Madeleine Ankhelyi wrapped up her Sac-Joaquin Section cross country career in style on Saturday, winning the Division III varsity girls race for the second time in three years, while leading her team to a berth in the state meet.
Ankhelyi completed the 5-kilometer race in 17 minutes, 44 seconds, well in front of teammate and runner-up Clare Carroll, whose time was 18:46. Ankhelyi’s time was the fastest time run by a female on the day and the second fastest on the course.
In her four years at Vista, Ankhelyi never finished worst than third in the section meet; which is where she placed as a freshman. She won the meet as a sophomore and was second last year.. Her time has improved from all four years she’s competed.
“Madeleine ran an outstanding race and her time was the second-fastest ever by a girl on the course,” Vista coach Robert Grove said. “She had never broken 18 minutes before on that course and ran a 17:44.”
The Eagles just missed winning their third straight section title, as Del Oro nipped them by two points, 45 to 47, to claim the championship.
“We ran into a very motivated and talented Del Oro team,” Grove said. “Two points is nothing in a cross country meet and it wouldn’t have taken much to go to the other way, but Del Oro beat us and deserved to win it.”
The last time the Eagles didn’t win the section title in 2009, it was Del Oro who beat them.
Sierra Jaeger placed seventh in the race following Ankhelyi and Carroll with a time of 19:22. Jennifer Morgan placed 16th in 20:16, while Alayna Gocke ran 27th in 21:03.
The girls will be running for a state cross country title on Nov. 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Joining the girls at the state meet with be Zach Jaeger, who placed fifth in the varsity boys race in 16:16 and qualified for the state meet for the second year in a row.
As a team, Vista varsity boys’ placed seventh, which was their best finish ever in the section race. Andrew Schiek followed Jaeger in 34th place in 17:16. Sam Ruby placed 43rd in 17:38 followed by Jeff Reinking (56th, 17:59) and Aaron Schiek (63rd, 18:23).
“I’m really happy for Zach, who made it to the state meet, and the boys, who had their highest finish ever,” Grove said.
The freshman-sophomore girls placed second with 64 points. Hannah Montague and Weirui Xiao led the way by placing third and fifth in 13:50 and 14:00, respectively. Lucie Chevreuil (12th, 14:21), Sarah Downs (14th, 14:38) and Devrina Chidambaram (30th, 16:44) rounded out the scorers.
For the boys team, which placed third, Ryan Von Chance finished fourth in 12:09. He was followed by Nikolas Guevara (13th, 12:42), Cooper Rode (17th, 12:56), Vincent Chevreuil (19th, 12:57) and Daniel Baquero (26th, 13:32).
JV runner Liz Anderson ran as an individual and placed fifth in 22:42.