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Boys cross country claims top six spots against St. Peter, Rodriguez paces girls race

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer
Austin Knickrehm makes a beeline towards the finish line on Thursday. Knickrehm placed sixth overall

Last Thursday, the St. James boys cross country team earned the top six finishers, and were just four seconds off from a clean sweep against St. Peter, while Diana Rodriguez finished first overall in the girls meet.

Caleb Rivera once again led the pack for St. James, followed by Juan Castaneda, Marco Crispin, Levi Miest, Ryan Pierson, and Austin Knickrehm.

Willem Nelsen of St. Peter broke up the perfect race bid for the Saints, finishing at 19:10, just four seconds ahead of Jacob Friesen.

The boys finished with 15 points. St. Peter finished with 49.

In the girl's race, Diana Rodriguez continues to be a breakout performer for the Saints.

The sophomore runner finished first among all girls runners, completing the race in 22:18 to claim the #1 spot.

She was tailed closely by a pair of St. Peter runners but managed to prevail.

America Trejo Esqueda and Ailyn Balbuena battled for the #2 spot behind Rodriguez. Both happened to cross the finish line at 24:03.00, but Esqueda was slated one spot ahead of her fellow Saint.

St. Peter was able to overcome Rodriguez’s performance, as the hosts won 35-22.

Boys:

1. Caleb Rivera 16:21.00 (1)

2. Juan Castaneda 17:05.00 (2)

3. Marco Crispin 17:29 (3)

4. Levi Miest 18:02 (4)

5. Ryan Pierson 18:06 (5)

6. Austin Knickrehm 18:29 (6)

7.  Jacob Friesen 19:14 (8)

Girls:

1. Diana Rodriguez 22:18 (1)

2. America Trejo Esqueda 24:03.00 (6)

3. Ailyn Balbuena 24:03.00 (7)

4. Ruby Zamora 24:49.00 (9)

5. Maritza Rodriguez 26:10.00 (12)

6. Natalie Rodriguez 27:04 (13)