Folsom cross country team hopes to qualify for state meet

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Folsom did what it had to do to qualify for Sac-Joaquin Section cross country championships on Saturday at Willow Hills.

Now they have to run well enough to qualify for the state meet, which is the ultimate goal.

At Saturday’s sub-section championships at Angels Camp, Folsom’s varsity boys placed seventh in a race they weren’t trying to win, but rather simply qualify for the section meet. Sam Scheuer was Folsom’s first finisher, as he placed sixth in 16 minutes, 13 seconds. Jacob Goodwin earned a 24th-place finish in 16:55. Vinnie Morin and Jonathan Barrows completed the race in less than 18 minutes, Morin placing 41st in 17:18, while Barrows placed 54th in 17:47.

Cristiano Bobiles was Folsom’s final scorer, as he placed 67th in 18:02.

Mike Kinoshita, who hasn’t raced since Sept. 8 with a calf injury, will be back in the fold for the Bulldogs on Saturday. He started the sub-section race, but his dad, and coach, Steve, pulled him during the middle of the race.

“He wasn’t too happy with me,” Coach Kinoshita said. “He looked competitive, but I figured it was best to save him for the section meet. All we wanted to do was to qualify. If we are healthy on Saturday we’ve got a decent shot to make it to the state meet. Our number four and five runners will have to step up 10 to 15 spots.”

Kinoshita’s return would be a boost to the Bulldogs, as he normally runs anywhere from second to fourth on the team. Folsom will need a good performance from everyone to make it to the state meet. Last year they made it with a fourth-place finish. This year, however, only the top-three teams advance.

“Division II is the toughest division,” Kinoshita said. “I think Del Campo is safe, but us, Bella Vista, Whitney, Rocklin, Jesuit, Vacaville, Granite, Roseville and Lodi will be fighting for those last two spots. Any of those teams are capable of making it. We’ve beaten all those teams except Bella Vista, who we haven’t raced, so we’ve got a chance.”

With only three runners, the varsity girls didn’t have a full team. Vivian Lam qualified for Saturday’s section championships by placing second in the race in 19:08, 12 seconds behind race winner Kendall Derry of Bella Vista.

Also running for the varsity girls were Ashley Anderson (93rd, 24:04) and Jennifer Rees (115th, 24:58).

“We told Vivian to cruise, and she did, and she almost won the race,” Kinoshita said. “She’s the most coachable girl I’ve got, and she’s a picture of what hard work can do.”

If Folsom doesn’t place in the top-three spots as a team, the top-five individuals among the top-12 finishers not on one of the three qualifying teams will advance to the state meet. Kinoshita said that he’s got three runners, including Lam, who has the ability to qualify for the state meet that way.

The junior varsity boys’ placed 15th in the sub-section race with scorers Tim Scott (51st, 18:22), Alex Blake (70th, 19:19), Blake Shaw (86th, 19:44), Jordan Haines (90th, 19:52) and Peter Merrill (106th, 20:45).

The freshman-sophomore boys’ team placed third. Scoring for the Bulldogs were Logan Kohne (7th, 11:56), John Kretschmann (17th, 12:10), Wes Dewitt (22nd, 12:17), Matthew Hopper (47th, 12:53) and Parker Nelson (97th, 13:36).

Running for the freshman-sophomore girls, who accidentally ran in the Division I race instead of the Division II race, were Sarah Anderson (13:26), Muna Alhamad (13:28) Katie Bock (13:30), Lindsey Bailey (14:49), Michelle Hanson (18:22) and Abbi Johnson (19:01).

In the freshman boys’ race, Andrew Reed placed 42nd in 13:42, while Kyle Cardenas placed 80th, in 15:51.