Gonzales Spartans cross country athletes receive their awards during the Dec. 8 banquet. (Michael Ramirez)

GONZALES — Gonzales High cross country athletes and their parents and coaches gathered on Dec. 8 for an awards night and banquet inside the school’s cafeteria.

Gonzales head coach and athletic director Margie Daniels was pleased that the team had such a good showing for the event that recognized the cross country season.

“I always look forward to celebrating our team’s academic and athletic achievements during the banquet,” Daniels said. “We really get to reflect on the challenges they overcame, the small and big victories, the memories made and the all the lessons learned. Our team was small but mighty, and every individual made a huge impact on our team dynamic. It is truly an honor to acknowledge all our athletes and recognize their hard work with friends and family.”

The evening began with a delicious meal of tri-tip on a roll, homemade mac and cheese and plenty of desserts. Dinner was prepared by the Minor family.

Athletes were then introduced, and they all received certificates of participation, high achievement awards for outstanding GPAs from Gonzales High and the Central Coast Section. Daniels also presented flowers to some of the families that have contributed all season long.

Team certificates were then presented to the Cypress Division champion junior varsity boys team and outgoing seniors, followed by the presentation of the famous cross country season-ending slide show created by Daniels.

The night ended with special team awards to the junior varsity boys, varsity girls and varsity boys divisions.

Award winners in the varsity boys division were: Giovanni Ochoa (MVP); Matthew Arreola (Outstanding Runner); Victor Fierros (Rising Star); Jonathan Ybarra (Most Improved); Christopher Medina (Coaches Award); Diego Valladares (Coaches Award); Christian Maldonado (Spartan Spirit); Alvaro Encarnacion (Black Arrow Award); and Edgar Santiago (Mr. Potential).

Varsity girls award winners were: Maria Rivera (Rising Star); Janelle Garcia (Rookie of the Year); Isabella Camargo (Coaches Award); Priscilla Hurtado (Coaches Award); and Jozelyn Reyes (Spartan Spirit).

JV boys award winners were: Bryan Guerrero (Spartan Spartan); Kevin Lucas (Most Improved); Brandy Ochoa (JV MVP); and Aiden Borongan (Coaches Award).

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