The 2019 Fresno Invitational showed the Panthers of Hartnell what they will need to work on to be prepared for not just the CCCAA State Championship but the Northern California Championship which they will host November 8th at Toro Park. After winning two consecutive regional titles in 2016 and 2017, American River College would wrestle regional bragging rights back in 2018. American River College and College of the Sequoias both would place ahead of the Panthers at the Fresno Invitational on Saturday. The three programs account for the majority of the regional team titles with American River College having won the most team titles since the combining of all divisions. As a squad, the Panthers placed sixth overall as a team behind San Diego Mesa, Mt. SAC, American River College, Glendale College, and College of the Sequoias.
Sophomore Jesus Avalos tried to help the Panthers surprise ARC and Sequoias by giving both squad's top runners a challenge. Avalos ran right behind Sequoias top runner Ismael Ramirez for over 3 miles and was ahead of the Beavers top runner. At the finish, Avalos would go from fourth overall to tenth but remained ahead of the top runner from American River. Avalos stopped the clock at 21:18 which was 42 seconds faster than he ran at last November's state championship and makes him one of the top performers on the Woodward Park course in program history. Freshman Isaac Gensel ran the next most impressive race with his 25th place finish. The freshman from Monterey High School, showed why he was the CCS DIV champion running a very methodical race that saw him split the fastest final mile of every Panther. Gensel was clocked at 21:45 which was just 2 seconds from making the Woodward Park all-time list. Freshman Francisco Maciel enjoyed a solid debut at Woodward Park in 22:18. He was followed by sophomore Luis Meza who lowered his time from last September from 22:55 to 22:22. Freshman Jiovanni Garcia surprised many with his 22:42 performance. Luis Mendoza (22:54) and Rigo Garcia (23:09) rounded out the top seven.
The Panthers will travel to Livermore on Saturday, September 14 for the Coast Conference Preview. The meet will be hosted on the campus of Las Positas College.