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KING PLAYS THE RUNNERS UP IN BIG 8 ACTION

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EASTVALE:  Roosevelt hosted the first of the Big 8 League cross country races on Wednesday with a 5000 meter course at Eastvale Community Park.  The format has all six of the conference schools competing simultaneously in JV and Varsity levels.

Roosevelt’s boys are currently ranked third in the State at Division 1 and are widely considered one of the best in the country. King’s un-ranked boys are young and inexperienced (there were two rookies and two sophomores in the squad of seven yesterday) but the Wolves raced with a poise and a sense of experience against a better opponent and really impressed in their second-place finish.

Garrett Vasta was third overall for King and ran a personal best time for the distance. Mitchell Machuca and Austin Fortenberry – two sophomores racing varsity for the first time this season – had great races as well. They were followed by senior Chris Barba, in his fourth year and senior Mazin Awad in his first year.  Both young men had very competitive races.  Daniel Lopez was sixth for the Wolves and freshman Francisco Zavaleta had an impressive first-ever varsity race in the seventh-spot for King.

The girls entered the meet ranked 7th in D1 of the Southern Section of CIF, and are the defending Big 8 League Champions, but they suffered through some adversity on Wednesday and dropped to the 10th-ranked Santiago Sharks and even nipped by one point by Roosevelt, finishing in third.  Lauren Peurifoy continued to impress, winning by over a minute, but Santiago’s pack separated her from the rest of the King scorers.  With one runner not racing due to injury and then having a likely scorer drop from the race near the second mile with an asthma problem, the King girls were snake-bit of sorts and came up short-handed at the finish line and the misfortune greatly contributed to the final score. Junior KaryLee Taylor in just her first season of the sport impressed with a 20:00 time for the distance.

big8#12017-6-X2King’s JV teams raced very competitively as well.  Joelle Ramos and Skylar Smith were the two front runners for the girls, leading them to a second-place finish behind the Sharks. The JV boys also finished second and were led with great races from Dathan Chann, Malachi Cabanilla and Matthew Castro, all of whom finished in the top 6 places and within 9 seconds of each other. Jacob Haas and Brian Green rounded out the scoring to get the team just nine points out from the win.

So it was a day of second places – save one – as King played the runners-up to the Big 8 leaders.  The Wolves will look to move up a place as the rest of the season unfolds.

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