The Sonora Wildcats boys cross country team opened the season in fine style finishing first at the seven-team Twilight Classic on Friday and Saturday in Sparks, Nev.
The Wildcats were led by juniors Thomas Kruetzfeldt and Patrick McConnell. Kruetzfeldt, Sonora's top finisher, came in fourth at 14:44 for a 5:56-mile pace. McConnell placed ninth at 15:07.
And the senior trio of Shaan French Jr. (13th, 15:15), Sean Brennan (14th, 15:15) and Paul Mika (18th, 15:36) weren't far behind in the team's first-place showing.
As a unit, the team's average was 15:03.4.
"Congratulation to Thomas, (it was) his first time (as the) No. 1 runner for the team," said Wildcats head coach Glenn Bass. "Patrick ran his best race ever. Frenchy was hit hard by the altitude, but ran a good race. Sean had possibly his best race in the last two years. Rounding out the magnificent five was Paul."
Freshman Cassi Land led the Wildcat girls.
Land finished first out of 38 runners at 16:08 followed by fellow freshman Victoria French (fourth, 17:08), senior Baylee Johnson (26th, 20:56) and freshman Kaarina Thompson (29th, 21:39).
"Cassi also had a fantastic race and won by 27 seconds," Bass said. "Victoria ran down several girls in the final 400 meters or so, and looked very strong at the finish. Both Baylee and Kaarina looked strong at the finish."
On junior varsity boys circuit,Jackson McIIroy took first in the 12-team, 165-runner field. He won by 44 seconds.
Freshmen Ian Smith was 16th at 16:02 and Alex Northup was 34th at 16:28.
The Wildcats will next head to Sacramento for the Hornet Jamboree on Saturday, Sept. 13.