Placer boys finish 11th at CIF State Meet; Del Oro girls 12thBy: Journal sports staff
The Placer High School boys cross country team didn’t win, but the Hillmen sure don’t feel like losers.
Placer’s varsity boys finished 11th overall at Saturday’s CIF State Meet in Fresno for Div. III runners.
The boys finished one spot short of their goal of a top-ten finish.
“There was 23 teams and there’s 13 section champions on the line,” coach Randall Fee said. “Our goal all along was to be in the top 10. If you look at the scoring, we were about 14 points away from being ninth. I feel like we reached our goal. I’m very proud of the boys.”
The team was once again led by Toby Qualls, who finished 17th out of 193 with a clocking of 15 minutes, 49 seconds. Qualls’ time was about two seconds off his personal best, and four away from a finish in the top 10.
“We were shooting for a top 10, but the race was extremely fast,” Fee said of Qualls. “According to a lot of coaches, it was the fastest race of the day. Toby did an excellent job today.”
Placer’s Felix Oliveros (16:44) had a breakout performance, finishing 54th.
“Felix really stood out today out of all of our runners,” Fee said. “He broke his personal record. … He took down so many runners in the last quarter mile. Felix just shined today.”
Rounding out Placer’s times were Gama Gomez (16:44, 47th), Zach Stelzer (16:53, 71st), Josh Mason (16:59, 80th), Viktor Dorofeyev (17:15, 99th) and Moshe McCater (17:17, 102nd).
Placer, which won Pioneer Valley League and Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III titles, bested all of the SJS schools in the field.
“I had a talk with the boys after the race,” Fee said. “I told them that it was just an outstanding season like I’ve never had. I’m sure it’s the highest team finish in the history of Placer on the boys side. I told them they should be really proud of their accomplishments, especially the seniors. What a great way to end your high school career.”
Placer figures to be strong again next year with Oliveros, Stelzer, Mason and McCarter all returning.
Del Oro’s varsity girls finished 12th out of 22 teams in the Div. III race. Competing for the Golden Eagles, who also won a section title, were Megan Gentes (19:01, 24th), Lizzie Meredith (19:19, 37th), Amy Heyn (19:35, 51st), Maddy Lyons (20:04, 78th), Dominique Tristant (20:11, 84th), Maddy Montgomery (20:18, 92nd) and Libby Runte (21:19, 125th).