SCL cross country: Foster, Kramer capture individual titles

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Analy’s Molly Foster and Petaluma’s Casey Kramer were the individual stars of Saturday’s Sonoma County League cross country championships at Spring Lake while Piner swept both team titles.

Foster’s win in the girls race was expected, but Kramer’s victory in the boys division was a surprise.

Piner’s Efren Reyes was the pre-race favorite because he had beaten Kramer the last two times they raced.

Saturday, Reyes was in front with 800 yards to go when Kramer blew by him. Kramer crossed the finish line of the 3.1-mile race in 16:02 with Reyes 10 seconds behind in the runner-up spot.

“I could see he (Reyes) was getting winded the second time we went up the hill,” Kramer said. “At that point, I was in second a few yards behind him. “I accelerated and passed him easily. I knew at that point, I had the race won.”

Kramer ran 70 seconds faster than he did when Reyes beat him in September.

“Corey has always had the ability,” Petaluma coach Cole Younger said. “His problem has been mental focus. “He went into this race with the mindset that he could win and didn’t let nerves become an issue. He was low-key before the start and he stayed that way.”

Rounding out the top five were El Molino freshman Brian Schulz, Sonoma Valley’s Owen Ljung and Analy’s Jake Gibbs.

Foster’s win was no surprise because she won the girls title a year ago.

The senior took the lead soon after the start and was never threatened. She finished in 19:08, and that was 15 seconds before runner-up Madison Parratt of Petaluma.

Foster’s time was a personal record over the course.

“This was easier than last year,” she said. “I felt stronger and could’ve gone faster if I needed to.”

Foster was the only senior to finish in the top five. Runner-up Parratt is a sophomore. She was followed across the finish line by Analy’s Emma Douch (freshman), Sonoma Valley’s Maddy Libbey (sophomore) and Petaluma’s Jessica O’Hanlon (junior).

The most dramatic moments of the day took place at the scoring table where runners and coaches gathered to await word on the winning team in the girls division. Everyone thought the outcome would be close and it was. The Prospectors edged Analy 50-51.

The Piner boys had an easier time as they came in with 44 points, and that was 13 lower than second place Sonoma Valley.

The hero for the girls team was sophomore Adriana Torres. She was brought up from the junioir varsity to replace Michelle Camara. An illness kept Camara out of the race.Torres responded by finishing 14th in the field of 37 runners.

“Her finishing that high enabled us to squeak out a win,” coach Luis Rosales said. “We didn’t have a runner in the top six, but our depth pulled us through.”

Mayra Villa was the first Prospector to finish. She wound up seventh.

Depth also made the difference in the boys’ standings. Piner only had two runners finish in the top 10. Besides Reyes’ second, Eduardo Calderon checked in sixth.

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