Nathan Stanton won the individual title for a second straight season to spark the Tigers to their first league crown since 1994, in the Western Athletic Conference championship, Oct. 30 at River Bluff Regional Park.
The celebration last week was a long time coming.
"We knew that this was the year to do it -- we came a long way," Stanton said. "It would have broken our hearts if we would have lost today. We went out there, gave it our all, did our very best, and we pulled through."
For the second year in a row, Patterson captured the top two individual spots in both varsity races at the WAC season-ending affair.
The Tiger boys were once again led by Stanton, who completed the 3.1-mile course with a time of 17 minutes, 27 seconds, to finish unbeaten in conference events.
"It was great to finish with the win," said Stanton, who also earned all-league honors. "My teammates did their jobs as well. We win and we lose as a team, and that's what matters. It isn't just one individual. We all pull together."
Finishing seconds behind Stanton was teammate Antonio Venegas, who navigated the course in 17:51, also enough for all-WAC honors.
Rounding out the top places for Patterson, Steven Halseth was ninth in 18:39, Tomas Virgen was 12th in 19:06, Dylan Halland was 17th in 19:53, Carlos Ponce was 18th in 19:54 and Sean Hicks was 20th in 19:57.
Halseth entered the race as Patterson's No. 5 or 6 runner, but he turned out to be the one of the deciding factors, Aguilar said.
Patterson's Lupe Ventura blew away the field of 54 runners in the girls race, with a time of 21:06. An all-WAC selection, Ventura topped the second-place finisher by more than a minute, to cap a perfect individual league season.
"It takes a lot of work, and you have to keep believing that you're going to get to the finish," said Ventura, who paced Patterson's contingent to a third-place team finish. "You also have to keep fighting for your team. I'm working for them, and I try to push them."
The Tigers got a strong performance from Brenda Vargas, whose time of 23:17 was enough for a 12th-place nod.
Alejandra Carrasco took 16th in 24:07, and Patterson’s next runners were Jenevy Esqueda (24:08) in 17th place, Stephanie Esqueda (25:34) in 25th place and Carina Sotelo (27:09) in 38th place.
Patterson did not field a complete junior varsity boys team for the 2-mile trek.
Arturo Navarro led the Tigers in the race, claiming a fifth-place finish with a time of 12:31. Daniel Isquierdo (seventh, 12:50), Ethan Schut (20th) and Angel Ceja (26th, 16:22) rounded out the top Patterson finishers.
Patterson's JV girls did not have enough runners for a team score, however, Lanaeya Banks placed fourth (14:44) on the 2-mile course.
Patterson continues its season Saturday, Nov. 9, when the team travels to the Sac-Joaquin Subsection meet at Frogtown at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.