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Samara, Pickren lead Bulldogs at Sierra College

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Despite the hills, switchbacks and tough running surfaces they experienced running on the Sierra College cross country course for the first time Sept. 1, Folsom High’s cross country team enjoyed some gritty, exceptional performances.

Racing for the first time this year, senior Mariam Samara led the varsity girls to a second-place finish, finishing behind Placer High. Samara earned a medal with a fourth-place finish in the three-mile race at 21 minutes, 52 seconds. Samara was followed by sophomore Tirza Cai, who finished fifth overall at 22:18. Senior McKayla Hodson followed Cai at 23:19, with juniors Kylie Crebar and Elizabeth O’Donnell rounding out the top-5 at 23:57 and 25:21, respectively. Also competing were juniors Emily Bursee (26:02), Marissa Ostdiek (26:27), and Rebecca Sutera (26:51).

The varsity boys’ squad finished fourth overall and were led by sophomore Spencer Pickren, who earned a medal and finished sixth at 17:01. Pickren was followed by sophomore Eric Anderson (19th, 18:08), junior Israel Alfaro (23rd, 18:12), junior Calvin Frink (43rd, 19:31), and senior Christian Crebar, who rounded out the scorers in 45th with a time of 19:32. Also competing for the team were Brennan Pelayo (19:57), Matt Poon (20:26), Sutter Holden (21:48), and Jackson Abello (21:58).

“This course was extremely challenging with many switchbacks, hills, and rough terrain,” Folsom assistant coach Michael Kinoshita said. “That being said, the kids enjoyed the day and really stepped up exhibiting grit and determination. At first, they were not happy when looking at the times, but were greatly encouraged when discovering they competed very well against the field. Our coaching staff is extremely proud of their efforts.”

At the freshman-sophomore level, the Folsom girls placed fourth and were led by freshman Sanya Gowda, who earned a medal and finished ninth in 14:41. Sophomore Akane Shimoyoshi ran in the second position at 16:09, with freshmen Julia Blount and Courtlyn Wells in the third and fourth spots at 16:31 and 16:58, respectively. Freshman Avery Flannery rounded out the top-five posting a 17:46 two-mile time. Freshman Hailey Timm also ran for the Lady Bulldogs with a time of 18:39.

The boys placed fifth and were led by freshman Kevin LaSalle, who finished 13th overall at 12:17. LaSalle was followed closely in the number-two slot by freshman Zach Graeber, 16th overall with a time of 12:23. Sophomores Nic Sardo and Andrew Callanan posted times of 12:39 and 12:47, respectively, with sophomore Michael Welsh rounded out the scorers with a time of 13:05. Also running for the Bulldogs were Kyle Gilbert (13:22), Henry Mark (13:45), Sebastian Leng (14:17), William Abello (14:21), Lorenzo Ciubal (14:42), Eliot Lea (15:04), and Eric Ostdiek (15:31).