Sonoma runners look to improve at next league meet

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The Sonoma Valley High cross country girls Wednesday were fifth and the boys seventh in the second Vine Valley Athletic League Center Meet at Spring Lake Park.

Casa won both the girls and the boys meets. For the girls, Casa had 34 points, Vintage 36, Justin-Siena 119, Petaluma 124, Sonoma 134 and American Canyon 181. For the boys, Casa had 27 points, Vintage 42, Justin 117, Napa 125, American Canyon 136, Petaluma 176 and Sonoma 178.

Emma Brophy was the girls top finisher at 15th in a time of 21 minutes, 31 seconds. Anabelle Hunter was 22nd (22:09), Malia Cashel was 24th (22:35), Jocelyn Paredes was 35th (24:11), Ella Sutter was 38th (25:07) and Jasmine Garcia was 40th (25:23).

For the boys, Justin Cox was the top finisher at 11th (16:38), Mason Phillips was 34th (18:37), Connor Barry was 39th (18:44), Lucas Martindale was 44th (19:03), Zander Casillas was 50th (19:25), Drew Hengehold was 52nd (19:40), Derek Armstrong was 58th (19:53) and Ryan Hengehold was 59th (19:57)

“Individually, we had some really strong performances and just about every one of our finishers ran faster on the Spring Lake course then they had at our pre-season meet there in September,” said Coach John Litzenberg. “For many of the returning runners from last season, this was their personal record time on the course. Our best performances came from our top varsity runners in the boys and girls races.”

“Emma Brophy moved up four places in the varsity girls race from 19th in the first Center Meet to 15th in today’s meet, and she improved her time on the Spring Lake course by 40 seconds,” Litzenberg continued. “Justin Cox in the varsity boys moved up from 20th in the first Center Meet to 11th today and was a minute-and-a-half faster today then he was in the meet at Spring Lake in September.”

The Dragons might have finished higher, but the girls were missing Grace Kiser, who was ill, and the boys lost Nate Jordan in the first part of the race with an ankle sprain.

“Like our girls, our boys could realistically finish in the top three as a team at the VVAL Championships if we keep improving and can stay healthy,” Litzenberg said.

Sonoma didn’t have a full JV girls team, but the JV boys were fourth in their race.

The Dragons next meet will be on Oct. 24, at Napa High’s course at Alston Park in Napa, which will be the third and final VVAL Center meet prior to the VVAL Championships on Nov. 10.

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