Cardinals take second in first ESL meet

A single runner made her way through the crowd and across the pavement to finish the last part of a 5,000-meter run on the Lindsay High School track Wednesday.

That runner was Cardinals' senior Nancy Vasquez, who won the first East Sequoia League meet in a time of 19 minutes, 5.49 seconds. Vasquez crossed the finish line more than 30 seconds ahead of Corcoran's Arlene Magana (19:37.75) in second place.

“I was so happy to see Nancy win,” LHS head coach Joe Dixon said. “Nancy and the girls preformed fairly well but they were a little nervous being in front of the home crowd. Lot of people showed up.”

The first ESL meet of the season had a good turnout from the host school, who placed second as a team in both the girls and boys' runs.

In the girls' competition, Corcoran placed first with 27 points, Lindsay (45) second, Farmersville (94) third, Sierra Pacific (115) fourth, Granite Hills (116) fifth, Woodlake (135) sixth and Strathmore (137) seventh.

Other local athletes finishing in the top 15 for the girls were Lindsay's Esmeralda Cisneros (20:54.70) and Belen Ferreira (21:43.74) in sixth and seventh, Granite's Celeste Ramos (21:55.19, 9th), Lindsay's Genesis Paz (22:35.74 14th) and Strathmore's Erica Munoz (22:46.49, 15th).

“A couple of our kids really performed really, really well,” GHHS head coach Chris Ross said. “Celeste Ramos on the varsity girls finished, definitely a personal best for her today. She was right in the 21's somewhere. This is her first year running cross country, she did run track last year.”

Corcoran also won the boys race with a score of 15 while Lindsay (73) placed second despite missing their top three runners. Granite (96) was third, Strathmore (105) fourth, Summit Charter (115) fifth, Sierra Pacific (152) sixth and Woodlake (155) seventh.

The Panthers claimed the top five spots but Granite's Jose Zavala (17:43.99) beat out Lindsay's Julio Vasguez (17:46.21) for sixth place. Rounding out the top 15 local runners were Strathmore's Bryan Cruz (18:13.28, 9th), Granite's Mario Alcarez (18:22.09, 10th), Lindsay's Leonardo Andrade (18:36.16, 12th), Summit's Raul Acevado (18:37.52, 13th), and Strathmore's Juan Fuentes (18:43.98) and Emilio Valencia (18:46.05) in 14th and 15th place.

Ross noted that both Alcarez and Cody Gilley, who placed 20th with 19:48.22, ran personal best times.

“It's looking really, really good right now,” Ross said about the season. “We started out the preseason ranked No. 2. We dropped down to No. 4 for the varsity boys. The girls were ranked outside of the top 10 and then now they're ranked No. 6. We'll see what happens after today.”

In Div. III, Lindsay's boys are ranked 10th while their girls are seventh. The Cardinals have a 2-mile invitational at Kingsburg High School this weekend that could help their rankings, but for now, Dixon said the team is focused on ESL.

“I tell the kids that all these other invitational and things are not as important as the ESL. This is our home, we're trying to be champions of this. So that's the No. 1 goal.”

For complete results from the race, visit Athletic.net.

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