FRESNO – Immanuel High’s reigning Central Section Division V girls champions enter the stretch run of the 2023 cross country regular season with four runners ranked among the top 50 in the section.
Leading the way is sophomore Clara Riddle, who comes off a section championship medal and 10th place state finish as a freshman. Riddle’s best time this fall of 19 minutes, 12 seconds (set at the Roughrider Invitational on Oct. 13) over 5,000 meters is 22nd among all section female runners. Her PR time of 18:44.9 from last year’s state meet would be in the top 15.
Three other Immanuel runners are ranked in the section girls top 50: senior Gaby Ramirez (32nd with a PR of 19:19.5 at the ASICS Clovis Invitational on Oct. 7), freshman Ainsley Jackson (34th, PR 19:26.3 at Clovis) and sophomore Lexi Schartmann (48th, PR 19:47.7 at the Douglas P. Rudolf Invitational in Visalia on Sept. 22). Seniors Macie Riddle (20:06.4) and Sarah Larger (20:12.2) also set 5,000 meter PR times at the Visalia meet.
Immanuel competes at the John Seaman Cross Country Invitational in Kingsburg on Saturday, Oct. 28 starting at 8 a.m. The Tri-County Conference championship meet will be on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the section and state meet course at Woodward Park in Fresno.
In addition to the Immanuel quartet, Sanger High junior Alexa Vaca is ranked 39th among section girls with a personal best time of 19:35.2 set at the ASICS Clovis Invitational. She and her Apaches teammates will compete at the Clovis East Invitational on Friday, Oct. 27.
There are three boys from Mid Valley Times region schools ranked in the section’s top 50, paced by Parlier High’s Evan Torres. The senior, who placed second in the section’s Division II championships and 20th at the state meet last season, has a PR of 15:40.1 over 5,000 meters to rank 10th among this year’s section boys overall field. His best time was turned in at the ASICS Clovis Invitational.
Torres will compete with Parlier at the Seaman Invitational in Kingsburg on Oct. 28, and begins his postseason at the Northwest Sequoia League championships on Monday, Nov. 6.
Also ranked in the section boys top 50 time rankings are Sanger High’s Daniel Galvez (27th) and Reedley High’s Mauricio Herrera (43rd). Senior Galvez turned in his season best time of 16:01.1 at the ASICS meet, and is just 12 seconds off his PR time set as a junior. Sophomore Herrera ran a PR 16:25.7 at the ASICS meet.
This fall’s No. 1-ranked Central Section runners are Templeton senior Joshua Bell (14:50.7) for the boys and Highland senior Mia Torrecillas (17:21.0) for the girls. League championships take place the week of Nov. 6-10, with the section championships scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 16 and CIF State Championships set for Saturday, Nov. 25 at Fresno’s Woodward Park.