Sanger cross country shines at Woodbridge Invitational

Apaches’ varsity girls finish in third place in 33-school field following tiebreaker on Sept. 16, varsity boys place 8th out of 32 teams

Sanger High’s Alexa Vaca (3382) chases the leaders in the varsity girls race at the annual Woodbridge Invitational cross country tournament in Irvine on Sept 16. The junior finished 18th in a personal record time of 18 minutes, 27 seconds, fourth best time for a junior and seventh best all-time for the SHS girls program.
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published September 23, 2023  • 
11:00 am

IRVINE – Sanger High’s cross country program turned in a record-setting day at the 42nd annual Woodbridge Invitational tournament in Southern California on Sept. 15-16.

The invitational, one of the largest cross country events in the nation, featured 52 races and more than 7,000 athletes representing hundreds of schools from across the country competing at Great Park in Irvine. Both Sanger teams ran under the lights on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Sanger’s varsity girls finished in a tie with Shadow Ridge High from Las Vegas, Nev., and ended up taking third place by tiebreaker as the Apaches had the fastest sixth runner (Makenne Alvarez) and averaged 19 minutes, 2 seconds per runner over the 3-mile course.

Junior Alexa Vaca turned in the best finish for Sanger, finishing 18th while clocking a lifetime best 18 minutes, 27 seconds. That’s the fourth best time for a junior runner and seventh best all-time for the SHS girls program. Following Vaca were Kinsley Allan (18:39), Genoveva Vaca (19:03), Zowie Hernandez (19:09), Marcella Cuellar (19:53), Yayeli Herrera (20:08), Alvarez (20:22) and Alayna Altaffer (21:19).

Veva Vaca’s time is #3 all time Freshman for Sanger (#4 Frosh in the Central Section) while Hernandez PR’d by more than 2 minutes running the #9 all time junior time.  Other PR’s came from Cuellar and Herrera.

The Apaches’ varsity boys placed eighth out of 32 teams and more than 200 runners, averaging 15:56 per runner in the 3-mile race. Senior Daniel Galvez ran a PR and #2 all time senior time for Sanger (#3 all-time/all grades) for 3 miles with a time of 15:12 while finishing in fourth place. He was followed in by Eduardo (Lalo) Cuellar (15:54), Sawyer Pugliese (16:08), Anthony Cortez (16:12), Gerardo Zuniga (16:13), Javier Rojas (16:42), Anthony Kelley (17:09).

Anthony K.’s time is #12 all time freshman, Anthony C.’s time is #11 all time junior. Cuellar ran the #2 all time freshman time in SHS history and is currently the #1 ranked freshman in the County Metro,  #3 freshman in the section and #15 frosh in California. Kelley’s PR time is #12 all-time for SHS freshman while Cortez’s time is #11 all-time for juniors. Rojas also posted a PR time.

Apaches runners turned in 11 top 100 finishes, along with 10 lifetime bests for three miles. Sanger continues the season this week, competing in the Golden Eagle Invitational at Woodward Park on Friday, Sept. 22.  Races start at 1:30 p.m.

Mid Valley Times Staff