The Calistoga High cross country program is back and the Wildcats participated in their first meet of the season last Wednesday, Sept. 11.
In the 3.05-mile race at Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa, Alex Cendejas turned in the Wildcats’ best time in the boys race, finishing in 19 minutes, 27 seconds. Joe Valencia crossed the line in 30:54.
In the girls race, Tully Leonard finished in 27:15 and Ashley Clavel clocked in at 35:21. The Wildcats’ next meet is Sept. 25 at Roseland University Prep.
As of Tuesday, the Wildcats are 1-0-1 on the season. They tied 2-2 with St. Helena in their season opener on Aug. 28 and then blew out Laytonville 13-2 on Sept. 4.
Their games against Making Waves Academy on Sept. 6)and Roseland University Prep on Sept. 16 were rescheduled. The Wildcats played at Mendocino on Wednesday.
Lizbet Escobedo recorded a hat trick against Upper Lake on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats lost to the Cougars, 6-3, to drop to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in NCL III play.
Calistoga also fell in its opener to Credo, 6-0, last Wednesday.
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The Wildcats won’t be suiting up for game action this week. Their originally scheduled game against Point Arena was cancelled because the Pirates couldn’t field enough players for a varsity team.
So Calistoga, coming off a 28-8 win over Pinewood on Friday that pushed its record to 2-1 on the season, will have an unscheduled bye this week as it prepares for its home opener against Potter Valley on Sept. 27.
The break in the schedule comes at a good time, said head coach Jim Klaczak.
“It’s a chance to take a look (at our team),” he said. “We now know what some of the younger kids can do and how they can do it. So we have two weeks now to implement the changes we want to make and the offensive line is improving, so this gives them a chance to continue to work together. So yeah, it comes at a good time.”
Klaczak also said he’s hopeful to get returning all-league running back Jesus Mendoza back on the field soon.
The senior reaggravated a leg injury during practice before the first game and hasn’t suited up yet this season.
“We’re going to take a look at him against Potter Valley, maybe ease him into it so he’s ready for Laytonville, and then make sure he’s ready for the big stretch of Branson, Tomales and Stuart Hall,” Klaczak said.
With the first grading period also coming to a close, Klaczak has been keeping a careful watch over his players’ grades. Academic issues have plagued the program in past seasons, but Klaczak said the Wildcats are mostly in the clear at this point.
“Right now, we only have one kid who’s in marginal trouble, but it’s not a big thing,” he said. “He’s got time and we’ve been working on it. We’ve given him some extra time off practice. We’re in pretty good shape grade-wise.”