Published Sunday, Nov. 25, 2001, in the San Jose Mercury News

State cross-country championships

Graham, Kraemer win titles

Special to the Mercury News

FRESNO -- Gunn High's Ruth Graham and Saratoga's William Kraemer overcame a soggy course to win state cross-country championships Saturday.

Graham, a junior, covered the 3.1-mile course at Woodward Park in 18 minutes, 8 seconds to win the Division II girls race by 10 seconds over second-place finisher Caitlin Chock of Granite Bay. Graham finished 12th last season.

Kraemer won the Division III boys race in 15:57, three seconds ahead of Kalan Ray of Barstow. San Lorenzo Valley's Alex Dunn finished 10th in 16:22.

In the team standings, Saratoga was fifth with 173 points; first-place Barstow had 49. St. Ignatius finished 10th with 199 points.

In Division III girls, San Lorenzo Valley came within a point of its third consecutive championship, losing to Campolindo 87-88. St. Francis finished fifth with 195 points.

``We wanted to threepeat,'' San Lorenzo Valley Coach Rob Collins said. ``To lose by one point off a rebuilding year is good for our team.''

San Lorenzo Valley lost two runners off last season's team, including Alejandra Barrientos, a state champion in track. The team has one senior -- Hillary Schwarzbach. She finished 27th at 20:02.

``Hillary is one of our hardest workers,'' Collins said.

The other members of the team include Stephanie Hamilton (a freshman who finished 15th in 19:29), Emily Romo (20th, 19:46), Raquel Barrientos (25th, 19:58), Lindsey Cooper (48th, 20:24), Ellen Beebe (91st, 21:05) and Jenny Lewis (102nd, 21:15).

``We're going to have a lot of girls coming back next year,'' Collins said. ``We're building toward next year. I'm very fortunate to have a group of girls like this.

``Our goal in this race was to keep it close, and they did.''

Aptos' Brett Gotcher finished third in the Division I boys race. His time of 15:47 was nine seconds behind the winner, Erik Maldonado of Don Lugo. Last year, Gotcher finished fifth in 15:31.

``My time was slower,'' Gotcher said. ``I'm not sure why. I set a goal to win this race. I was ready for this race for two weeks.''

Gotcher was bumped coming downhill near the two-mile mark.

``I got clipped,'' he said. ``It took me out of my rhythm when they clipped me.''

Other top area finishers included Presentation's Melissa Grelli, who placed third in the Division III girls race in 18:44.

Also in Division III, Shannon Rowbury and Michelle Gallagher of Sacred Heart Cathedral were fifth (18:50) and sixth (18:57), respectively. St. Ignatius' Ciara Viehweg finished 14th in 19:24.

Aptos' Casey Nevitt finished sixth in the Division I girls race in 18:33. Jesse Baldwin of Milpitas was 17th in 18:55.

In the Division V girls race, Anzar's Carmen Buenrostro finished ninth in 20:12. Castilleja's Eva Markiewicz and Alana Levinson finished 12th (20:30) and 14th (20:32), respectively. Harker's Deepa Mathew was 17th in 20:36.

The Carmel boys finished third in Division IV with 131 points.

© 2001 The Mercury News. The information you receive online from The Mercury News is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws prohibit any copying, redistributing, retransmitting, or repurposing of any copyright-protected material. Mercury News privacy policy