Cross Country Sweeps Oakmont Invitational Titles

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ROSEVILLE, Calif. – The St. Francis cross country programs swept the three race titles Saturday at the Oakmont Invitational.

“We feel pretty good about today and we had a lot of team spirit,” said Head Coach Aaron Rios. “We swept all three divisions. It is what we talked about all week and I am happy they were able to accomplish it.”

The varsity team opened the day with a first-place finish led by junior Haley Silva, who crossed fourth overall in 14:44.

“Haley had a strong track season and it translated into the cross country season,” said Rios. “We knew she would look good today and we were happy the other girls stayed close and contributed to a dominant performance.”

Silva posted the best finish of her career and posted the eighth top-10 finish in her varsity career.

“We wanted to stay together the first mile and we kept encouraging each other,” said Silva. “After the first mile, I strode up the hill and passed as many people as I could with every step. I kept telling myself I could do this.”

Freshman Cate Joaquin, who came to St. Francis from St. Mel’s, posted a sixth-place performance (14:45) in her first prep race, placing sixth overall.

“It was really exciting and I was happy with how the team did,” said Joaquin. “I felt like we stayed together really well and worked together as a team.”

Silva was impressed with her freshman teammate Cate Joaquin.

“She did an amazing job and I was so proud of her,” said Silva. “I love running with her because she is so positive and keeps a good mental attitude. I am so inspired by her performance today.”

Sophomore Hanna Hekkanen, junior Isabella Fauria, junior Emma Hollenbach and senior Sophie DeBenedetti all earned Top 20 finishes, showing the team’s depth.

“It feels amazing to have Izzy back,” said Rios. “This has been a year and half layoff but to have her back contributing to the team lifts everyone’s spirits. We are happy to have her back.

Fauria missed the 2017 season after leading the team as a freshman as the top finisher at the state meet.

The junior varsity team posted a perfect score of 15, placing the top five scorers in the face while placing five in the top 10 overall and nine in the top 20. Junior Nicole McBride led the team with a third-place finish in 17:27.

“She also a wonderful summer and track season,” said Rios. “We knew she had the potential and led us to another team victory. It was awesome for her.”

Tatiana Cornejo was third overall in the Frosh/Soph race as the Troubies took first with 51 points. Emily Castles and Claire Silva were fifth and sixth overall in their debuts.

Overall, 58 runners ran for St. Francis on Saturday, the largest contingent in a single race in recent history and believed to be the biggest in school history. SF posted 11 new personal bests at the meet and swept all three races at the meet for the second consecutive season.

The program will participate in the Lagoon Valley Classic next Saturday.

Varsity Team Results (Top 5)

1. St Francis 55

2. Vista Del Lago (Folsom) 69

3. Woodcreek 94

4. Del Oro 169

5. Ponderosa 169

Varsity Individual Results

4. Haley Silva, 14:44.41, St Francis

6. Cate Joaquin, 14:45.86, St Francis

14. Hanna Hekkanen, 15:07.72, St Francis

15. Isabella Fauria, 15:13.58, St Francis

16. Emma Hollenbach, 15:14.86, St Francis

18. Sophie DeBenedetti, 15:18.95, St Francis

Junior Varsity Team Results (Top 5)

1. St Francis 15

2. Whitney 75

3. Del Oro 80

4. Woodcreek 99

5. Granite Bay 156

St. Francis Junior Varsity Individual Results (Top 20)

3. Nicole McBride, 17:27.05, St Francis

6. Cassidy Lourim, 17:37.24, St Francis

7. Lilly O’Gara, 17:49.59, St Francis

8. Elizabeth Ramm, 17:51.09, St Francis

9. Morgan Watson, 17:54.74, St Francis

10. Allison Prestwich, 17:57.32, St Francis

11. Bridgette Kemp, 18:00.26, St Francis

12. Marisa Petersen, 18:07.77, St Francis

15. Isabella Acosta, 18:33.88, St Francis

St. Francis Frosh/Soph Team Results

1. St Francis 51

2. Whitney 63

3. Oak Ridge 92

4. Woodcreek 127

5. Granite Bay 127

St. Francis Frosh/Soph Individual Results

3. Tatiana Cornejo, 15:15.93, St Francis

5. Emily Castles, 15:37.60, St Francis

6. Claire Silva, 15:37.90, St Francis

13. Anna Karlshoej, 16:11.41, St Francis