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Off And Running: Sports Season One Underway
Varsity girls runner Haleigh Humble, a junior, took first place for Oakdale in the opening cross country meet against Manteca. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

The wait is over.

Yes, this past week, for the first time in nearly a year, Oakdale High School student-athletes competed. The new-look ‘Season One’ began for Mustang athletes with both cross country and boys tennis on the schedule.

On Wednesday, Feb. 17 the first cross country meet took place at Oakdale High School when Oakdale welcomed Manteca for the inaugural competition of the season. The two Valley Oak League schools battled it out on the new “course”, which featured the majority of the running within the confines of the high school school campus. The varsity girls and varsity boys each ran three miles and both units were successful against the Buffaloes. Junior Haleigh Humble took first place in the race for the Oakdale varsity girls, finishing the course in 19:19.

“It feels incredible to be out here again,” said Humble. “We waited so long and to actually be out here with my teammates again is a true blessing.”

Sophomore Kassidy Fmura placed third overall and senior Kali Jericoff placed fourth. The girls won the meet by a score of 19-36; low score wins.

For the Mustang varsity boys it was a 16-38 victory. Senior Dominic Robles and sophomore Dax Daley placed first and second with just one second separating the two speedsters (16:56/16:57). Third place finisher Simon Apple came in at 17:18.

The freshman/sophomore boys were also victorious with a 20-43 decision over Manteca. Alex Martinez placed second overall at 12:50 in the two-mile run. Alejandro Felix took third overall at 13:26 and fourth place went to Carlos Martinez at 13:56.

“It was really good to get to compete. These kids have been training off and on since June and just to see the smile on their faces was one of the greatest feelings I have had in my coaching career,” admitted Oakdale head coach Guy Fowler. “All three teams performed well and now have a foundation on which to build. We are looking forward to racing against Ripon. They are a very talented team.”

That meet with Ripon is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 24 at home with a start time of 3:30 p.m.



Taking the court on Thursday, Feb. 18, the Oakdale tennis boys defeated visiting Sierra, taking down the Timberwolves by a 6-3 final. Oakdale’s number one singles competitor Caleb Poling defeated Quentin Banks 6-2, 6-1. Jackson Healy served up a 6-2, 6-1 win over Aaron Crawford. Aiden Rodrigues also earned a straight sets win 6-4, 6-1 over David Nasser. In other singles action, Mustangs Mika Clasen, Jimmy Homer and Ethan Dingu all fell just a little short against Sierra. All three Oakdale doubles teams, however, won their matches. Alex Tanle and Hunter Olsen defeated Harri Chandran and David Martin 6-0, 6-1. Joey Janssen and Carson Stueve defeated Max Perez and Derek McGuire 6-0, 6-1. Jack Tienken and Ryan Krause won via forfeit.

“This was more than just a tennis match. We were lucky to play our first match in 11 months. The boys and their families were really pumped to get this one in,” noted head coach Grant Miller. “I felt like this was for the whole school not just us. It was a step toward normalcy that I will never forget.”

The team was scheduled to host Central Catholic on Tuesday, Feb. 23, past press time for The Leader. They are then scheduled to suit up for a match on Thursday, Feb. 25 when they welcome in East Union with a 3:30 p.m. start time. Manteca will be in town for a Tuesday, March 2 contest.



Swimming is scheduled to begin this Friday, Feb. 26 with Oakdale hosting Manteca at 3 p.m. while golf also has a match scheduled, the girls set to travel to Sierra to face the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Feb. 24.