Van Nes regaining form at exactly the right time

Rachel Van Nes and Lizzy Lehn finished 1-2 to help Modesto's varsity girls pull out a narrow 28-29 victory over Enochs in last Wednesday's Modesto Metro Conference meet.

Van Nes, the reigning MMC champion and The Bee's 2008 Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, was the first runner to cross the finish line — completing the 3-mile course at East La Loma Park in 19 minutes, 16 seconds, just ahead of runner-up Lehn (19:26).

It was the second consecutive MMC victory for Van Nes, who also won the Panthers' meet with Beyer on Sept. 30 with a time of 19:50.

"Rachel has had to battle strep throat and a chest cold the first month of the season, so she is a little behind in her training," Modesto coach Brian Heese said. "This has put her times this year similar to last year's at the same time. However, I expect her to dip under last year's times by the MMC championships on Oct 30."

Escalon's Tici Joven was third in 19:37 and Modesto's Oksanna Petrechko fourth in 20:40.

On the boys' side, Modesto runners occupied the top five places as the Panthers ran to a 15-50 victory over the Eagles.

Leading the way for the Panthers was Jamasen Rodriguez with a winning time of 16:56. Andrew Musca was second (17:27), Merritt Pyeatt third (17:27), Roger Tran fourth (17:44) and Noah Heese fifth (17:47).

ROSAS, McDUFFY LEAD DAVIS — Roberto Rosas and Maryssa McDuffy led Davis' boys and girls teams to victory at last Wednesday's MMC meet with Downey.

Rosas, The Bee's 2008 Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, completed the 3.1-mile course at Legion Park in 16:25, more than a minute ahead of teammate and runner-up Walter Ward (17:44), as the Spartans cruised to a 15-50 victory.

Davis runners also occupied the next three spots, with Jesse Lara finishing third (17:47), Ramero Valtierra fourth (18:36) and Gabe Flores fifth (18:36).

McDuffy won the girls race with a time of 16:25, and the Spartans rolled to a 17-44 victory over the Knights.

McDuffy's Davis teammates Miranda Combs (21:21) and and Dallas Campbell (21:23) finished second and third, respectively.

Rosas continued his winning ways at the Clovis Invitational Saturday at Fresno's Woodward Park, winning the Division I race in 15:28.

Spartans coach Matt Soderlund called it a "very impressive victory on the (5-kilometer) State Meet course."