For the second consecutive season, Gregori High cross country standout Santiago Ruiz is the Stanislaus District’s cross country Runner of the Year for 2017.
Ruiz, a senior, repeated as Modesto Metro Conference champion, then made another impressive haul through the postseason.
“I won it last year and I was really shocked,” said Ruiz. “Winning again this year pleases me because it shows that all this hard work is paying off.”
Last year, Ruiz was 17th at the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section meet, eighth in the section meet and 61st at state.
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“The main goal was to make it to state,” said Ruiz. “And we actually made it to state as a team and placed third at the Sac-Joaquin Section finals. And we were very pleased with that and so was our coach.”
This year, he improved on all those finishes, going third at subs in Angels Camp, second at the section meet in Folsom and 32nd at state among Division I runners with a clocking of 15:50.2.
‘I think I could’ve done a little bit better as an individual at state, but I was pleased with time because I set a (personal record).”