes, it was seeing something achievable during months of practice and it also helped in seeing a light at the end of the tunnel towards normalcy.


“We are all super excited to give the athletes the opportunity to compete and put on the uniform,” said Madera South coach Benny Madrigal. “Seeing all the smiles from the families, from administration, everyone seemed to be excited. They’ve been practicing. It was tough to keep them motivated without an event. We love it. We have work to do and are super excited to have this up and running.”


The girls race also featured a Madera Unified School District milestone. It featured the first Matilda Torres varsity athlete in a athletic competition. Ilene Orduna placed sixth overall in the girls race to become the first Matilda Torres competitor.


Madera’s Sophia Mirelez led the pack to the finish line to win the race. Teammate Julia Martinez followed. Madera South’s Jaydah Aguilar was third.


Madera’s Evelyn Zambrano and Karissa Daza placed fourth and fifth. After Orduna, Mayce Atherton completed Madera’s scoring out of seventh place. Jocelyn Molina followed for the Coyotes.


Guisel Santos, from Madera South, placed ninth and Madera’s Leslie Reyes rounded out the top 10.


Madera South’s Isaac Chavez led an almost perfect Madera South squad to the team title in the boys race. He won the race in 13:35 while teammate Adrian Hipolito was two seconds back. Vidal Luna placed third, seven seconds behind Chavez.


Ulyesses Vega was the fourth Stallion across the line, 17 seconds behind Luna.


Madera’s Naisaiah Reyes broke up the Stallions streak by placing fifth, eight seconds behind Vega.


Angel Cobian finished the Stallions’ scoring in sixth place. For good measure, German Villavicencio and Estevan Medina placed seventh and eighth for the Stallions.


Armando Guzman became the first Matilda Torres male athlete to finish a competition with a ninth place finish. He was followed by teammate Esaud Vargas six seconds later to close out the top 10.


Madera will host a cross country meet today in Memorial Stadium while Madera South will host another meet Thursday on campus. Both meets begin at 3 p.m.

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