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Norman, Legan Qualify For State Cross Country Championships
Sophomore Hannah Beth Norman, left, gladly hoists senior teammate Kayden Legan on her back; the two are all smiles as they get ready to continue their cross country season. The duo qualified for the State Meet, to be held in Fresno on Nov. 30. Photo Contributed

A pair of Lady Mustangs – Hannah Beth Norman and Kayden Legan – have qualified to move on to the state cross country championships, set for later this month in Fresno.

The two moved on as individuals from the Section Meet, hosted Saturday, Nov. 16 at Folsom High School. The varsity Oakdale girls finished fourth as a team; the top three teams move on.

Varsity Girls Division III competition featured a 5k run and leading the way was Del Oro, coming in with a team score of 42. Nevada Union was second, 63; Atwater, third, 83. Oakdale was fourth with a team score of 90.

Sophomore Hannah Beth Norman was the eighth place overall finisher in 20:49 while senior Kayden Legan was close behind, 10th place individual in 20:58. For Legan, it will be her second consecutive trip to the state meet.

Sophomore Haleigh Humble, battling some late season injuries, ran the course in 21:41, finishing 21st with freshman Kassidy Fmura taking 24th in 21:49. Rounding out the Oakdale team effort were Jayd Gordan, freshman, 27th, 22:04; Karina Verduzco, freshman, 34th, 22:24; and senior Kendra Branch, 36th place, 22:28.

“We have had an outstanding season and two of our runners get a chance to run one more time at the state championships. On the girls side, we ran well but Atwater had a great day and got us in the end. The girls have performed well all year, they just came up seven points short,” noted head coach Guy Fowler. “We are young and we will be back next year. I am very excited for Hannah Beth for qualifying for the first time and Kayden will get to run her last high school cross country race at the state championships.”

For the Varsity Boys, also a 5k race for Division III, the team title went to East Union with 64 points, second was Atwater 82 and third was Placer with 89 team points. Oakdale, with 150 points, finished seventh.

Individual results for the Mustangs saw sophomore Simon Appel just miss a top ten finish, taking 11th place in 17:10. He was followed by freshman Caleb Cavanaugh, 28th, 18:05; freshman Dax Daley, 30th, 18:09; junior Dominic Robles, 43rd, 18:37; senior Brandon Martinez, 48th, 18:59; senior Jeremiah Renfrow, 67th, 20:03; and sophomore Daimien Linn, 68th, 20:17.

“Simon Appel has put together one of the best years, if not the best year, ever by a male runner at Oakdale High,” Fowler pointed out. “This team is also incredibly young and is motivated already by East Union’s results ... because they know they can run with them. All these runners will be participating for the track team in spring so expect to see more good things out of them later this year but for now we are extremely proud of what they have accomplished and it is time to get Hannah Beth and Kayden ready for the state meet.”

The state meet cross country championship is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 30 at Woodward Park in Fresno.