Sports

Newbury Park’s Nico Young makes case for being top runner in the country, claims ASICS Clovis title

Newbury Park senior Nico Young captured the championship race in 14:28.9, which was the second-fastest high school boys’ time on the Woodward Park 5-kilometer course.
Newbury Park senior Nico Young captured the championship race in 14:28.9, which was the second-fastest high school boys’ time on the Woodward Park 5-kilometer course. jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Newbury Park High senior Nico Young was really fast Saturday morning at Woodward Park.

But, not fast enough to break the high school course record set in 2007 by Riverbank High’s Germán Fernández at the state meet.

Young, however, posted the second-fastest time ever on the 5-kilometer course to capture the ASICS Clovis Invitational championship division in 14:28.9. Only Fernández was faster at 14:24.

Young told DyeStat.com he got worried about the competition from Arizona’s Leo Daschbach and Jesuit High’s Matt Strangio.

“I think probably toward the end, with maybe like a (kilometer) to go, I was a little bit nervous,” Young said. “So I tried to kick it in. I think I was probably a little bit nervous, but I was confident in my kick.”

Daschbach, his state’s Division I champion, was second in 14:30.9. That is the third fastest by a high schooler at Woodward Park.

“I didn’t have the strength to close on him,” Daschbach told DyeStat.com. “He just had too much room. And I was too weak at the end to catch him. He ran a really smart race, I think. He gapped himself so much I couldn’t close him down.”

Strangio was third in 14:49.1.

Area runners also excelled.

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Clovis North senior Joshua Ochoa finished seventh in the championship race with a time of 15:13.3. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Clovis North senior Joshua Ochoa was seventh in 15:13.3, while senior teammate Isaiah Galindo was 10th in 15:16.3.

Ridgeview High (Bakersfield) senior Alex Cuevas was sixth in 15:13.2.

Sixty-four runners broke the 16-minute mark.

“I knew from the get-go that it was going to be a tough race,” said Ochoa. “I knew I just had to prepare mentally to get ready.”

Ochoa figured he’d maintain his own pace through the first two miles. He sped up once he began to pass other runners in the third mile.

Ochoa is looking forward to the section and state meets on the same course.

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Clovis North senior Isaiah Galindo finished 10th in the championship division with a time of 15:16.3. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Galindo has lost training while going on official campus visits to potential colleges.

“I’ve been pretty exhausted from all the traveling, and I’ve been trying to catch up on my work for school,” said Galindo, who said he has “mostly made” his decision about college but needs to talk it over with his parents.

Galindo figures he’ll be back to top shape when the section and state meets roll around. He stuck with the top leaders until “they ended up tiring me out.”

Ochoa and Galindo helped Clovis North finish fourth in the team standings (229 points), behind Great Oak (57 points), Newbury Park (65 points), and, Dublin (208 points). Great Oak and Newbury Park are ranked among the top two teams in the country.

Upland senior posts fastest non-championship time

Last year, Upland High senior Jeremiah Castellano missed the cross country season due to a knee injury.

Saturday, he was making his debut at the 5k distance, so he wasn’t sure what to expect.

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Upland High senior Jeremiah Castellano (front on right) ran away with the large school division title with a time of 15:20.5. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

The result: Castellano dominated the large school division race with a winning time of 15:20.5. That was the fastest time of any race outside the championship division.

Castellano figures he can go faster.

“My plan was just to get through the race because this was my first 5k,” said Castellano. “It felt good the first two miles. Just before the second mile, there’s a big downhill and I felt great, so I just took advantage.”

Sheldon High senior Patrick McGonigle was second in 15:31.2, while Stockdale High (Bakersfield) senior Juanathan Reyes Jr. was third in 15:31.8.

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Upland High senior Jeremiah Castellano ran away with the large school division title with a time of 15:20.5. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Castellano loved the hilly course.

“I kind of like the hills. It’s definitely more pain, but that’s every race,” said Castellano. “For sure next time, if I make it to state, I’ll run a faster time.”

La Serna claimed the division title with 98 points.

Central High, helped by senior Abel Teffra’s fifth-place finish (15:36.8), was 10th in the team standings.

Paso Robles runner wins large school division

Paso Robles High senior Damián Gavilán felt ignored that he couldn’t run in the championship division.

So, he went out and dominated the large school division race in 15:29.8.

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Paso Robles senior Damián Gavilán ran away with the large school individual title with a time of 15:29.8. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

“I was really motivated to show what I could do even if I wasn’t in the championship race,” said Gavilán.

Highland High (Bakersfield) junior Jacob Yagers was second in 15:44.4, while Dos Pueblos High senior Joseph Pearman was third in 15:47.9.

Gavilán’s teammate Jason Scruggs, a junior, was ninth in 16:00.7.

Canyon High of Anaheim won the team title with 195 points, ahead of Simi Valley (209 points) and Mission Viejo (238 points).

Merced’s McKain second in medium school division

Merced High senior Kole McKain’s plan was to stick with the leaders, be patient and “at the end it just comes down to who has the most.”

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Merced High seniors Cole McKain and Jace Williams lead the pack past the 1-mile mark in the middle-sized school division. McKain was second overall in 15:56.0, and Williams was sixth in 16:04.9. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

“I thought it came down to what was your race plan coming into today,” said McKain, who finished second in 16:56.0.

South Pasadena High senior Sam Clark won the race in 16:53.9.

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Sonora High sophomore Adin Dibble won the small schools division race with a time of 15:41.4. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Chico High sophomore Mario Giannini was third in 15:56.7.

“I definitely knew there was going to be a lot of tough competitors who, as expected, go out faster,” said McKain, whose teammate Jace Williams was sixth in 16:04.9. “I’m happy with my time.”

St. John Bosco won the team title with 105 points, ahead of Palos Verdes (124 points) and San Luis Obispo (136 points).

Sophomore notches small school division title

Adin Dibble, a sophomore from Sonora High, ran away with the small school division individual title with a time of 15:41.4.

Dibble edged out College Prep High senior Jacob Lehmann-Duke (15:45.7) and St. Margarets High junior Jackson Adelman (15:51.3).

Scotts Valley claimed the team title with 93 points, ahead of Big Bear (167 points) and St. Mary’s (Stockton, 179 points).

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