Benicia High senior Luis Ramirez won his first Sac-Joaquin Section Division II varsity boys cross country championship last Saturday at Willow Hill in Folsom and qualified for the CIF State Cross Country Championships for a second straight year.
Ramirez, who finished fifth in the SJS championships last year, dominated the competition this time around. Ramirez ran the Willow Hill course in 15:53.4, well ahead of second-place Noah Wallace of Rio Americano (16:20.4). Ramirez will compete in the CIF State Cross Country Championships on Nov. 26 at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Teammate Daylon Garcia finished 13th overall in 17:11.1 and missed qualifying for State by eight seconds. In the Division II girls varsity race, Benicia’s Rachel Kravitz finished 59th overall in 23:29.6.
Benicia’s younger runners also had a solid showing at the SJS championships. Jackson Yacullo was a medalist in the freshman boys Division III race after finishing fourth in 12:26.5. Teammate Jun Cheng finished 29th in 13:51.1. Alexandra Menjibar-Moore was a medalist in the Frosh/Soph girls Division III race after finishing fourth in 14:14.3. Teammate Hannah Keala also medaled after finishing sixth in 14:18.8. Isabelle LaFountain was 33rd in 16:36.3.
Benicia’s entire sophomore boys team earned medals after finishing second in the Division III competition behind Vista del Lago. Jacob Hoenig finished second in 12:14.7 behind race champion Brady Cardozo of Beyer (12:10.4). Noah Hoenig was 13th in 12:53.3, followed by Ignacio Clemente (26th in 13:38.4), Brandon Ferrer (28th in 13:41), Johnny Rentfro (31st in 13:47.2) and Sebastien Dumesnil (44th in 17:43).