Alexandra Klos burst onto the XC scene this season and ran off with Sac-Joaquin Section and State Division II titles, among her accomplishments. (Credit: Patrick Corsinita)
Where to start with the Sac-Joaquin Section 2019 cross country season? How about with perennial champion Matt Strangio of Jesuit? Or with two-time State Division III winner Riley Chamberlain of Del Oro? Or the newbie on the scene, Alexandra Klos of Vista del Lago?
And then there's Madison Kackley, the dynamic St. Franciso duo of Cate Joaquin and Isabella Fauria, and subtle excellence of boys stars like Whitney's Austin Vasquez and Godebo Chapman of West Campus.
There are five State Meet champions among the three names in that first paragraph. Let's start there.
Strangio, the University of Portland-bound senior, padded his resume this fall like few have before him. He ran 13 races and set four course records. Plus, Strangio ran through illness to go under the meet record at the Clovis Invitational on the State Meet course at Woodward Park in Fresno while placing third in the fastest race in meet history. He won 11 races and his worst finish was fourth at Nike Cross Nationals, a four-place improvement from 2018 on the Glendoveer 5K Course in Portland.
Strangio concluded his stellar career with a third consecutive SJS title, a second State Division I title and a third consecutive top-15 finish at NXN.
Whereas Strangio hit, if not exceeded, expectations, a couple of underclass girls were major surprises. Gregori junior Madison Kackley (pictured) won the SJS Division 2 title and placed fifth at State a year after placing eighth and 12th, respectively.
And then there is Alexandra Klos, a converted soccer player who took the line for the first time this fall and blew everyone away. The sophomore at Vista del Lago flashed onto the scene when she knocked off now two-time State Division III champion Riley Chamberlain at Capital Cross.
In six races during the CIF season, Klos won four, placed second to Buchanan's Corie Smith at the Clovis Invitational only after stumbling over the final grass sprint to the finish. The other time Klos did not win was the opening of the season, the first of her career, when she placed second to St. Francis sophomore Cate Joaquin by six seconds at the Josh Ruff Memorial.
Klos doubled back on Joaquin at the section final to win by more than 54 seconds. Klos than went on to win the State D-II title by 22 seconds over Colony's Amber Rios. Klos concluded her first year of XC by placing 28th at NXN as the No. 3 girl from California behind only San Diego star Carlie Dorostkar and Smith, the top two finishers in D-I at State.
With Strangio leading the way, running 14:43.50, Jesuit took second at the State Meet. A pair of juniors, Spencer Pickren and Michael Chambers, placed 20th and 21st, respectively, among scoring runners to help Jesuit edge Bellarmine (CC) by one point.
That was the highest placing of any of the SJS teams at State.
Vasquez followed up his SJS Division II title with a 12th place finish at State, running 15:22.90. Whitney ended up eighth behind Granada (NC) based on a sixth-runner tiebreaker.
The St. Francis girls placed sixth in the D-II race at State, led by Joaquin, who was fourth overall and second among scoring runners, and senior Fauria, who was 20th among scorers. Sophomore Tatiana cornejo was 51st and senior Haley Silva was 61st in support for St. Francis.
While Klos closed out her season in Portland at NXN, Joaquin ran the flat fast asphalt at Mt. SAC for Foot Locker West and qualified to compete at the Foot Locker National Championships in San Diego.
Below you will find list of top SJS finishers at the section finals and at the State Meet, followed by links to section finals coverage and section-specific 3-mile and 5K rankings.
SJS CHAMPIONSHIPS: TOP TWO
|1||Madison Kackley||11||Gregori (Joseph A.) High School (SJ)||18:27.90||1|
|2||Abigail Fletcher||11||Oak Ridge High School (SJ)||18:53.10||2|
|1||Alexandra Klos||10||Vista del Lago High (SJ)||17:31.80||1|
|2||Cate Joaquin||10||St. Francis Sacramento (SJ)||18:26.40||2|
|1||Godebo Chapman||11||West Campus (Hiram Johnson) (SJ)||16:13.60||1|
|2||Jacob Christopher||12||Calaveras High School (SJ)||16:18.60||2|
SJS AT THE STATE MEET: TOP 25
Boys in the top 25
|5||Madison Kackley||11||Gregori (Joseph A.) High School (SJ)||17:44.70||0|
|23||Ava Maier||10||Oak Ridge High School (SJ)||18:15.00||17|
|24||Abigail Fletcher||11||Oak Ridge High School (SJ)||18:15.80||18|
Boys top 25
|12||Austin Vasquez||12||Whitney High (SJ)||15:22.90||11|
Girls top 25
|1||Alexandra Klos||10||Vista del Lago High (SJ)||17:13.10||1|
|4||Cate Joaquin||10||St. Francis Sacramento (SJ)||17:39.70||2|
|17||Sophia Karperos||12||Rio Americano High (SJ)||18:07.10||12|
|24||Katie Kopec||9||Whitney High (SJ)||18:13.80||0|
Boys top 25
|7||Cole Mckain||12||Merced High (SJ)||15:35.60||0|
|1||Riley Chamberlain||10||Del Oro High (SJ)||17:16.00||1|
|24||Hannah Wirth||11||Del Oro High (SJ)||18:53.60||18|
Boys top 25
|7||Godebo Chapman||11||West Campus (Hiram Johnson) (SJ)||15:34.50||0|
|8||Jacob Christopher||12||Calaveras High School (SJ)||15:35.30||6|
|15||Cristian Martinez||12||Liberty Ranch (SJ)||15:51.00||0|
|20||Adin Dibble||10||Sonora High (SJ)||15:59.20||0|
|21||Daniel Winter||10||St. Mary's Stockton (SJ)||15:59.80||0|
|17||Brianna Personius||9||Sonora High (SJ)||18:41.30||0|
|24||Alicia Romani||9||Christian Brothers High School (SJ)||18:46.70||0|
Boys top 25
Girls top 25