Cross country runners for California's Division I schools should consider themselves warned: Roberto Rosas is hitting his stride.
The Davis High senior, The Bee's 2008 runner of the year, claimed victory in Saturday's VS Athletics-Cal Poly Invitational -- completing the 5 kilometer Fairbanks Memorial Cross Country Course near Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo in 16 minutes, 22 seconds.
It was Rosas' second victory in a row in an invitational meet -- he also won the Clovis Invitational on the State Meet course at Fresno's Woodward park on Oct. 10 -- and it was his third victory of the week overall.
Rosas also came away victorious from last Wednesday"s Modesto Metro Conference meet against Modesto on the 3-mile course at Legion Park. Rosas won in 16:04, followed by teammates Jesse Lara (16:44) and Kyle Ward (16:52). Their performances helped the Spartans claim a 23-32 victory over the Panthers.
"He's doing great," Davis co-coach Matt Soderlund said of Rosas. "I wouldn't say he's peaking. In one sense, it's not about peaking, it's about consistently moving up. Coach (Rich) Antal and I just want them to hit the high note on time, which is what his workouts are doing.
"On Thursday, he did about 12 or so 400s with some bleachers in between. He's just working hard. His work ethic is what gets him where he's at."
Soderlund was particularly pleased by Rosas' performance two Saturday's ago in Clovis.
"We were real encouraged with the way he ran at Clovis, because if you're gonna have a good race during the year, that's the one where you want it."
Davis' girls also came away winners last Wednesday, pulling out a 28-29 victory thanks largely to freshman Maryssa McDuffy, who was able to overtake reigning MMC champion and 2008 Bee runner of the year Rachel Van Nes in the final 200 meters.
"It was a pretty exciting meet," said Soderlund. "Van Nes is an outstanding runner who went to state last year, and we were surprised Maryssa was staying with her. In the last 200 meters, she just kicked it in. If she hadn't done that, we wouldn't have won. It was a grueling race.
"Maryssa is really into soccer, but if she puts all her eggs into the cross country basket, she's gonna go far."
ENOCHS TEAMS SWEEP -- The Enochs boys and girls teams both came away with wins in last Wednesday's MMC meet with Beyer, with the boys winning by a narrow 28-29 count and the girls having a much easier time of things in an 18-42 victory.
Beyer's Sean Gomes was the boys' individual winner, clocking in 16:08 on the 3-mile course at East La Loma Park, which was almost a minute and a half ahead of Patriots teammate Gavin Baker (17:30). Enochs' Todd Rau (17:32) finished third and was one of six Eagles runners to place in the top 10, which allowed the team to eke out the one-point win.
In the girls' race, Enochs' Tici Joven (20:12) and Faith Makau (20:20) finished 1-2.
MALLORY, ORSONIO WIN IN MERCED -- Golden Valley's Teresa Mallory and Atwater's Pedro Orsonio claimed victory Saturday at the sixth annual Merced Cross Country Championship at Atwater High.
Mallory and Livingston's Kelsey Gallegos ran hip to hip through the first two miles of the race before Mallory pulled away.
Mallory's winning time of 18:46 was the fourth-best ever recorded on the three-mile course. Atwater, despite competing without top runner Amanda Garcia, placed five runners in the top 11 to secure the team title.
Orsonio clocked in at 15:43, which was the third-best time in course history. Runner-up Russell Purewal (16:03) helped Golden Valley take the team competition.
GALLEGOS LEADS LIVINGSTON -- Led by Gallegos, Livingston's girls took the top three spots in winning last Wednesday's Western Athletic Conference meet with Jim Elliot Christian of Lodi.
Gallegos completed the 2.8-mile Livingston course in 19:29 followed by teammates Adela Ramos (20:44) and Ashley Rincon (20:51).
Livingston also prevailed in the boys' race, with Arshpreet Sidhu first to cross the finish line in 16:59, just ahead of teammates Manjinder Dhaliwal (17:05) and Palwinder Singh (17:08).
ORESTIMBA'S MART ROLLS -- Sophomore Dillon Mart took top individual honors while leading Orestimba to a 23-32 team victory over Millennium at Tracy. Mart blew away the rest of the field, with his winning time of 18:13 more than 1:30 better than the next-best finisher.