Outsiders dominate Y-S Cross Country invite
Salazar, Feddersen dash for local bragging rights
With Ponderosa and Del Campo runners dominating the races out front, it was River Valley High’s Meredith Salazar and Marysville’s Sarah Feddersen who gave the Beckwourth Riverfront Park crowd something to cheer about under the storm-gray skies at the ninth annual Yuba-Sutter Invitational cross country meet.
The two Mid-Valley runners dueled over the final 100 yards with Salazar edging Feddersen for 12th place – the top local finish – by one second. Salazar’s time was 22 minutes, 3 seconds over the 3-mile levee run.
Salazar said she knew someone was closing on her up the gradual incline to the finish line because a spectator shouted to her that a runner was right behind her.
“I don’t like to look behind me when I’m running,” Salazar said. “It makes me nervous.”
If the race had been 20 feet longer, Feddersen said she might have passed Salazar. Instead, Feddersen let up slightly entering the “chute” leading to the actual finish line.
“I didn’t know where she was until she passed me,” Feddersen said, noting Salazar passed her coming off the hills with less than a mile to go.
Even though she finished 13th, Feddersen said her time was the best she’s run this year.
Del Campo and Ponderosa dominated the varsity divisions. Del Campo swept the first three places in the boys race, led by James Tracy’s 15:57. Ponderosa swept the first three places in the girls race, led by Deborah Maier’s 18:41.
Twenty-four schools were entered. The meet also included frosh-soph and middle school divisions. There were more than 500 runners in all.
The Del Campo runners set a torrid pace, although Yuba City’s Cristobal Pinedo stayed close. Out from the shadow of last year’s premiere runner, Honkers teammate Brad Doering, Pinedo finished fourth, a minute behind Tracy with a time of 16:53.
Wheatland’s Eric Faires left it all on the course, as he had to be helped in his cool-down period after the race. Faires finished 13th with a time of 17:43.
“It was a lot harder than I thought it would be,” Faires said, noting the sand hill in the first mile and the steeper hill in the second mile took its toll on him.
Faires said his goal was to finish in the top 10, but he just missed it. He did, however, improve on his previous best time by more than two minutes.
“I’ve been training a lot harder this year,” Faires said.
Marysville’s Ben Chance had hoped to finish in the top 10 as well, but he cramped coming off the second hill and ended up running to the finish line holding his side.
“I also had some allergy problems,” Chance said. “I know I did the best that I could.”
Wheatland’s Jessica Carpenter won the frosh-soph girls race with a time of 29:19.
Top local runners:
4. Cristobal Pinedo, Yuba City 16:53
13. Eric Faires, Wheatland 17:43
15. Jose Almanza, Yuba City 17:49
12. Meredith Salazar, River Valley 22:03
13. Sarah Feddersen, Marysville 22:02
22. Sarah Stallins, Sutter 23:07
15. Jesse Singh, River Valley 19:30
19. Brad Sims, Sutter 19:44
1. Jessica Carpenter (Wheatland) 20:19
18. Allyson Goforth (Marysville) 23:34