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Granite Bay, Woodcreek show their depth in Del Oro Invite

Grizzlies girls, T-wolves boys win titles at first meet of season
By: Robbie Enos
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It’s the last lap, the crowd is on its feet, and teammates are cheering. Sweat, goose bumps and passion overcome runners as they race to the finish with victory on their minds. Yes, the life of a high school cross country runner is pretty good, and the 2010 season may be one of the most competitive yet in the Roseville area. The Del Oro Invite got it started with Oakmont, Roseville, Granite Bay and Woodcreek in attendance. The big kickoff meet put the large amount of talent on display. Granite Bay headlined most of the evening, especially on the girls side, when senior Brooke Holt, freshman Clare Carroll and senior Christine Zavesky finished 1-2-3 in the varsity race. No girls team appears to be deeper than the Grizzlies, who also had finishes of seventh by Katie Mersereau and 10th by Allison Daly. “I just kind of took off and felt comfortable,” Holt said. “It was a hell of a race. … We took 1-2-3 in this meet, and we made a statement that we are out to win it this year.” Granite Bay finished first with 23 points. The boys finished sixth with 148 points, led by sophomore Trent Brendel with a second-place run. The team with the most intimidating résumé is Woodcreek. The girls squad won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title last year, led by coach Terri McKillop, the tiny ball of energy who ran around the Golden Eagle course to cheer her runners. Woodcreek has been the top dog in the SFL three years running. “It’s just another season,” McKillop said. “We have a good program, and everybody knows we have a good program, and there’s 15 other programs in the area that are battling for it every year. I wouldn’t say we have a target on us, but someone definitely wants to take that away from us this year.” Woodcreek’s girls were fifth at Del Oro with 115 points, but no runners placed in the top 10. The Timberwolves boys won the team title with 64 points, led by freshman Hunter Tyler, junior Angelo Ciaraglia and senior Brandon Biando in third, 11th and 12th. The boys team is seeking revenge after taking second place in league last year following back-to-back Division II titles. Roseville coach Gary Casagrande leads a young team that is looking to be competitive in the future. Junior Shayna Powless finished 11th overall in the varsity girls race. “We’ve got a lot of young runners that are new to this sport and trying to experience what this sport is all about,” Casagrande said. “I was happy with how they ran. Every year this is just an incredible league to run in. There’s just a competitive meet everywhere, every time out.” Oakmont was seventh in the girls race with 172 points and fifth in the boys race with 106. Junior Edixon Puglisi finished third in the boys race and has high hopes for the Vikings. "We were missing some key runners, but overall I believe we are going to be solid,” he said.