Category Archives: Sports

RCHS welcomes new honorary cheerleaders

By AnnaMaria Corona
RCHS Journalism Student

Two River City High School students from Nancy Abplanalp’s special needs class were invited to cheer with the junior varsity cheerleading squad last Friday night during the Raider’s home game against Yuba City.

Students Alina Corona and Mia Corralejo had the opportunity to help excite the crowd and encourage the football team in what turned out to be very close and tense game that came down to the last play.

Besides being close to all the action on the field, Corralejo said that what she liked most about cheerleading was the new friendships she has been able to make with the other members of the squad.

The two new honorary cheerleaders participated in the routines with the assistance of senior cheerleader Samantha McCormack.

McCormack is Abplanalp’s teacher assistant in her class. It was McCormack’s idea to have the two girls come out and cheer and she took the lead in organizing the details of this event. McCormack also designed and ordered custom t-shirts online for the two girls to wear during the game.

“It was really fun. Seeing Mia and Alina having fun and being so excited, they took the stress away,” says McCormack.

Mia and Alina have been invited to join the cheerleading squad for the remainder of the football and basketball seasons at all home games. They will cheer next Friday the 23rd at River City’s senior night during junior varsity’s last home game of the season against Woodland.

When asked her reaction to seeing her daughter cheer for the first time, Alina’s mom, Melissa Corona said, “It makes me so proud of our community’s high school students and cheerleaders to see how welcoming and supportive they have been. It was such an emotional experience to see the girls do something I never thought they could.”

Meet West Sacramento ultra-marathoner Karen Bonnett

By Monica Stark

“There is only one other person who has completed the Grand Slam and Kona in the same year — This is the Kona Slam. I want to be the second person, and I fully intend to give it my all when the next opportunity arrives,” Karen said.

Ultra-marathoner Karen Bonnett of West Sacramento has a lofty goal- to be the second person ever (the first female ever) to complete the Grand Kona Slam of running. The typical Grand Slam of running is to run the following four 100-mile trail races in one summer: Old Dominion, Western States, Leadville and Wasatch. Each is considered progressively more difficult, and each offers its own tricks and treats, according to Runners World Magazine. But the Grand Kona Slam includes the aforementioned events with Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championships added in for good measure. Only one other person, Paul Terranova of Texas, completed that informal event in 2012.

“There is only one other person who has completed the Grand Slam and Kona in the same year — This is the Kona Slam. I want to be the second person, and I fully intend to give it my all when the next opportunity arrives,” Karen said.

Karen was on pace to complete her goal this year before an injury during Wasatch took hold this year.

Karen completed the first three races in the Grand Slam Series and at mile 10 of Wasatch, she fell into a hole and fractured her Distal Fibula. “I did not know it at the time as we thought it was a bad sprain and I could work it out. Three miles later, I was picked up by some people riding their ATV on the road and they insisted I walk no further. I had a pretty bad hobble. So of 400 miles, I did 313, ugh.”

“When I fell at Wasatch I went down hard and in a lot of pain. A very loud scream accompanied this as well. I was running this with my friend Ernie Floyd. When he heard me scream, he ran down the hill to help rescue me. Many runners helped assist me, gave me tape to wrap my ankle, gave me Ibuprofen, and biofreeze.

“Ernie and his son helped me get back on my feet and work it out. Again, we thought it was a bad sprain. Ernie stayed with me for about two miles as we got to the top of the climb. It took us over two hours to do those two miles.

“I begged him to go on as this would be his 10th Wasatch finish and that is what he was striving to attain. He finally left me and I kept on as I was hobbling down the mountain for three miles to the aid station. A mile into my lonely painful journey, three ATV came up and stopped to see if I was ok. This was the moment reality was hitting me and I fell into tears. They persisted with kindness to take me down the mountain, so I got a ride down. My dream was crushed, my year ended with a slam as I came to realize my ankle was not good.

“My husband was to pace me at night but since I did not finish he was able to pace Ernie. I took Nattu to Brighton Lodge where we waited for Ernie to arrive. When he did he was ready to quit, but with food and force on our part Nattu and Ernie departed. Ernie did finish his 10th Wasatch and received a ring for this 1,000 (mile) accomplishment.

“Ernie’s parents always come to his races and this year was more special as they are dealing with health issues. Ernie felt this may be his father’s last attempt to showing up at Wasatch for his son. At the award ceremony they present ‘ The Spirit of Wasatch award’. This goes to a runner who has gone out of their way to do something out of the ordinary on the 100 mile event.

“This was given to Ernie for his heroism of helping me. This was double-awesome for his dad to be a part of this and see his son get this award. Oh BTW Ernie is about 58 and his parents are in their 80s.”

Karen’s background in running began before she even started lacing up. Coming from many years of cycling and accomplishing many 200-mile bike rides, she has competed in 1,200-kilometer (745-mile) events, including the Gold Rush 1,200K out of Davis, Paris-Brest-Paris and Boston-Montreal-Boston. She then decided she should at least try running, so she ran her first marathon, the California International Marathon, in 2000 for the millennium, and her second was the CIM three years later which she qualified for the elite Boston Marathon. She dabbled with running off and on over the years until about 2007, and in 2008, she upped the miles, running her first 50 miler, the American River 50. She was so excited the next day, she signed up for the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler. At this event a friend of her talked her into her first 100-mile run, the Rio Del Lago in 2008.

The longest distance Karen has run was at Across the Years race and in 48 hours she ran 148 miles; she was the first lady in that event in 2011 in Arizona. She plans to go back this year and see how close she can get to 200 miles in two days. Across The Years is a fixed-time event featuring several race options, from as many as six days to one. The object is to travel as far as possible in the time allotted.

Last year, she was training hard for the Tahoe Ironman and she was not able to start due to the fire. She really wanted to try and get a slot for the Kona World Championships. So last year, she registered for Tahoe and Boulder Ironman races in 2015.

One of the biggest inspirations of Karen’s over the course of her running years has been her husband Nattu Natraj who is also a long distance runner. The two were married on June 22 just prior to their honeymoon – the Western States 100-miler (which starts in Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn.)

“On the first Saturday of December (of 2014) the lottery for the Western States is held at the high school in Auburn. We attended and I was the first person picked out of the audience at the high school. This is why I decided on the wedding date and place,” she said.

To Karen, running has become a passion as it keeps her healthy (except for the hurt ankle) and she has a deep passion for fitness and health. “I love feeling strong and healthy and I love helping or inspiriting others to do the same. My passion in life is fitness and inspiring others to do the same. I hope to be doing this forever in my life.”

River City High School weekly sports calendar

Oct. 21 to 28

Wednesday, Oct. 21
Girls tennis versus River Valley at 3:30 p.m. at home
Water polo versus Roseville (girls varsity, boys varsity and boys junior varsity) at home

Thursday, Oct. 22
Boys soccer versus Woodland; junior varsity at 4 p.m. and varsity at 5:30 p.m., away
Girls tennis versus Rocklin at 3:30 p.m. at home
Water polo versus Rosemont (Boys varsity, girls varsity and boys junior varsity) at home

Friday, Oct. 23
Water polo will have a Delong Tournament will be held all day in Merced
Football versus Woodland at 5 and 7 p.m. at home

Monday, Oct. 26
Girls tennis versus Rio Linda at 3.30 at home
Volleyball versus Woodland at 4, 5, 6 p.m., away

Tuesday, Oct. 27
Water polo versus El Dorado (girls varsity, boys varsity and boys junior varsity) away
Boys soccer versus River Valley at 5:30, 7 p.m., away

Wednesday, Oct. 28
Girls tennis will participate in the T.C.C Tournament, all day away
Volleyball versus River Valley with matches at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. at home

Most years, the Amgen Tour of California has bypassed West Sacramento. But back in 2007, riders sped through town as part of their Sacramento-area stage. Here, they round the corner from Sacramento Avenue to Jefferson Boulevard on their way to the Tower Bridge (News-Ledger photo)

Most years, the Amgen Tour of California has bypassed West Sacramento. But back in 2007, riders sped through town as part of their Sacramento-area stage. Here, they round the corner from Sacramento Avenue to Jefferson Boulevard on their way to the Tower Bridge (News-Ledger photo)


Cyclists in this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race will pass through West Sacramento twice on Sunday, May 10, after the race kicks off its first stage at the state capitol. There should be plenty of local spectator opportunities both in the morning as the racers get their start and in the afternoon as they approach the finish.

Stage 1 of the 724.1-mile race will both start and end at the capitol building. It starts at 11 a.m.

“After an initial crossing of the Sacramento River via the iconic Tower Bridge, the race will pass quickly through West Sacramento to River Road,” organizers reported today. “From here, the race will follow the winding Sacramento River through the small towns of Clarksburg, Courtland and Walnut Grove. The stage’s fourth bridge crossing will take the race back over the river into Isleton.”

Later, the athletes will re-cross the river into Rio Vista and travel through Solano County, Davis, Woodland, and back to West Sacramento and across the Tower Bridge. The stage is measured at 127 miles.

Stage two carries the riders from Nevada City to Lodi, and following stages will take place all over the state.

The race finishes with Stage 8, ending at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on May 17.

The News-Ledger will bring more details of the exact local race route as the race approaches.

For more information, visit

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