This past Saturday, Oakdale High School Cross Country teams traveled to Elkhorn Country Club in Stockton to take part in the 2016 University of the Pacific (UOP) Tiger Invitational. With dozens of schools in attendance for the big races, it was Oakdale’s freshman and sophomore girls team that shined the brightest for the Mustangs.
The frosh/soph group finished second overall as a team, and featured four medalists. Four freshman girls, who typically run varsity but were moved to the freshman/sophomore girls team for this race, were awarded medals and helped bring Oakdale to a second place finish. Karina Prado, Kayden Legan, Kendra Branch and Jazmin Martinez all represented the second place team. Prado finished the two mile run in second place (12:34); Legan earned a fifth place finish (12:50); Branch placed 12th overall (13:11) and Martinez finished 14th (13:57).
“We moved some kids around this weekend to have some fun. The four varsity girls that are freshmen, we moved down to the frosh/soph race so they could compete against others their own age,” head Coach Guy Fowler said.
Top finishers for the varsity girls were senior Kristin Aguilar (22:36), junior Suzey Ramirez (23:17) and senior Piper Collins (25:36). Varsity boys leaders were senior Justin Cresenti (17:32); junior James Forkner (17:45) and junior Russell Pabalan (17:54).
The junior varsity girls were led by a trio of speedy juniors. Elizabeth Flores (17:40); Natalie Verduzco (17:59) and Cecilia Huerta (18:11) were the team’s top finishers in the two mile run. For the junior varsity boys, junior Cade Middaugh finished ninth overall, earning a medal. Middaugh sprinted through the two mile run with an impressive time of 11:38. Finding success for Oakdale’s junior varsity boys was junior Arturo Verduzco, who finished with a time of 13:11 and senior Diego Gonzales finished at 13:55.
Oakdale’s freshman/sophomore boys had three freshman boys finish with impressive times: Joseph Aguilar (12:50), Brandon Martinez (13:12) and Antonio Pantoja (13:35) all represented the team.
“We competed very well with new season and personal best times,” Fowler said, pleased with the efforts. “We now get back to work and prepare for our next meet which is the VOL #2 Cluster Meet.”
The VOL Cluster Meet is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct.5 at Modesto’s Legion Park. The meet is set for 3:30 p.m.