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Maderans in College: Hernandez helps team to XC title

Former Madera South Stallions cross country runner Nicholas Hernandez helped the Embry-Riddle (Arizona) team to its fourth straight California Pacific Conference cross country championships.

Hernandez was one of five Embry-Riddle runners to place in the top eight to lead the Eagles to the team championship at Fresno’s Woodward Park on Oct. 30. Hernandez, a freshman, was fourth on the team with an 8-kilometer time of 26:46.1, just four seconds back of his teammate for sixth place.

Hernandez and Embry-Riddle runs in today’s NAIA cross country championships at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Washington.

Joining Hernandez will be UC Merced junior Karina Martinez (Madera South), who placed seventh in the Cal Pac championship.

San Joaquin Delta freshman water polo player Jessica Diaz (Madera) was named to the first-team All-Big 8 conference first team. Diaz scored 43 goals in 30 games, while assisting on 16 others. Diaz finished fourth in the state in goals scored while also placing fourth with 59 points. She was also fourth in shooting percentage (58.9 percent).

Fresno State women’s volleyball junior Brielle Hefner (Madera) closes out her season Monday against UNLV in the Save Mart Center at 6 p.m. In her last match, a three-set win over New Mexico on Nov. 9, Hefner led the team with 12 kills while also blocking four attacks. In a five-set loss to Air Force on Nov. 3, Hefner recorded four kills wile getting to three blocks.

Lincoln University quarterback Vincent Espinoza (Madera) was 20-of-35 for 264 yards in a loss to Chowan on Nov. 11. He threw for two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.

Fresno Pacific forward Anissia Gonzalez (Madera) was named to the All-PacWest second team after scoring six goals and assisting on three others in her first season. She tied for the team lead in goals and was one behind for assists.

Capping a brilliant sophomore cross country season, Jasmine Gonzales (Madera) led the Pacific cross country team to a 31st place finish at the NCAA West Regional on Nov. 11. Gonzales set a personal record with a time of 21:44.16 and also recorded the highest individual placing in the regionals for Pacific University at 107th place out of 241 runners.

At the NCAA Mountain Regionals, Eduardo Herrera (Madera South) helped the Colorado Buffaloes men’s cross country team, ranked fifth in the nation and third in the region, place third Nov. 10. The Buffaloes finished just one point behind BYU for second.

Herrera placed fourth on the team in 25th place in his first regional race. He finished the 10K course in 30:55.8 and earned All-Region honors.

UC Davis defensive lineman Hunter O’Brion (Liberty) recorded a tackle and blocked a pass in a Nov. 11 loss to Southern Utah.

Fresno City College kicker Evan Rios (Madera) was four-of-four on his extra point attempts and hit a 29-yard field goal during the Rams’ 37-20 victory over San Joaquin Delta on Nov. 4. He was also perfect on his four extra points in a Nov. 11 win over College of the Sequoias. Rios and the Rams battle Butte College today in the State Center Bowl in Ratcliffe Stadium at 3 p.m.

A contingent of Madera players will lead the Merced Blue Devils (9-1) against Los Medanos on Nov. 25 in the Living Breath Bowl in Salinas.

Christopher Chapa recorded four tackles and recovered a fumble during a victory over Yuba College on Nov. 4. Justin Landero also recorded two tackles.

In a 40-32 victory over Cabrillo College on Nov. 11, Landero recorded three tackles and had an interception. Chapa also had two solo tackles in the win.


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