Maryssa McDuffy had company throughout, while Roberto Rosas was being chased by ghosts a day earlier than most.
Both Davis High runners will enjoy Halloween trick-or-treating even more tonight after capturing individual titles at Friday's Modesto Metro Conference Cross Country Championships at Legion Park.
McDuffy, a freshman, held off reigning champion Rachel Van Nes of Modesto in a back-and-forth race where neither runner was able to shake the other. Until the end.
"I'd pass her, she'd pass me," said McDuffy. "At the end, I just went."
McDuffy completed the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 23 seconds -- eight seconds better than Van Nes. Modesto's Lizzy Lehn finished third in 19:27.
McDuffy said using "long strides" was the key to holding off Van Nes.
"She kept short strides -- and that's what her coach and some of her teammates were telling her to do -- and she was pushing the pace, but I kept long strides and was able to surge past her," said McDuffy.
Enochs captured the meet title with 41 points, followed by Modesto with 44. The teams shared the league title.
Rosas captured his second consecutive MMC title with a winning time of 15:36 -- 31 seconds ahead of runner-up Javier Brambila of Johansen. Modesto's Jamasen Rodriguez was third in 16:13.
Rodriguez's Panthers won the team title, narrowly beating out Rosas' Spartans 41 points to 43.
Unlike McDuffy, Rosas found himself alone almost the entire race.
"If you've got nobody to race with, you kind of have to compete against yourself," said Rosas. "I remember running against Matt Maldonado and some of the other great runners when I first started, and they were behind me, pushing me today.
"Now I can go trick-or-treating all happy with my little brother."