SALINAS, Calif. – Shasta College freshman Chris Meeder is looking like the early favorite for the top male runner in the Golden Valley Conference.

Meeder finished 19th overall Friday in the NorCal Regional Preview at Toro Park in Salinas, leading Shasta College's 10th place finish as a team, and being the top finisher among all GVC runners.

"We knew that Chris was going to be a vital part of our team this year as a freshman," said Katy Cottrell, Shasta College head cross-country coach. "He has taken every opportunity to lead our team and raced extremely well again this week.

"He is racing smart and fast and is the key to driving our team scores as we work toward our goal of qualifying for state when we return to Toro Park in November for the NorCal Regional Championships."

Meeder ran the 4-mile course in 22 minutes, 10.3 seconds for an average mile time of 5:32.6.

Shasta was 10th out of 14 teams with 250 points, one point behind of Fresno, and 25 points ahead of GVC foe Butte.

Sophomore Donald Leedy was 32nd overall in 22:59.7, sophomore Samuel Grafe was 56th (23:85.8), freshman Benjamin Mueller was 93rd (25:08.6), and freshman Andrew Fuentes was 97th (25:14.8). Shasta freshman Blaine Harris (127th, 28:30.2) also competed.

The Shasta women didn't field a full team but freshman Julie Bradley was 60th, running the 3-mile course in 25:10.4, and freshman Hannah Josang was 83rd (29:36.0).

Shasta hosts Sacramento City College, Sierra College, Modesto, Siskiyous, Butte and College of the Redwoods on Friday for the Think Pink Invitational.