By JOE CORTEZ The Modesto Bee

Sonora High School’s Cassi Land was Runner of the Year as a freshman and sophomore.

Last year, Bret Harte’s Kaela Dishion wrested away the honor from her friend and training partner.The two will close out their high school careers sharing the award as the Stanislaus District’s girls cross country Co-Runners of the Year for 2017.

“It means a lot,” said Land, who will run for Northern Arizona next season. “Especially winning it together because we’ve trained together over the years. I think it means a lot because we’ve been through it all together.”

In 2016, Land battled a bout of bronchitis while Dishion’s postseason run carried her to the medal stand at the state meet for the first time. This year, Land won the league meet and the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section meet, beating Dishion by nearly a full nine seconds.

But Dishion won the Division IV section title, beating her rival by nearly 20 seconds to end Land’s bid for a fourth consecutive title. At the state meet, Land, still battling the effects of a cold, was 34th among D-IV runners while Dishion again medaled, finishing fourth in a time of 18 minutes, 23.6 seconds.

“This entire time, from middle school, through all of high school, we trained together and sacrificed so much and put so much hard work in,” said Dishion, who will run for St. Mary’s next season. “It means a lot.”.

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