Roseville wins boys, girls titles at Whitney Invitational

By: Amanda Calzada/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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ROCKLIN — Two seconds was enough time to give Roseville High School a sweep of the varsity races in the second annual Whitney Invitational on Thursday night.

Roseville’s Neilson Powless (15:40) out-touched Whitney’s Ryan Hodgens (15:42) at the William Jessup 5K finish line, and the Tigers edged the host Wildcats by one point to win the team title. Roseville had 59 points, Whitney 60 and Casa Roble 82 in the varsity boys division.

“You had to run some parts conservatively so you didn’t trip,” Hodgens said, adding the evening darkness could have induced injuries.

Roseville’s Arturo Sotomayor (16:28) and Logan Stahl (16:35) finished sixth and eighth.

“We did a lot of talking about race tactics,” Roseville head coach Lisa Vaccaro said.
The Tigers ran extra miles since competing in the Del Oro Invite on Aug. 30. The extra mileage helped the girls, too.

Freshman Emma Sessano finished sixth at 20:25, and teammates Morgan Simpson (20:25), Janelle Stepper (22:19) and Jennifer Gleason (22:43) followed to give Roseville an eight-point win over Cordova, which finished second with 49 points. Whitney was third with 55 points and placed three runners in the top 12, including winner Jenica Dodge.

“It was definitely difficult running in the dark because it was harder to see the course,” Stepper said.

Whitney head coach Mark Snow said this year’s invite began in the evening so athletes wouldn’t have to battle the heat. The invitational also was scheduled earlier this season, and 20 schools competed, nine more than last year.