San Marcos cross-country runners tackled a challenging — but confidence-building — course at the Santa Clara Invitational Saturday.

For the boys, Ben Callanan finished in 14th place for the Royals, followed by Leland Sutter, Ayden Welch, Jared Simms, and Andrew Robillo.

“There were lots of steep hills that challenged us throughout the race,” San Marcos coach Marilyn Hantgin said. “This is the first race that we have run this season with this kind of terrain. I think our team handled it very well and I know it will give us confidence as we get ready to run at Mt. Sac.”

For the girls, Shaina King finished in eighth place and Kiala Haas in 11th with strong races.

“Both girls showed their strength today,” Hantgin said. “This was Kiala’s best race of the season so far.

“I am happy we were able to experience such a difficult course. The heat and terrain definitely added extra adversity, but the Royals were able to work through the pain and compete with a strong field of runners.”

Noozhawk correspondent Dennis Moran can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.