Most commonly, it’s called “running against the clock.”
Clovis North High’s Lauren Moffett called it “no man’s land” Thursday at Woodward Park.
Technically, in her case, she should have called it “no girl’s land.”
It’s semantics. But it’s still dominance. It’s when a runner is so superior to the rest of the field, he, or she, is racing only against time.
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And so it was – again – for Moffett, Central Valley Christian’s Gabby Satterlee and Madera South’s Eduardo “Lalo” Herrera at the Central Section Cross Country Championships.
Moffett repeated her Division I title, winning by 25 seconds in 17 minutes, 55 seconds on the 3.1-mile course while leading the Broncos to another team crown a year after snapping Buchanan’s 14-year stronghold. They edged the Bears by four points this time.
Satterlee captured her third consecutive crown – the first in D-V, then two in D-IV – the latest by 80 seconds at 18:02. And her Cavaliers won their fourth team title in a row, the past two in D-IV after the first two in D-V.
And Herrera successfully defended his D-I championship, winning by 19 seconds at 15:01.
4 consecutive section championships for the CVC girls, the past two in D-IV after two in D-V
8 straight titles for the Madera South boys, across four divisions, the past four in D-I
Furthermore, in one of the most impressive dynasties the section has known – in any sport – Madera South delivered an eighth straight section team title.
They’ve come in three divisions, the past four in D-I, and never more dominant than this one as the Stallions of the County/Metro Athletic Conference went 1-2-3-4, with juniors Miguel Villar (15:20), Michael Ochoa (15:48) and Nicholas Hernandez (15:48) following Herrera.
Freshman Victor Ochoa, at 10th (16:14), completed the scoring for Madera South, which kept with a tradition started by former coach Rich Parris and now extended by his former assistant, Eloy Quintana, by lining up – all seven of them – beyond the finish line to congratulate every other participant in the 77-runner field.
And for all Herrera has accomplished in his four-year career – also placing 11th and second in the section as a freshman and sophomore, earning The Bee’s Runner of the Year honor as a sophomore and finishing fourth in the state last year – it is the quality of the Stallions’ program that he trumpeted most.
Nov. 28 next stop: the CIF State Championship meet, also at Woodward Park
“I feel good winning twice as an individual,” he said, “but mostly knowing I’ve been part of a great program that has won eight straight as a team.”
Thursday’s meet under ideal 60-degree and sun-splashed conditions also served as a qualifier for the CIF State Championships, which will return to their home base, Woodward Park, on Nov. 28.
In both D-I divisions and also D-IV girls, advancing to state were the top three teams and any individual among the top 14 not on a qualifying team. In the remaining seven divisions, the top two teams go in addition to any individual among the top 12 not on a qualifying team.
Other boys champions Thursday were Shafter’s Julian Irigoyen (D-II, 15:56), Ridgeview’s Anthony Moronez (D-III, 15:50), Kerman sophomore Jose Mosqueda (D-IV, 16:10) and Central Valley Christian’s Luke Dykstra (D-V, 16:18).
Boys team titles also were won by Shafter (D-II), Dinuba (D-III and supported by a band on the course), Kerman (D-IV) and Wonderful College Prep Academy-Delano (D-V).
Girls individual gold medals also were wrapped around the necks of McFarland freshman Devianna Salcedo (D-II, 18:14), Liberty-Bakersfield’s Cagnei Duncan (D-III, 18:13) and Bakersfield Christian’s Gabriella Lugo (D-V, 20:32).
And remaining girls team titles were won by McFarland (D-II), Liberty-Bakersfield (D-III) and Bakersfield Christian (D-V).
Moffett, who has signed with Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference, won the section title a year ago with a personal-best 17:45.
I can tell I’m in shape because I’m kind of coasting yet my times are as fast as last year when I was killing myself to make those times.
two-time section D-I girls champ Lauren Moffett of Clovis North
Clovis’ Mikayla Sodersten ran second then at 17:56, and the Oregon State-bound senior was hoping to duel again. But that failed to come to fruition because of a shin injury that proved so severe she dropped out of the race at 2.5 miles, as requested by Cougars coach Bill Buettner.
“I felt really bad for Mikayla,” said Moffett, who was actually running shoulder to shoulder with Sodersten at the mile mark.
Sans a Sodersten push thereafter, Moffett had little chance of improving her personal record.
“Frustrating,” Moffett said. “It turns into a workout, a threshold pace, running alone. I can tell I’m in shape because I’m kind of coasting, yet my times are as fast as last year when I was killing myself to make those times. I just really want to run fast.”
Surely, she’ll get that opportunity on the state stage a year after placing eighth. And she thinks she can pop a time in the 17:15 range.
“I’m shooting for the top three,” she said, “and I think I have a good shot of winning.”
Satterlee, who has signed with Baylor, is pointing to a match race at state with Santa Cruz’s Cate Ratliff.
Ratcliff, who will attend Cal Poly – Satterlee’s runner-up college choice – is ranked second overall in the state by DyeStatCal.com after placing fourth last year. Satterlee is ranked ninth overall in the state.
Satterlee hopes to improve her best of 17:48 by a considerable margin.
“Honestly, like 17:25 or 17:30,” she said. “I have no doubt I can do 17:30 or better with competition. And I’ll have that at state.”
Central Section team and individual cross country champions at Thursday’s finals at Woodward Park:
- Boys: Madera South (team); Eduardo Herrera, Madera South, 15:01
- Girls: Clovis North (team); Lauren Moffett, Clovis North, 17:55
- Boys: Shafter (team); Julian Irigoyen, Shafter, 15:56
- Girls: McFarland (team); Devianna Salcedo, McFarland, 18:14
- Boys: Dinuba (team); Anthony Moronez, Ridgeview, 15:50
- Girls: Liberty-Bakersfield (team); Cagnei Duncan, Liberty-Bakersfield 18:13
- Boys: Kerman (team); Jose Mosqueda, Kerman, 16:10
- Girls: Central Valley Christian (team); Gabby Satterlee, Central Valley Christian, 18:02
- Boys: Wonderful College Prep Academy-Delano (team); Luke Dykstra, Central Valley Christian, 16:18
- Girls: Bakersfield Christian (team); Gabriella Lugo, Bakersfield Christian, 20:32