The boys from Granada High in Danville put on a show at Friday's Rough Rider Invitational in Fresno (DeAnna Turner photo)
Six days after Woodward Park was played host to the Clovis Invitational, which drew roughly 180 teams to challenge the 5,000-meter State Meet course on a Chamber of Commerce Saturday, the Rough Rider Invitational welcomed roughly 80 schools to test themselves on a fall Friday afternoon in Fresno.
While Clovis is larger and one of the elite invites of the California cross country season, Rough Rider draws a handful of state-ranked teams that opted not to run the previous week and none shined brighter than the boys from Granada (NC) and the girls from Campolindo (NC).
Granada's boys put on a show in the varsity boys large school division, dropping 23 points in a field that included Campolindo, Doughtery Valley (NC), Monte Vista (NC), and Archie Williams (NC) in a field of 25.
Roland Ruckmann-Barnes led the 1-3-4-7-8 rout, crossing first in 15:39.9, ahead of Campolindo's Alexander Lodewick (15:41.0). Junior Dheeraj Gurusamy was third (15:57.0) for Granada crossing with classmate Farin Soriano (15:57.0). Closing out the impressive performance for Granada, senior Jacob Bauman was seventh (16:04.9) and junior Liam Manley was third (16:06.4). (Geeze, Nos. 6 and 7, sophomore Eshaan Singh and junior Luther Hart, were just 20 seconds back)
Granada, ranked second in Division II in the latest MileSplitCA statewide rankings, had a 26-second scoring gap and 1:19.43 team time. Campolindo, the 2019 CIF-State Division III champion, currently ranked fourth, was second with 59 points while running a 1:20.48 team time and a 64-second scoring gap. Senior Rhys Pullen (15:57.9) was fifth overall and junior Connor McGhee (16:08.5) was 10th as the next two across the line for Campo.
Doughtery Valley, third with 101 points, was led by junior Shane Badcock (16:15.2) who placed 14th.
Campo junior Ellie Buckley was the fastest girl at the meet, winning the large division race in 17:54.5, well ahead of runner-up Mia Torrecillas, a sophomore at Highland (CS), who crossed in 18:32.1. Sophomore Shea Volkmer was third (18:42.0) in helping Campolido to 46 points at the team title. Sophomore Makena Weberski (19:02.7) and junior Caroline McCool (19:09.8) were the next two across for Campolindo, in 10th and 13th place, respectively.
Dougherty Valley was second with 60 points and Granada was third with 86.
Freshman Sabrina Noriega (18:44.8) and senior Rhea Braganza (18:46.9) placed 4-5 for Dougherty Valley. Senior Elizabeth Melcher (19:01.6) was ninth and sophomore Gabriella Edwards was 12th to lead Granada.
Oakdale (SJ) senior Haleigh Humble won the varsity girls small school race in 18:50.3 with Miramonte (NC) senior Kate Riley next in 19:16.8 and Crystal Springs Uplands (CC) junior Kaiya Brooks third (19:27.0). Bishop Amat (57) was the one-point winner over Miramonte (58) with Castilleja third (89).
Junior Emma Arredondo (19:28.7) was fifth in leading Bishop Amat with sophomore Madison Rust (20:02.4) ninth and St. Lucy's transfer Sophia Ebiner (20:12.4) placed 14th for the Southern Section school. Sophomore Perry McElhinney (19:40.4) was seventh and junior Samira Kennedy (20:07.4) was 10th for Castilleja, currently ranked third in Division V.
Oakdale junior Caleb Cavanaugh was the varsity boys small schools winner, crossing in 16:11.0 with junior teammate Dax Daley next in 16:23.1. Freshman Benjamin Bouie of CSU was third in 16:27.9. Jack Stein was sixth in 16:40.2 to lead Piedmont to the team title with 60 points. Oakdale was second (74) and The Menlo School was third (77).
Inserted photos by DeAnna Turner