Stanton took first place in the Sierra Cross Country Invitational, finishing the three-mile varsity course at Modesto’s Legion-Tuolumne River Regional Park in 16 minutes, 49 seconds.
Before the start of the season, Patterson High cross country coach Dave Klein predicted that the latest crop of boys runners provided the Tigers’ best chance in years to compete for a league title. Saturday’s showing lends some support to the 12th-year coach’s claim.
“That is also the best time any Patterson runner has recorded in an invitational,” Klein said of Stanton’s performance.
Four other Patterson boys varsity runners competed in the meet — Tomas Navarro (21:17), Julius Flores (21:39), Joey Howard (22:36) and Benjamin Vega (23:39).
More than 1,200 athletes from 44 schools ran in the region’s largest invitational.
The Patterson freshmen-sophomore boys placed first as a team in the two-mile race.
Antonio Venegas set the pace for Patterson with a 15th-place finish and a time of 11:49, followed by Dylan Halland (12:32), Dylan Christiansen (12:42), Sean Hicks (13:01) and Ivan Barbontin (13:19).
The Patterson girls varsity team was led by sophomore Lupe Ventura, who ran the three-mile course in 22:54.
Alejandra Carrasco (25:23), Stephany Esqueda (32:31) and Jenevy Esqueda (32:32) also garnered praise from Klein.
“I believe that our runners got a very valuable experience at Sierra,” Klein said. “Experience and confidence play a big role in cross country, and everyone that went (to the meet) came away with a very good feeling about the future.”
WAC preseason meet
Patterson took to the starting line for its first league action during the Western Athletic Conference preseason meet Sept. 5 at River Bluff Regional Park in Ceres.
In unofficial mock scoring, the boys team finished with 88 points, in fourth place behind Pacheco High of Los Banos, which had 86 points. Central Valley High of Ceres was second with 73 points, while Livingston High led the field with 29 points.
Stanton led the way for Patterson in the varsity boys race with a second-place finish in 17:46, and Vega ran the 3.1-mile course in 20:01, good for 10th place.
On the varsity girls side, Ventura took third place in 23:15, while Carrasco finished 21st in 25:58.
“(Ventura) is just progressing more and more each day,” Klein said.
The Ceres High girls had the low score of 45 points to claim the meet victory. Los Banos High finished second with 51 points, and Livingston was third with 67. Patterson was fifth with 110 points.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.