Reedley High School's girls cross country team — coming off its first North Yosemite League championship in 15 years – wrapped up the season with a strong fourth-place finish in the Central Section Division 3 championships at Woodward Park in Fresno on Nov. 15.
The future is bright for the Pirates girls varsity. All runners competing at the section meet — with the exception of freshman Paola Rangel — are juniors and will form the nucleus of a team that will contend for section last year.
Monica Garcia filled in as head coach the final month of the season when regular coach Natalie Baumann went on maternity leave. Garcia said she was pleased with the team's performance down the stretch.
"Especially with such bad air quality," she said. "They didn't reach the times they wanted, but they did a great job."
Reedley's score of 202 points was a solid 20 points in front of Dinuba. The only teams beating out the Pirates were champion Wasco (67), Morro Bay (87) and Kerman (148).
Ximena Ramos turned in the top time for the Pirate girls by clocking 21 minutes, 10.82 seconds on the 5,000-meter Woodward Park course where the state meet is run every year. Jasmine Garcia placed 33rd in a time of 21:35.15, Keila Robles clocked 22:03.1 — good for 49th place — while Natalie Reyes placed 59th in 22:18.34.
Coach Garcia praised freshman Rangel's 65th place finish in 22:34.59.
"It takes a lot for her to post that time in this field. I was super impressed," she said.
Rounding out Reedley's finishers were Gloria Becerra (92nd in 23:20.16) and Marissa Zuniga (103rd in 23:44.09. The Division 3 race drew 152 runners.
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