John Connick finishes ninth in the freshmen boys race

After nine days off, the Taft boys and girls cross country teams returned from their break under much cooler weather. The Wildcats took advantage of those two things Friday when they competed at the Sanger Invitational.

“Going that far North, we had a chance to run against many of the schools that we will see at the Valley meet in November,” said Taft coach Ryan Hickman.

Varsity boys

The Wildcats had the best finish of the day for Taft by coming in second behind Kerman in the small schools category. They also finished 11th overall out of 23 teams.

“Since they are the team to beat in Division IV, we know that we can run with them we can run with anyone,” said Hickman of Kerman.

Individually, Alejandro Quinonez had the highest time for Taft in the varsity boys by coming in 27th with a time of 27:26. Seth Bullard followed in 43rd place with a time of 17:50.40 while Elijah Cortez was 75th with a time of 18:25.80.

Freshmen boys

John Connick had the best time among the Wildcat freshmen boys by coming in ninth with a time of 12:01 over a two mile stretch.

“If he keeps rapidly improving, he will sneak into our top 7 and earn a place on the varsity team very soon,” said Hickman.

Rodolfo Magana was 36th with a time of 13:06.20 while Caleb Martin was 72nd out of 83 runners with a time of 15:54.30.

Sophomore boys

James Clark had the highest finish for Taft in this race by coming in 33rd with a time of 12:56. Andres Verdugo was 51st with a time of 13:45.10 while Antonio Ruiz was 62nd with a time of 14:18. Sawyer Maier was 65th with a time of 14:20.60. Brondon Breslin was 76th with a time of 15:17.20.

Varsity girls
As a team, the Lady Wildcats finished 15th out of 16 teams and were fourth in the small schools division.

Individually, Hannah Covington had the best result for the Lady Wildcats over the two mile course by coming in 85th with a time of 24:52.70. Gina Putnam was 97th with a time of 26:01.20 while Jeydi Santiago Val was 99th with a time of 26:14.30.

Taft returns to action Friday when they compete in the BC Invitational at Hart Park in Bakersfield.