Madera South High School’s Miguel Villar, after waiting his turn the past three years behind now-graduated ex-teammate Eduardo Herrera, is ranked No. 1 in Central Section boys cross country.
While Villar has been a fixture all along in the section, the spotlight followed Herrera, the section record holder, two-time section champion, two-time Fresno Bee Runner of the Year and 2015 All-American now on full scholarship at NCAA power Colorado.
2 Consecutive second-place finishes by Madera South’s Miguel Villar in Central Section boys cross country
Herrera also led the Stallions to four straight section Division I titles, the past three with Villar never too far behind, including the past two years, when they finished 1-2 at Woodward Park.
Villar has also done well at the state meet, placing 11th, 10th and 29th as a junior, sophomore and freshman, respectively, for teams that finished fourth, third and second.
The boys section top 10 individuals also includes tied for sixth Michael Ochoa and Nicholas Hernandez of Madera South, which is No. 1 in the overall team rankings.
Little school, big ranking – McFarland’s fourth-ranked boys team – drawing from an enrollment of 860 – is the smallest D-I program competing in the section’s 23 boys and girls sports.
And that’s the result of the section’s ongoing competitive equity model that aligns postseason divisions by recent performance as opposed to enrollment.
Other enrollments among the top-ranked D-I boys teams are Madera South (2,861), Clovis (2,860), Liberty-Bakersfield (2,045) and Redwood (2,043).
860 Enrollment of McFarland, whose boys cross country team draws from the smallest amount of students in all of the section’s Division I sports, boys or girls
McFarland’s boys since 2009 have risen from D-IV to D-III, D-II and D-I, where the Cougars are now competing for the third season.
McFarland, from 1987 to 2013, won nine state titles and 25 section crowns, according to historian Bob Barnett.
Buchanan girls No. 1 – Topping the overall girls team rankings are Buchanan, Clovis, Liberty-Bakersfield, Clovis North and McFarland.
The top three ranked overall girls are Liberty-Bakersfield’s Cagnei Duncan, Buchanan’s Meagen Lowe and McFarland’s Dee Dee Salcedo.
Marquee meets set for Woodward Park are the Clovis Invitational (Oct. 8), the section finals (Nov. 17) and the state championships (Nov. 26).
Central Section cross country rankings
- 1. Madera South
- 2. Clovis
- 3. Liberty-Bakersfield
- 4. McFarland
- 5. Redwood
- 6. Reedley
- 7. Highland
- 8. Clovis North
- 9. Buchanan
- 10. Sanger
- Division I: 1. Madera South, 2. Clovis, 3. McFarland
- Division II: 1. Liberty-Bakersfield, 2. Redwood, 3. Reedley
- Division III: 1. Ridgeview, 2. Dinuba, 3. Corcoran
- Division IV: 1. Kerman, 2. Avenal, 3. Coalinga
- Division V: 1. Central Valley Christian, 2. Caruthers, 3. Tranquillity
BOYS INDIVIDUAL OVERALL
- 1. Miguel Villar, Madera South
- 2. Evert Silva, Fresno
- 3. Marcus Mota, Stockdale
- 4. Moises Medrano, Highland
- 5. Robert Sagasta, Liberty-Bakersfield
- 6. Michael Ochoa, Madera South
- 6. Nicholas Hernandez, Madera South
- 8. De’vyd Lawson, Redwood
- 9. Jaden Uphoff, Monache
- 10. Stewart Fernandez, Buchanan
- Division I: 1. Villar, Madera South; 2. Mota, Stockdale; 3. Ochoa, Madera South
- Division II: 1. Medrano, Highland; 2. Sagasta, Liberty-Bakersfield; 3. Lawson, Redwood
- Division III: 1. Silva, Fresno; 2. Caleb Bozarth, North Bakersfield; 3. Antone Fanucchi, Garces
- Division IV: 1. Jose Mosqueda, Kerman; 2. Ivan Ayala, Coalinga; 3. Duncan Reid, Bishop
- Division V: 1. Ronaldo Delgado, Caruthers; 2. Chandler Maciel, Central Valley Christian; 3. Garrin Schaap, Central Valley Christian
- 1. Buchanan
- 2. Clovis
- 3. Liberty-Bakersfield
- 4. Clovis North
- 5. McFarland
- 6. Stockdale
- 7. Monache
- 8. Centennial
- 9. Clovis East
- 10. Madera South
- Division I: 1. Buchanan, 2. Clovis, 3. Clovis North
- Division II: 1. Liberty-Bakersfield, 2. McFarland, 3. Monache
- Division III: 1. Edison, 2. South, 3. Kerman
- Division IV: 1. Rosamond, 2. Liberty-Madera Ranchos, 3. Fowler
- Division V: 1. Bakersfield Christian, 2. Caruthers, 3. Riverdale
GIRLS INDIVIDUAL OVERALL
- 1. Cagnei Duncan, Liberty-Bakersfield
- 2. Meagen Lowe, Buchanan
- 3. Dee Dee Salcedo, McFarland
- 4. Blayne Dolan, Clovis North
- 5. Carie Smith, Buchanan
- 6. Andrea Anez, Exeter
- 7. Katie Nili, Buchanan
- 8. Skyler Steenburgh, Buchanan
- 9. Mackenzie Mora, Buchanan
- 10. Angelina Ronquillo, South
- Division I: 1. Lowe, Buchanan; 2. Dolan, Clovis North; 3. Smith, Buchanan
- Division II: 1. Duncan, Liberty-Bakersfield; 2. Salcedo, McFarland; 3. Brianna Valles, McFarland
- Division III: 1. Anez, Exeter; 2. Ronquillo, South; 3. Sayra Raya, Wasco
- Division IV: 1. Justina Martinez, Firebaugh; 2. Sophia Napier, Liberty-Madera Ranchos; 3. Jenna Wilson, Central Valley Christian
- Division V: 1. Nancy Gomez, Caruthers; 2. Terri Jimenez, Summit Collegiate; 3. Julianna Morton, Bakersfield Christian
Source: Larry Lung