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Madera South runners excel at conference meets

For The Madera Tribune Former Madera South standout Lalo Herrera runs the course at the Pac-12 Championship for Colorado University.


It was a reunion of sorts for Madera South cross country runners at the Cal-Pacific Conference cross country championships at Woodward Park.

Six different Madera South runners took part in the race. Nicholas Hernandez’s (Madera South) Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Eagles winning the team championship.

Embry-Riddle won its fifth straight CalPac championship. Hernandez finished the race in fifth place and second on the team with a time of 25:54.5, two seconds back of his teammate for second place and was a first-team All-Conference.

At the same race, the UC Merced Bobcats placed second overall to Embry-Riddle. Adrian Alvarez (Madera South) qualified for the NAIA National Championships in 11th place, fourth on the team. He was named second team All-Conference.

The women’s team also placed second, its best-ever finish at the CalPac championships after five straight third place finishes.

Karina Martinez (Madera South) finished second on the team and earned a second team All-Conference selection, along with an NAIA National qualifier. She was eighth overall with a time of 19:50.

Angelica Costilla (Madera South) also placed 32nd in the race with a time of 22:41.

In addition, Woodward Park was the host for the PacWest championships on Nov. 2. In attendance were Fresno Pacific University and Holy Names University, who have Madera South runners on their rosters.

The Fresno Pacific men’s team placed sixth overall with freshman Seth Garcia (Madera South) placing in the top five of the Sunbirds’ team. He placed 33rd overall and fourth on the team, four seconds behind his teammate.

Freshman Veronica Ortega (Madera South) placed fifth on the women’s team that placed fifth. She was 48th overall. Junior Jonnie Montano (Madera South) placed 78th in the race for Fresno Pacific.

Senior Juan Macias (Madera South) helped the Holy Names University men’s cross country team to a ninth place finish at the PacWest championships. Macias placed third on the team with a 68th place finish.

Erica Tello (Madera South) was one of two Holy Names women’s runners at the PacWest championship three weeks after setting a personal best at the Bronco Invitational on Oct. 13. Tello placed 88th overall.

UC Merced’s Dominique Andrews (Madera South) recorded 32 kills in a four-set victory over Simpson University on Nov. 3. The junior broke the school record for kills in a season. She is also second in the conference with 3.73 kills per set.

Andrews continues a breakout season for the Bobcats. She broke the CalPac Conference record with 33 kills in a five-set loss to Marymount California University on Oct. 28. She is just one of three players in the NAIA to record 33 or more kills this year.

With one game left in the season, Minot University receiver Kris Bueno (Madera) has eight catches for 51 yards this season.

Lincoln University quarterback Vincent Espinoza (Madera) passed for more than 250 yards for the second time this season in a Nov. 4 loss to Chowan. He was 20-of-35 for 264 yards and threw two touchdowns. He also rushed for 10 yards in the season finale.

University of Pacific runner Jasmine Gonzalez continues setting records for the women’s cross country team. She helped lead the Tigers to an eighth place finish at the West Coast Conference Championships in Utah on Oct. 27.

She placed 18th overall, the highest placing by a UOP runner in school history. She finished just three spots from an All-Conference spot to end her season.

Lalo Herrera (Madera South) helped the Colorado Buffaloes men’s cross country team to a third place finish in the Pac-12 championships. The eighth-ranked Buffaloes finished behind fourth-ranked Stanford and seventh-ranked Washington.

Herrera placed fourth on the team with an 18th place finish, clocking in at 23:29.7.

York College cross country freshman Junior Segura (Madera South) placed 83rd at the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championship race on Nov. 3 with a time of 33:26.6. He helped the team place fifth in the conference.

Senior Hunter O’Brion (Liberty) had a tackle in a Nov. 3 victory over Northern Arizona for the UC Davis football team.

Adams State University’s Miguel Villar (Madera South) was named to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference second team Wednesday. He helped lead Adams State to a RMAC championship, the school’s first since 2015. It was their 37th RMAC cross country crown and are ranked No. 1 in Div. II.

Villar finished the RMAC championships in 15th place with a time of 25:28.9 and sixth on the team. Fresno City College quarterback Jonah Johnson (Madera South) has started the last six games for the Rams. Last week, in a 33-27 victory over Modesto, Johnson was 11-for-20 for 246 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Fresno City kicker Evan Rios (Madera) is 8-of-13 in field goal attempts and has made 26-of-29 extra points for a team-leading 50 points.

Justin Landero (Madera) has 33 tackles this season, eighth on the Merced College team. He has 15 solo tackles to go with 18 assists. He also has two tackles for losses and four pass breakups.

College of the Sequoias’ Lexi Carmona is 13th in the state with 378 digs. She has twice as many digs than any other player her team. She is also third on the team with 35 aces while playing in all 26 matches for the Giants.

Brooke Gill (Madera) scored two goals in the final six matches for Clovis Community College. She is tied for fourth on the team in points (21) and tied for third on the team with nine goals. Esmeralda Navarro (Madera South) also has a goal in the last six matches while playing in all 21 matches for Clovis.

Fresno City College’s Brooke Wristen (Liberty) leads the Rams in goals (21), assists (15) and points (57) while playing in all 20 matches to lead the Rams to a 16-2-3 record. She is 10th in the state in goals and seventh in assists.


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