University Prep junior Grace Gaddy (left) and Chico sophomore Mario Giannini were the top individuals in the Northern Section during the 2019 XC season. (Credit: Pat Rhames)
It should come as no surprise that the fastest boy and the fastest girl in the combined rankings were both Northern Section champions and the top finishers from the NS at the State Meet
Mario Giannini, a sophomore at Chico, was 20.29-second winner at the CIF-NS Championships held on the 3-mile course at Cottonwood West Valley HS. Giannini, brother of former two-time NS champion Charlie Giannini, went on to place 19th in the Division III race at the State Meet, running 15:52.60 on the 5000-meter course at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Mario led Chico to a 7th place finish in the D-III team standings at the State Meet, equalling the same place as the 2018 team (when Charlie placed sixth overall), which is the highest place at the State Meet ever for the boys from Chico.
Seniors Alan Nava, Hunter Dougherty, Andre Mota, and junior Liam Sehorn also scored for Chico. The latter two crossed in 83rd and 84th position among scoring runners as Chico edged Fresno Central (CS) by one point and Moorpark (SS) by four points.
Chico's back-to-back seventh-place finishes at State came from two completely different scoring quintets. While Nava was the only returner who took the line at State in 2018, he wasn't among the scorers.
Other top finishers at State among NS boys were Nick Torres, a senior from Enterprise, who placed 34th overall in Division IV, and Alexis Ramirez, a senior at Mt. Shasta, who placed 24th overall in Division V.
University Prep junior Grace Gaddy completed a stellar junior season by placing 22nd in the Division IV race at the State Meet. Gaddy, who had the fastest time in the section for 3 Miles, 5K and combined, also won the section title. Her 18:44.30 at Woodward Park was a 5K personal best. She was 59th as a sophomore (19:40.70).
Other top finishers at State among NS girls were Nahkia Clements, a senior at Chico, who was 28th in the Division III race running a 5K PR of 19:03, and Jennifer Ruiz, a senior from Alturas Modoc, who was 50th in the Division V championship, also running a 5K PR (20:00.40).
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