The Monache High School girls cross country team continued to shine with a shocking upset win over Division I’s No. 2 Clovis West Golden Eagles at the Golden West Invitational at Cutler Park.  

Twenty teams were selectively invited to attend the competition, with the top eight ranked teams, placed in the elite Sweepstakes race. The Marauders defeated Clovis West 34-38. 

Monache’s Aislin Taylor led her team to the upset win in the Sweepstakes 5,000-meter race with a solid run of 18 minutes, 37.74 seconds for first place overall. 

Taylor and Clovis West’s No. 1 runner, Kalei Aoki-Chance (18:46.74) broke away from the field, followed closely by Clovis West’s No. 2 runner. Taylor held a slim five-second lead with a half mile to go.  

“I needed Aislin to push harder and harder into that last half mile, because these Clovis girls are extremely good kickers,” MHS head coach Seth Ishida said. Taylor was able to hold off the challenge and extend her lead through the final 200 meters.  

“It is a special win for Aislin as an individual, but to top it off with the team win is amazing,” Ishida continued. “To defeat the No. 2 ranked team in Division I is something we have been dreaming about. I can’t remember the last time a team in any sport has pulled off this type of win. I knew we were close at the half mile and I just hoped that the girls could summon something extra to hold off the final attack. Coach Parris is one of the best, if not the best coach in the Valley and I have a great deal of respect for his program. He is one of the guys you pay to listen to at clinics, and he’s trying to get every last bit from his girls. The race was so close, I didn’t know if we’d won or not until 20 minutes after the next boys’ race. We ended up winning by four points.” 

Monache’s second runner, Marina Barragan (19:27.06), has been moving into elite territory with outstanding times and finished fourth. Alexa Queenan (19:34.33) surprised everyone with a fifth place finish that turned the tide for the Marauders. Aryanna Guzman (19:44.78), Monache’s team leader, was 10th and Chanel Bradley (19:53.32) turned in a solid 14th place finish in spite of being under the weather this week. Salma Ramos (20:12.20, 21st) and Sophia Mendoza (20:46.26, 24th) completed the varsity team and also finished in the medals. 

“We have been looking forward to having a chance to win a big race, after placing second to Buchanan last week,” Ishida said. “Our girls were tough today and made every step count.”  

The varsity boys turned in a solid performance, coming in second to Clovis West 43-56. Adrian Martinez, Isaiah Sotelo and Ian Queenan worked together throughout the race in a pack of three. 

“Clovis West’s top two runners are just outstanding,” Ishida said. “El Diamante’s No. 1 runner came back from last week’s loss to Adrian to add to the challenges for us at the front of the race. We held it together, but were not able to get those key points up front. Isaac Ceballos held things steady as our number four runner and Isaiah Mendez continues to improve at the number five spot. There were no ‘easy wins’ in that Sweepstakes race. We had to fight to get to within 10 points of Clovis West for second place.”

All five of Monache’s scorers medaled with Martinez (16:09.89) in fourth, Queenand (16:11.79) sixth, Sotelo (16:19.49) 10th, Ceballos (16:36.48) and Mendez (16:45.97) 20th.

Monache’s JV boys started the exciting day with a narrow two point victory over Clovis West. The girls JV team dominated their race with a 20-point win over Clovis West, placing individuals first through third, with sophomore Edith Hernandez (21:34.68) winning the race.

FOOTBALL

PHS 34, MISSION OAK 26

Porterville (4-2, 1-0) trailed 17-14 at halftime but took control in the second half on Friday at Rankin Stadium . Hector Nava Jr. completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brian Lemus to give the Panthers a 20-17 lead.

Nava then hit Isaiah Ellis on a 47-yard scoring strike to give Porterville a 27-20 lead and eventually scored on a 7-yard run to give PHS a 34-20 advantage.

LHS 22, CORCORAN 21

Mario Diaz caught four passes for 107 yards and touchdown to help Lindsay (5-2, 2-1) pull out the win at Corcoran on Friday. Daniel Trujillo also rushed for 104 yards and a TD on 23 carries for the Cardinals.

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