Gonzales High boys cross country team places first at the Santa Lucia Divisional race. Pictured from left are: Matthew Santos, Israel Ambriz, Arturo Castro, Christian Maldonado, Giovanni Ochoa, Jose Cervantes and Matthew Arreola. (Margie Daniels/Contributed)

GONZALES — With just weeks left in the regular cross country season, the Gonzales High School boys varsity team looks ready to make a run for the Pacific Coast Athletic League’s Santa Lucia Division championship.

The Spartans made a statement by winning their third Center Meet in a row on Oct. 13 at Toro Park. Gonzales had six runners place in the top 14 to outdistance second-place Christopher High School of Gilroy, 44-69.

Senior Arturo Castro led the Spartans with a fifth-place finish, covering the 3-mile course in 18:17. Finishing in sixth place and right behind Castro at 18:20 was freshman standout Giovanni Ochoa.

Gonzales had four runners finish right behind each other, with senior Matthew Santos just missing a top-10 finish at 11th in 19:38; freshman Matthew Arreola placing 12th at 19:52; senior Israel Ambriz placing 13th in 19:58; and freshman Christian Maldonado placing 14th in a time of 19:59. Senior Jose Cervantes placed 25th in a time of 21:00.

Gonzales will compete for the division title on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the PCAL Championships at Toro Park. Gonzales will be out to win their second championship in four years and their third overall title.

Spartans head coach Margie Daniels feels good about her team’s chances to claim the division title.

“As long as the boys stay focused on maintaining depth, I’m confident they will place first,” Daniels said. “We’ve still got work to do and will take it one day at a time until championships.”

On Thursday, the Spartans hosted Soledad High at Dick Force Stadium, and on Oct. 28 Gonzales will run at Soledad in the second of the home and away non-division meet with the Aztecs.

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