GONZALES — Led by four runners finishing in the top 10, the Gonzales High School boys cross country team claimed the team title in the Pacific Coast Athletic League’s Santa Lucia Division on Saturday at Toro Park.
Previously, the Spartans won the PCAL’s Cypress Division in 2018.
Senior Arturo Castro placed third in the division and became the only Gonzales boys runner to be part of two champion cross country teams, as he ran as a freshman on the 2018 team.
Also placing in the top 10 were freshman Giovanni Ochoa in sixth place, freshman Matthew Arreola in seventh place, and senior Matthew Santos in eighth place. All four runners received All-League patches.
Rounding out the Gonzales team were: senior Israel Ambriz in 11th place; freshman Christopher Maldonado in 12th place; and senior Jose Cervantes in 20th place.
“Going into championships having won all the center meets brought a sense of confidence, but I wanted to make sure our boys did not show up thinking it was already theirs,” said Spartans head coach Margie Daniels. “Every practice and race, it was emphasized to do their absolute best no matter the outcome. Leading up to Saturday we focused on fine tuning their form, depth and each person’s strength, which is what I wanted them thinking of more than the title. I wanted the boys to know that they truly earned it by their hard work and dedication.”
Daniels added, “It was a very exciting race and I was nervous the whole time. The moment I felt truly at ease was when the results came in and we finished first. Since we had over 200 runners in the race, it was impossible to tell if any of our runners qualified for All-League. I was very happy that four Spartans made it, the most in our division.”
Running for the incomplete Spartan girls team were: Gyzelle McFarland, Angelina Ybarra and Marjorie Mendez.
Gonzales also won the Santa Lucia JV boys title. Team members were: Celso Lopez, Bryan Guerrero, Jose Magana, Andres Hernandez, Christopher Medina and Marcelo Landeros.
King City Mustang boys team placed fourth in the Gabilan Division and were led by All-League runner Israel Limosnero, who placed seventh. Other Mustang varsity runners were: Esua Hernandez, Joseph Rivas, Rafael Jacobo, Adrian Hernandez and Joaquin Arriaga.
Running for the incomplete Lady Mustangs team were: Aaliyah Diaz, Anahi Luna and Alma Jackson.
Greenfield Bruin boys team placed sixth in the Gabilan Division. Bruin runners included: Manny Dejesus, Larry Picazo, Angel Avila and Antonio Garcia.
Soledad Aztec boys placed third in the Cypress Division and were led by All-League runner Elijah Melchor, who finished in ninth place. The Lady Aztecs team placed sixth in the Cypress Division, with Sophia Martel placing sixth overall and earning an All-League patch.
Other Lady Aztec runners were: Nathalie Espinoza, Vennice Salvador, Mariana Leon and Kaylen Aguilar.