Boys Region 1 Preview:  Traditional regional and state powers take on Region 1

What: Region 1 Cross Country Championship.

When: Monday, Oct. 25 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. Girl’s start times (Mountain Time): 4A, 8 a.m.; 5A, 9 a.m.; 6A, 10 a.m.; 3A, 1 p.m. Boys start times: 4A, 8:30 a.m.; 5A, 9:30 a.m.; 6A 10:30 a.m. 3A, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

At Stake: Top four teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the UIL Cross Country State Championship, Saturday Nov. 6 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Who advanced?

The following boy’s teams and runners have advanced:

Class 6A: Eastwood, Americas and Franklin. Also, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills; Israel David, Eastlake; Luis Pastor, Coronado and Sam Breceda, Coronado.      

Class 5A: Burges, Horizon, El Paso High, Hanks, Chapin. Bel Air. Also, Michael Castorena, Parkland; Efren Moncada, Parkland; Isai Barajas, Ysleta; Venancio Calderon, El Dorado; Omar Rivera, Canutillo.

Class 4A: San Elizario, Riverside, Valle Verde Early College.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

The Region 1 Cross Country Championship begins on Monday at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock with a trip to the UIL State Championship at stake.

The traditional El Paso and state powers will make their presence known at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock on Monday.

Eastwood and Americas in Class 6A, San Elizario in Class 4A and Tornillo in Class 3A will all be vying for another trip to the UIL Cross Country State Championship on Nov. 6 at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.

The Region 1 Cross Country Championship begins on Monday.

San Elizario is working toward defending its Class 4A state title, Eastwood is hoping to improve on their Class 6A runner-up finish from last year and Eastlake senior Israel David is shooting for another opportunity to return to the state medal stand after finishing with a bronze at last year’s Class 6A race.

But first, they must get through the toughest region in the state – Region 1, the Region of Doom.

Six individual runners – Riverside junior Andrew Valdiviezo, Eastlake junior Israel David Eastlake, a pair of Americas runners (junior Jared Laverty and senior Michael Mier), Eastwood junior Lauren Walls-Portillo and Montwood junior Kassandra Jimenez – also punched their tickets to Round Rock.

Here is what’s in store for this year’s regional boy’s races:

Eastwood seniors Andres Gurrola (left) and Isaac Mendoza (right), along with Americas senior Carmelo Corral (center), will race for a spot to state.

Class 6A

Eastwood finished three points away from its third straight Region 1 championship last year, finishing right behind Southlake Carroll in the Region of Doom.

Americas finished fourth with 109 points and would have advanced to its third straight state championship meet but due to the pandemic, only the top three teams advanced.

The Troopers won Class 5A regionals in 2018 and 2019 before leaping back to 6A last year.

With a healthy, senior-laden team, Eastwood looks to return to state for the ninth time in 10 years and its eighth in row.

After losing four of its top five runners, Eastwood has been in reload mode.

“Everyone had low expectations for us this year,” said senior Isaac Mendoza, the lone returning top five runner. “A lot of people thought we would be done this year and we wouldn’t be competitive. We wanted to prove them wrong so we put in the work in the summer and we held each other accountable. Nothing beats work.  If you don’t put in the work, you won’t go get the results – and all of us put in the work this year.”

Eastwood finished the 2020 season with a Class 6A state silver medal, just six points behind Southlake Carroll.

Americas and Franklin, Pebble Hills junior Omer Ibrahim, Eastlake senior Israel David, Coronado junior Luis Pastor and Coronado senior Sam Breceda will also compete for an opportunity to advance to state.

“The boys have made great strides this year,” Franklin coach Anthony Laspada said. “Last year we had some injuries at district but we had some young kids fill in nicely for them so that helped us going forward. Just to see that light click has been amazing. I’m really excited to see what they can do going forward.”

David finished sixth in 16:10.60 and Americas senior Jared Laverty finished 14th at last year’s regional (16:24.70) and both advanced to state.

Ibrahim, the District 1-6A champion, is looking forward to his first regional appearance.

“The Lubbock meet was kind of like a regional preview so I know the course,” he said of Mae Simmons Park. “We saw a lot of the teams that are going to be there on Monday so I’ll do what I did last time and I should be good.”

Ibrahim, who has won a city-best six individual titles this season, gained a huge confidence booster winning the Nike South Invitational at The Woodlands.

“I thought I was a lot farther behind the state and national runners,” he said. “I didn’t realize I was going to be able to compete with all the big teams and the runners. Knowing that I can has helped my confidence and now I know I can do more.”

Hanks and Chapin are two teams to watch at the Region 1-5A Championship on Monday.

Class 5A

Last year was a difficult one for the Class 5A boys when zero teams and only three individuals advance to state.

Hanks junior Alejandro Tarin is the only 5A runner (16th, 17:23.30 at last year’s regional) with an opportunity to return to state.

Tarin finished second (17:44.39) at this year’s District 2-5A race behind senior teammate Gael Alvarado who defending his title in 17:24.17.

Burges, Horizon, El Paso High, Hanks, Chapin and Bel Air, along with Parkland juniors Michael Castorena and Efren Moncada, Ysleta sophomore Isai Barajas, El Dorado senior Venancio Calderon and Canutillo sophomore Omar Rivera will do their best to advance to state.

“Last year, due to the COVID pandemic, my morale was 100 percent down and I didn’t have the motivation to run,” Tarin said. “It definitely helps now that the pandemic has subsided a little bit. Running together as a team again together has definitely brought my confidence and morale up. We’ll going to give it our all and see where we end up.”

Burges was the top El Paso team last year finishing seventh, Hanks was eleventh, Bel Air was fourteenth and and El Paso High was fifteenth.

San Elizario and Riverside will represent District 1-4A at the Region 1-4A Championship.

Class 4A

San Elizario, the defending Class 4A state champions, have won six of the past seven regional titles – its only blemish was a third-place finish in 2018.

“Regionals is going to very tough,” said Cesar Morales, San Elizario’s head coach. “We haven’t competed against any of those schools in the east but according to what we’ve seen in the statistics, they are all very good, just like every year. We just have to go out and do what we’ve been doing in practice.”

Also competing are Riverside and Valle Verde Early College.

The Eagles are seeking its eighth straight trip to state.

District 1-4A champion junior Chris Moreno finished 13th in 17:17.10 at last year’s regionals.

“From what we’ve seen, Argyle will be our toughest competition just like they were last year,” he said. “We know for us to win state, we have to continue to work hard in practice. This is not all we have to give; we have a lot more in the tank. Our goal is to win another state title but we’ll see what happens at regionals.”

Riverside’s Andrews Valdiviezo was fourth in 16:47.00 last year and advanced to state. Riverside finished seventh as a team.

Tornillo junior Angel Torres won the Class 4A Division at the Lubbock Invitational, earlier this year. He hopes to improve on his seventh place finish at the 2020 Class 3A regional.

Class 3A

Tornillo escaped Region 1 with a third-place finish and a trip to the UIL State Cross Country Championship last year.

It was the Coyotes 11th state appearance in 12 years.

At last year’s regional, Tornillo had two runners – sophomore Daniel Romero (fourth, 17:35.90) and junior Angel Torres (seventh, 17:42.70) – finish in the top 10.

With very little behind that 1-2 punch, Tornillo – as a team – could be left out.

However, Torres and Romero could very likely win individual medals at regionals and the state meet.

Girls Region 1 Preview: Franklin looks for third straight state appearance, Eastwood’s Lauren Walls-Portillo seeks her fourth visit

What: Region 1 Cross Country Championship.

When: Monday, Oct. 25 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. Girl’s start times (Mountain Time): 4A, 8 a.m.; 5A, 9 a.m.; 6A, 10 a.m.; 3A, 1 p.m. Boys start times: 4A, 8:30 a.m.; 5A, 9:30 a.m.; 6A 10:30 a.m. 3A, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

At Stake: Top four teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the UIL Cross Country State Championship, Saturday Nov. 6 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Who advanced?

The following girls teams and runners have advanced:

Class 6A: Franklin, Eastwood, Coronado. Also, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood; Alexa Rangel, Montwood; Lexee Salas, Americas and Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills.

Class 5A: Jefferson, Del Valle,Burges, Canutillo, El Paso High and Hanks. Also, Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin; Sarah Lopez Touchy, Ysleta; Jaylee Levario, Bel Air; Abigail Murillo, Bel Air.

Class 4A: San Elizario, Riverside and Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Also, Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View and Ileana Maldonado, Clint.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Only a select few will advance to the state championship in two weeks. The next step is regionals in Lubbock on Monday.

So here we are again – Mae Simmons Park, Lubbock, Texas – the roadblock for many El Paso girl’s cross country teams and individual runners.

It is a hilly, rolling park that might as well be filled with quicksand and landmines.

It is a place that traditionally has not been kind to El Paso runners.

The Region 1 Cross Country Championship begins on Monday, the last stop before the UIL Cross Country State Championship at 8 a.m. Nov. 6 at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.

Here is what’s in store for this year’s regional girl’s races:

Eastwood senior Lauren Walls is seeking her fourth consecutive trip to state.

Class 6A

Franklin is looking for its third straight trip to state.

The Cougars finished third in the Region 1-6A race last year scoring 71 points and advanced to state.

“It’s been a really exciting year,” said senior Jenna Saunders, who had a top 20 performance (16th, 19:53.50) at last year’s regional. “We’re relieved to have won district the past four years, but we want to do really well at regionals and qualify for state and do the best we can. We train for it so we know we can do it.”

Franklin coach Anthony Laspada said this year’s team has had to work a little harder because of the absence of two top five regional runners – Eva Jess (fourth, 18:39.00) and Ally Little (fifth, 18:48.70) – who are now racing at UT-Austin.

“We trained really hard all season so we know we can do it,” he said. “The girls have been there for each other and they will continue to be there for each other. We’re going to train and get ready and do our best and go out swinging. We have to stay humble and be thankful for what we have and continue to fight.”

Eastwood and Coronado will also be representing District 1-6A along with Montwood seniors Kassandra Jimenez and Alexa Rangel, freshman Lexee Salas from Americas and junior Natalia Martinez from Pebble Hills.  

Eastwood senior Lauren Walls-Portillo – who finished sixth (19:00.10) at regionals last year – and Montwood’s Jimenez (19th in 19:58.60 at last year’s regional), both qualified for state last year.

“We’re training very well right now and we are getting stronger, but we’re not done yet,” Walls-Portillo said. “We’re going to continue getting stronger and get ready for that regional course.”

Walls-Portillo, who has been to three UIL State Cross Country meets, hopes a fourth one is in the cards.

“Regionals is a course that you really have to be smart with,” she said. “With my knowledge of running on it for the past three years, I finally know how to run it and how to pace myself so I’m heading into regionals feeling pretty good. It would be my biggest accomplishments to win a state medal.”

Eastwood, which did not qualify a team to last year’s regionals, is looking forward to this opportunity.

“The front part of our girl’s team ran well at district, but quite frankly, the back part got a little scared and didn’t run as well as they could have, but I’m confident they’ll fix it at regionals,” Eastwood coach Mike McLain said.

Walls-Portillo won her first district title in 19:22.89 and freshman Adelynn Rodriguez finished second in 19:38.28.

“Adelynn and Lauren looked great,” McLain said. “I don’t think there have been two girls, that fast, on one El Paso team since I’ve been around and I’ve been around since 1983. What those two girls are doing together is special.”

Austin senior Elizabeth Hernandez hopes her second trip to the Region 1-5A championship results in a trip to the state meet.

Class 5A

Jefferson, Del Valle, Burges, Canutillo, El Paso High and Hanks are the teams representing Districts 1-5A and 2-5A in Lubbock.

Four seniors – Austin’s Elizabeth Hernandez, Ysleta’s Sarah Lopez Touchy and Jaylee Levario and Abigail Murillo from Bel Air – qualified as individuals.

Two senior runners – Pamela Ramirez from Burges and Jefferson’s Monique Correa – were the lone state qualifiers from El Paso’s Class 5A last year.

Ramirez, was 23rd in 21:22.10 and Correa was 27th in 21:32.40 at last year’s regional meet.

With a full year of training under her belt, Ramirez, who spent most of her time last year playing soccer, has made giant strides, winning the District 1-5A championship on Saturday in 20:47.09.

“Soccer has always been my first love and the sport that I focused on the most,” she said. “I never thought I could love another sport but I ended loving cross country just as much.”

She said last year’s regional experience has made her mentally prepared for Monday.

“I’m going to be mentally tougher at regionals, and I’ll be ready to compete for a spot to state,” she said. “This time, I want to qualify in the top 5 or top 10.”

Hanks senior and District 2-5A champion Mia Rivera, qualified to last year’s regionals but was injured during the race and did not finish.

“I’m going to train super hard for regionals again,” she said. “I know that I can’t get in my head so I’m going to try focus more than I did last year.”

San Elizario senior Samatha Ramirez looks to make the most of her first regional appearance.

Class 4A

San Elizario, Riverside and Young Women’s Leadership Academy will represent District 1-4A along with Mt. View junior Madelaine Estrada and Clint sophomore Ileana Maldonado.

The district champion, San Elizario senior Samantha Ramirez, is looking forward to regionals.

“I’m going to keep working and pushing myself,” she said. “Nothing is going to be given to me. As long as work hard, I think I can get pretty far.”

Last year, San Elizario finished in 14th place and Clint was 15th.

Class 3A

For the first time school history, the Tornillo girls are headed to regionals as a district champion.

Behind two-time defending individual champion, junior Kylene Elias – the Coyotes dominated, the district, scoring 19 points.

Elias was fourth at last year’s regional, completing the two-mile course in 13:01.40, and advanced to state.

The team finished ninth in the region.

High School Boy’s XC Poll: Week 9

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top boy’s cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

Region 1 Cross Country Meet: Monday, Oct. 25 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. Girl’s start times (Mountain Time): 4A, 8 a.m.; 5A, 9 a.m.; 6A, 10 a.m.; 3A, 1 p.m. Boys start times: 4A, 8:30 a.m.; 5A, 9:30 a.m.; 6A 10:30 a.m. 3A, 1:30 p.m.

With the district championships behind them, El Paso’s runners are now focused on regionals in Lubbock on Monday and state on Nov. 6 in Round Rock.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers had three senior runners in the top 10 – Isaac Mendoza (fourth, 16:53.39), Andres Gurrola (fifth, 17:03.60) and Devon Paez (seventh, 17:30.92) – to win its 11th district championship in a row with 43 points. The team average was 17:30.06. Eastwood will now race in the Region 1-6A Meet Monday in Lubbock.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers – led by seniors Jared Laverty (sixth, 17:20.98) and Carmelo Corral (tenth, 17:38.73) – finished second in District 1-6A with 71 points. Its team average was 17:56.93. They too advance to the Region 1-6A Meet in Lubbock.

3. Franklin: The Cougars are the third team out of District 1-6A to qualify to regionals after scoring 76 points, five behind Americas. Junior Diego Flores was the low-point man for Franklin, finishing eighth in 17:34.67. The team average was 18:04.99.

4. San Elizario: The Eagles earned its eighth District 1-4A title in dominating fashion, scoring 22 points and placing six runners in the top 10. Junior Chris Moreno won the event in 16:55.51, junior Matthew Maese was third in 17:42.97, sophomore Angel Maese was fifth in 18:04.93, senior Irvin Vazquez was sixth in 18:11.71, senior Alan Ceballos was seventh (18:19.42) and seniorJorge Maese was eighth 18:56.83. San Elizario’s team average was 17:50.91. San Elizario will race in the Region 1-4A Meet Monday in Lubbock.

5. Coronado: The T-Birds finished four points behind Franklin and placed fourth in District 1-6A. Coronado had two runners – junior Luis Pastor (third, 16:30.12) and senior Sam Breceda (ninth, 17:37.58)finish in the top 10 and qualify for regionals. Coronado’s team averge was 18:04.43.

6. Cathedral:  The Irish are preparing TAPPS State ChampionshipNov. 1 at Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, Waco.

7. Riverside: The Rangers finished second in the District 1-4A race with 37 points. Senior Andrew Valdiviezo was second in 16:58.27, senior Jayden Bustillos was fourth in 17:46.05 and junior Kevin Perez was ninth in 19:03.93. The team average was 18:37.58. They will compete in the Region 1-4A race in Lubbock.

8. Pebble Hills: The Spartans placed fifth in a loaded District 1-6A with a team average of 18:33.58. Junior Omer Ibrahim won the individual championship in a time of 16:14.28 and will advance to the Region 1-6A meet in Lubbock.

9. Burges: The Mustangs are back in the top 10 after winning its fifth consecutive District 1-5A championship with 28 points. Burges took four of the top six spots including the top two with senior Julian Maldonado winning his first district championship in 18:17.19 followed bysenior David Herrera (18:29.97). Junior  Matthew Guerra was fifth in 18:56.09 and senior Aaron Gomez was sixth in 18:57.39. The team will now compete at the Region 1-5A meet in Lubbock.

10. The Double H’s: Hanks and Horizon share the 10th spot. Horizon won its first District 2-5A championship since 2008. The Scorpions had three senior runners in the top 10 – Juan Linares (fifth, 18:41.57), Yahir Barrios (ninth, 19:03.22) and Santiago Cadena (10th, 19:05.45). Hanks was second in the district but had the better team average (19:15.30 to 19:32.04) due to its top two runners finishing 1-2.  Senior Gael Alvarado defended his title in 17:44.39 and junior Alejandro Tarin was second in 17:44.39. Both teams will compete in the Region 1-5A championship in Lubbock.

Dropped out: El Paso High.

On the brink: None.

Riverside senior Andrew Valdiviezo (center) has been the leader of the Rangers cross country the past two years. He will lead the team into the Region 1-4A championship on Monday.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

1, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 14.43.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

2, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 14.49.7 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

3, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 15:02.15 (Del Valle, 8/28).

4, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:02.73 (Del Valle, 8/28).

5, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 15:04.79 (Del Valle, 8/28).

6, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 15:13.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

7, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 15:16.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18)

8, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:24.83 (Canutillo, 8/21).

9, Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 15:28.0 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

10, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 15:38.71 (Del Valle, 8/28).

11, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 15:41.47 (Clint, 10/2).

12, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15:41.95 (Canutillo, 8/21).

13, Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 15:44.07 (Del Valle, 8/28).

14, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 15:44.47 (Clint, 10/2).

15, Jacob Becket, Eastwood, 15:44.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

16, Diego Flores, Franklin, 15:51.32 (Mary Francis Keisling, 9/11).

17, Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 15:52.3 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

18, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:01.51 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

19, Aaron Saenz, Americas 16:04.0 (Cleveland, 8/28).

20, Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 16:15.52 (Clint, 10/2).

21, Austen Percifull, Franklin, 16:16.35 (Mary Francis Keisling, 9/11).

22, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 16:19.03 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

23, Isaac Romero, Franklin, 16:22.86 (Southlake, 8/28).

24, Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 16:25.30 (Desert Twilight, 9/24).

25, Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 16:28.43 (Clint, 10/2).

Tornillo’s Angel Torres and San Elizario Chris Moreno have legitimate changes to win regionals and, perhaps, state gold.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 72 (3).

2, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 65 (6).

3, Jared Laverty, Americas, 56 (4).

4, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 52.

5, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 47 (2).

6, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 43 (3).

7, Diego Flores, Franklin, 40 (1).

8, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 38.

9, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 37 (1).

10, Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 36.

Carmelo Corral, Americas, 35.

Israel David, Eastlake, 34.

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 29.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 28.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 23.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 20.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 19.

Seth Truax, Chapin, 19.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 17.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 17 (1).

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 15.

Israel Quintana, Immanuel, 15.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 15.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 15.

David Herrera, Burges, 14.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 12 (1).

Omar Rivera, Canutillo, 12.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 13.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 10.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 10.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 9.

Angel Maese, San Elizario, 9.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 8.

Matthew Marshall, Eastwood, 8.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 8.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 8.

Michael Castorena, Parkland, 8.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 7.

Frank Lozano, Franklin, 7.

Efren Moncada, Parkland, 7.

Carlos Mendez, Coronado, 6.

Matthew Guerra, Burges, 6.

Oscar Guzman, Franklin, 6.

Diego Espinoza, Cathedral, 6.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 6.

Juan Linares, Horizon, 6.

Denovan Estrada, Franklin, 5.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 5.

Sam Flores, Coronado, 5.

Aidan Hernandez, Eastlake, 5.  

Aydan Lugo, El Paso High, 5.

Aaron Gomez, Burges, 5.

Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 5.

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 4.

Dauntae Herrera, Chapin, 4.

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 4.

Venancio Calderon, El Dorado, 4.

Bryan Estrada, Eastlake, 3.

Antonio Palos, Irvin, 3.

Jorge Maese, San Eli, 3.

Alexander Flores, Eastwood, 2.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 2.

Sebastian Gonzalez, Franklin, 2.

Rene Renteria, Americas, 2.            

Juan Leal, Franklin, 2.

Luis Martinez, Irvin, 2.

Kevin Perez, Riverside, 2.

Heiden Pereda, Eastwood, 2.

Braulio Torres, Chapin, 2.

Yahir Barrios, Horizon, 2.

Isaac Romero, Franklin, 1.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 1.

Mauricio Cuartes, Eastwood, 1.

Evan Avitia, Americas, 1.

Jostin Briones, Riverside, 1.

Santiago Cadena, Horizon, 1.

High School Girl’s XC Poll: Week 9

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top girls cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

Region 1 Cross Country Meet: Monday, Oct. 25 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. Girl’s start times (Mountain Time): 4A, 8 a.m.; 5A, 9 a.m.; 6A, 10 a.m.; 3A, 1 p.m. Boy’s start times: 4A, 8:30 a.m.; 5A 9:30 a.m.; 6A 10:30 a.m. 3A, 1:30 p.m.

The Franklin girls team is back on top of the El Paso Running Top 10 after winning its fourth straight District 1-6A championship.

Top 10

1. Franklin: The Cougars are back on top. For the fourth consecutive year, Franklin won the District 1-6A championship scoring 35 points. Franklin placed three runners in the top 10 – junior Alyssa Laspada (third, 20:19.80), senior Jordan Torres (fourth, 20:47.72) and junior Sofia Camacho (sixth, 21:03.75). Franklin’s average time was 21:11.45. Franklin will compete at the Region 1-6A Championship in Lubbock on Monday with an opportunity to advance to its third straight state meet.

2. Eastwood: Eastwood drops out of the No. 1 spot after falling 10 points short of Franklin in District 1-6A despite having a better team average (21:09.61). The Troopers did manage to take individual gold and silver with senior Lauren Walls-Portillo winning her first district title in 19:22.89 and freshman Adelynn Rodriguez finishing second in 19:38.28. Eastwood will race for an opportunity to race at state on Monday at the Regional Championship in Lubbock.

3. Montwood: Only four Rams finished the District 1-6A race and therefore were not eligible to advance as a team to regionals. Junior Kassandra Jimenez was fifth in 20:58.94 and senior Alexa Rangel was seventh in 21:04.05. Both will advance to the Region 1-6A Championship in Lubbock on Monday. The four runner’s scoring average was 22:11.88.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes move up two spots after securing its fourth District 1-5A championship with 26 points. The team placed four runners in the top six positions Crystal Peterson (second, 21:30.21), Monique Correa (third, 21:58.13), Camila Prieto, (fourth, 22:18.22) and Sofia Hernandez (sixth, 22:52.86). The team average was 22:36.50. Jefferson will travel to Lubbock for Monday’s Region 1-5A Championship.

5. Coronado: The T-Birds move up one spot after finishing third in the District 1-6A championship with 83 points. Its top runners were sophomore Alexa Lawrence (12th, 21:38.24) and junior Kyra Walker (14th, 21:54.47). Coronado’s team average was 22:38.48. Coronado will prepare for the Region 1-6A championship in Lubbock on Monday.

6. Pebble Hills: The Spartans drop two spots after placing fourth at the District 1-6A meet – the school’s best district finish. The team scored 104 points with an average of 23:01.50. Junior Natalia Martinez advanced to the Region 1-6A championship by placing 10th in 21:17.30.

7. Del Valle: The Conquistadores seemed to have peaked at the right time, winning the District 2-5A championship for the first time since 2010. Del Valle, which moved up three spots, placed three runners in the top six – junior Valeria Loo-Kung (second, 21:57.39), senior Anisa Sanchez (third, 22:13.11) and senior Disany Sandoval (sixth, 22:22.26) – to score 44 points. The team’s average time was 23:15.03. The team is preparing for the Region 1-5A championship on Monday in Lubbock.

8. Americas: The Trailblazers move up one after placing fifth in District 1-6A. The team’s average time was 23:22.86.  Freshman Lexee Salas waseighth in 21:16.62 and will advance to the Region 1-6A championship in Lubbock.

9. Canutillo: The Eagles drop two after placing second in the District 2-5A race with 51 points. Canutillo’s team average was 23:26.37. The Eagles top four finished 8-11 (in order of finish) – junior Dania Cano (22:54.81), junior Natalie Rivera (23:23.01), senior Ivy Lara (23:27.78) and senior Vanessa Preciado (23:30.61).

10. Burges: The Mustangs finished second in District 1-5A with 45 points to earn a trip to the Region 1-5A Championship in Lubbock on Monday. Senior Pamela Ramirez won the district championship in 20:47.09. Three of her teamamtes finishd 10-12 (in order) – senior Amy Lozano (23:47.37), sophomore Aritzel Garcia (23:53.40) and freshman Keilah Valenzuela Garcia (24:06.94). The team average was 23:30.71.

Dropped out: Hanks.

On the brink: El Paso High, Hanks.

The San Elizario girls won the District 1-4A team championship.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

1, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 17:17.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

2, Adelynn Rodriguez, Eastwood, 17:20.1 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

3, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 18:28.29 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11)

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 18:30.07 (Southlake, 8/28).

5, Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 18:52.86 (Clint, 10/2).

6, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 18:59.11 (Del Valle, 8/28).

7, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 19:07.10 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

8, Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills, 19:08.03 (Del Valle, 8/28).

9, Salma Licon, Eastwood, 19:10.4 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

10, Sophia Watts, Eastwood, 19:11.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

11, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:22.86 (SAC, 10/2).

12, Abby Barraza, Franklin, 19:25.63 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

13, Ana Rojas, Socorro, 19:38.94 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

14, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 19:41.07 (Del Valle, 8/28).

15, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 19:51.64 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

16, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 19:53.20 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

17, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:57.39 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

18, Anisa Sanchez, Del Valle, 19:57.84 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

19, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 19:58.38 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

20, Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 19:58.92 (Del Valle, 8/28).

21, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:02.02 (SAC, 10/2).   

22, Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 20:03.13 (Canutillo, 8/21).

23, Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 20:03.35 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

24, Valeria Loo-Kung, Del Valle, 20:04.76 (Clint, 10/2).

25, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:06.17 (SAC, 10/2). 

  

Mt. View junior Madelaine Estrada finished third in the District 1-4A girls championship, finishing the two-mile course in 14:04.29. She advances to the Class 1-4A Regional Championship in Lubbock.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 62 (2).

2, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 54 (3).

3, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 52 (2).

4, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 50 (2).

5, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 49 (2).

6, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 47.

7, Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 46 (2).

8, Adelynn Rodriguez, Eastwood, 45 (1).

9, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 42.

10, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 41.

10, Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills, 41 (1).

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 39.

Anisa Sanchez, Del Valle, 39.

Samantha Ramirez, San Elizario, 33 (2).

Valeria Loo-Kung, Del Valle, 31.

Abby Barraza, Franklin, 29.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 27.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 20.

Katelyn Montoya, San Elizario, 20.

Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 18 (1).

Andrea Castillo, El Paso High, 17.

Madelyn Estrada, Mt. View, 17.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 16.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 16.

Dania Cano, Canutillo, 15.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 15.
Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 14.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 13.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 11.

Sofia Ramirez, El Paso High, 11.

Brooke McCune, Franklin, 10 (1).

Lexee Salas, Americas, 10.

Jaylee Levario, Bel Air, 10.

Osmary Vazquez, San Elizario, 10.

Olivia Elder, Franklin, 9.

Lauren Perez, Riverside, 9.

Jeanette Rivera, YWLA, 8.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 7.

Camila Prieto, Jefferson, 7.

Sarah Lopez Touchy, Ysleta, 7.

Marcela Hernandez, Riverside, 6.

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 6.

Tessa Gibbons, Franklin, 6.

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 6.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 5.

Jennifer Najar, Canutillo, 5.

Mariah Martinez, Loretto, 5.

Sofia Hernandez, Jefferson, 5.

Salma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 5.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 4.

Kyra Walker, Coronado, 4.

Natalia Valdez, Chapin, 4.

Nataly Escajeda, Tornillo, 4.

Daniela Luna, Riverside, 4.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso High 4.

Allison Perez, Coronado, 3.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 3.

Mireyda Samer, Franklin, 3.

Alicia Chavez, YWLA, 3.

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 2.

Caroline Pitchkolan, Coronado, 2.

Sophia Watts, Eastwood, 2.

Ileana Maldonado, Clint, 2.

Hannah Martinez, Franklin, 2.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 2.

Ximena Holguin, San Elizario, 1.

Grace Kimble, Franklin, 1.

Amy Lozano, Burges, 1.

Ashley Hernandez, San Elizario, 1.

District roundup: Several championship streaks continue

Who advanced?

The top three teams from each district and the top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championships, Oct. 25 in Lubbock.

The following teams and runners have advanced:

Boys

Class 6A: Eastwood, Americas and Franklin. Also, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills; Israel David, Eastlake; Luis Pastor, Coronado and Sam Breceda, Coronado.       

Class 5A: Burges, Horizon, El Paso High, Hanks, Chapin. Bel Air. Also, Michael Castorena, Parkland; Efren Moncada, Parkland; Isai Barajas, Ysleta; Venancio Calderon, El Dorado and Omar Rivera, Canutillo

Class 4A: San Elizario, Riverside, Valle Verde Early College.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Girls

Class 6A: Franklin, Eastwood, Coronado. Also, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood; Alexa Rangel, Montwood; Lexee Salas, Americas and Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills. 

Class 5A: Jefferson, Del Valle,Burges, Canutillo, El Paso High and Hanks. Also, Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin; Sarah Lopez Touchy, Ysleta; Jaylee Levario, Bel Air; Abigail Murillo, Bel Air.

Class 4A: San Elizario, Riverside and Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Also, Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View and Ileana Maldonado, Clint.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Several district championship win streaks in 4A, 5A and 6A continued for several teams on a crisp Saturday morning at Vista Hills Country Club.

The Eastwood boys won its 11th straight district championship and the Franklin girls won its fourth in 1-6A; the Burges boys won its fifth in 1-5A; the Jefferson girls won its fourth 1-5A title in a row and the San Elizario boys pulled off its eighth consecutive district title in 1-4A.

Also, Hanks senior Gael Alvarado defended his District 2-5A championship and in doing so, ran the Knights streak of eight individual titles.

The top three teams and top 10 individuals from each district will advance to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 25.

Here are some highlights from Saturday’s races.

District 1-6A

The Troopers had three runners in the top 10 – Isaac Mendoza (fourth, 16:53.39), Andres Gurrola (fifth, 17:03.60) and Devon Paez (seventh, 17:30.92) – to win its 11th district championship in a row with 43 points.

Americas – led by seniors Jared Laverty (sixth, 17:20.98) and Carmelo Corral (tenth, 17:38.73) was second with 71 points and Franklin was third with 75 points. Junior Diego Flores was the low-point man for Franklin, finishing eighth in 17:34.67.

“We had a really hard week of workouts,” said Eastwood coach Mike McLain. “The goal really wasn’t to run well today (Saturday), our goal is to run well next week (regionals) and the week after (state) so I wasn’t expecting them to look great today.”

Eastwood is also on an 11-year unbeaten streak in El Paso.

“No team, in any sport, has done what these guys have done,” McLain said. “This is national-caliber team; and they had a tough task this year. We only one of our top five guys come back from last year. They really shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.”

Pebble Hills’ Omer Ibrahim won the individual championship for the first time. He won in a time of 16:14.28. Eastlake’s Israel David was second (16:20.88) and Coronado’s Luis Pastor was third (16:30.12). 

Pebble Hills’ Omer Ibrahim won the individual championship District 1-6A followed Eastlake’s Israel David Coronado’s Luis Pastor was third. This is photo from the Del Valle Invitational.

“It was lot of fun,” Ibrahim said. “It was a strong race, my best race so far actually. There as strong competition. No one really took control of the race until the end. It was one of the most fun and competitive races I’ve been in.”

The Franklin girls had three runners in the top 10 – Alyssa Laspada (third, 20:19.80), Jordan Torres            (fourth, 20:47.72) and Sofia Camacho (sixth, 21:03.75)for 35 points and its fourth straight district crown.

Eastwood was second with 45 points and Coronado was third with 83 points.

“When kids put this much effort in and when they buy in, you’ll definitely have a good outcome,” Franklin coach Anthony Laspada said. “I’m really proud of what the girls have done without Eva (Jess) and Ally (Little). We had kids who stepped it up this year and filled in for one another.”

Jess and Little were the top two runners for Franklin last year. Both are now on scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin.

“The girls are so close and so tightly bonded, it really does make a difference,” Laspada said. “They really believed in each other and they went out and did it. I’m so proud of them.”

Eastwood took the top two individual spots with senior Lauren Walls-Portillo winning her first district title in 19:22.89 and freshman Adelynn Rodriguez finished second in 19:38.28.

“Of course my goal and expectation is to win, but I also wanted to get ahead so I could pull my team with me so they could see where I was so I could drive them to go up with me,” Walls-Portillo said.

Walls-Portillo was also happy for her freshman teammate.

“We are a lot alike,” Walls-Portillo said. “We have the motivation and the well to drive and push for our team. We are determined to work hard to make our team better. I want her to be bigger and better than me.”

District 1-5A

The Jefferson girls and Burges boys each added another district championship to their respective trophy cases – the fourth in a row for Jefferson and Burges’ fifth consecutive.

Jefferson’s girls scored 26 points placing four runners in the top six positions Crystal Peterson (second, 21:30.21), Monique Correa (third, 21:58.13), Camila Prieto, (fourth, 22:18.22) and Sofia Hernandez (sixth, 22:52.86).

Burges was second with 45 points and El Paso High was third with 66 points.

Burges senior Pamela Ramirez won the district championship in 20:47.09.

“Being able to train a full year really helped,” said Ramirez, who was district runner-up last year despite not competing in any pre-district meets. “Going to practice every day made me stronger and faster. Last year my best time was 19:37, this year it was 18:15 so that’s a big improvement.”

The Burges boys easily defended its fifth consecutive district championship scoring 28 points.

El Paso High was second with 49 points and Chapin was third with 64 points.

Burges took four of the top six spots including the first two with senior Julian Maldonado winning his first district championship in 18:17.19 followed bysenior David Herrera (18:29.97). Junior was fifth in Matthew Guerra (18:56.09) and senior Aaron Gomez was sixth in 18:57.39.

“That was a really tough race,” Maldonado said. “We started hill training early in the season because we knew that it would be important for the courses we would see at districts and regionals. Last year’s seniors told us we had to keep this tradition going, so winning another district championship is a big deal for us.”

The Horizon boys won its first district title since 2008

District 2-5A

The boys and girls team results in District 2-5A had the most intrigue with two surprise champions – the Del Valle girls and the Horizon boys.

Del Valle won for the first time since 2010 by placing three runners in the top six – junior Valeria Loo-Kung (second, 21:57.39), senior Anisa Sanchez (third, 22:13.11) and senior Disany Sandoval (sixth, 22:22.26).

Canutillo was second with 51 points and Hanks was third with 60 points.

The Horizon boys won its first district title since 2008, scoring 68 points.

Hanks was second with 73 points and Bel Air was third with 86 points.

The Scorpions had three senior runners in the top 10 – Juan Linares (fifth, 18:41.57), Yahir Barrios (ninth, 19:03.22) and Santiago Cadena (10th, 19:05.45). Four of the seven are first-time runners.

What wasn’t surprising were the individual winners – Hanks senior Mia Rivera and Hanks senior Gael Alvarado who defending his title in 17:44.39.

Junior teammate Alejandro Tarin was second in 17:44.39 and Parkland junior Michael Castorena was third in 18:11.29.

“It feels very surreal,” Alvarado said of his back-to-back district titles. “Winning it last year wasn’t a huge deal but this year I had a lot of pressure so it feels awesome to win it back to back.”

Alvarado is the eighth consecutive Knight to win the individual title.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “It would be nice to continue the streak even longer. I know my teammates Alex (Tarin) will continue it next year, I have no doubt about that.”

Rivera won her first district championship in 21:47.43.

“This is all new to me,” Rivera said of being district champ. “Coming into my senior year I just wanted to enjoy my last season of cross country and go with the flow, and I ended up coming on top so that’s pretty crazy.” 

Del Valle won district for the first time since 2010.

District 1-4A

San Elizario swept the boys and girls district championships.

It was the eighth District 1-4A for the boys – the defending Class 4A state champions.

“I still get nervous,” said Cesar Morales, San Elizario’s head coach. “Our goals never change and district is the first step before we can move forward. We knew Riverside is a great team and they’ve been very close to us the entire season in both the boys and girls so we knew we had to run well.”

The Eagle were dominate, scoring 22 points and placing six runners in the top 10 including district champ junior Chris Moreno who won in 16:55.51.

Junior Matthew Maese was third in 17:42.97, sophomore Angel Maese was fifth in 18:04.93, senior Irvin Vazquez was sixth in 18:11.71, senior Alan Ceballos was seventh (18:19.42) and seniorJorge Maese was eighth 18:56.83.

The defending Class 4A state champions won its eighth district championship and are headed to regionals.

Riverside seniors Andrew Valdiviezo was second in 16:58.27 and Jayden Bustillos was fourth in 17:46.05. Junior Kevin Perez was ninth in 19:03.93 as the Rangers finished second with 37 points.

“It was a tough race,” Moreno said. “Andrew is a great runner and he pushed me to run my best. “It was a different course this year with more hills, but it was a race which will help me get ready for regionals and hopefully state.”

Moreno becomes the fifth straight San Elizario runner to win district. Texas runners Edwin Gomez won the past four years.

“He taught me to keep pushing and to never give up,” he said. “He told me to do whatever coach (Morales) says to do and never give up. Being a runner is not easy. We have to wake up at 6 a.m. every day to workout – it doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, you need to practice every day and do what you need to do to be better.”

Valle Verde Early College was third with 99 points.

The San Elizario girls won its first district championship since 2018.

The San Elizario girls took four of the top 10 spots to win with 29 points followed by Riverside (39) and Young Women’s Leadership Academy with 66 points.

It was the Eagles first district championship since 2018.

Eagle senior Samantha Ramirez was first on the 2-mile course in 13:13.42 followed by sophomore teammate Katelyn Montoya(13:57.14),sophomoreOsmary Vazquez was fifth in 14:45.79, and senior Ashley Hernandez was 10th in 15:03.62.

“I’m really proud of my run, but I feel like I could have given a little more,” Ramirez said. “I’ve been working really hard to get to this point but this year was different. People say, ‘last one, best one,’ so I thought to myself I had to give it my all this year.”

Mt. View juniorMadelaine Estrada was third in 14:04.29.

Junior Angel Torres and sophomore Daniel Romero finished 1-2 in District 4-3A and will advance to the Class 3A Region 1 championship.

District 4-3A

What an eventful day Thursday was for Tornillo.

Junior Angel Torres and sophomore Daniel Romero finished 1-2 in the district and the girl’s won the Cotton Valley school’s first girl’s District 4-3A cross country championship

Torres won the individual title in 16:50. And Romero was second in 17.21. The team finished second with 54 points. Presidio won the district with 30 points and Alpine was third with 67.

Last year, the girl’s fell seven points short of winning its first district championship in school history.

Not this year.

Tornillo won its first girl’s District 4-3A cross country championship in school history.

Behind two-time defending champion, junior Kylene Elias, the Coyotes dominated, scoring 19 points. Elias won her third title, racing the 2-mile course in 12:45 followed by senior Olivia Garcia (13:07).

Presidio was second with 49 points followed by Kermit’s 70.

Districts begin Thursday at Tornillo; continue Saturday at Vista Hills CC

Make Plans

What: District Cross Country Championship.

When: 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. District 4-3A at Tornillo High School (girls, then boys); 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Rolling schedule (girls first, then boys) – District 1-4A, District 1-5A, District 2-5A, District 1-6A.

Where: Vista Hills Country Club.

At Stake: Top three teams and top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 25 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

There are many compelling storylines heading in to Saturday’s district cross country championships including:

  • Will the Eastwood boys chase down its 11th straight district championship – and continue its 11-year unbeaten streak in El Paso?
  • Will the Burges Mustangs win its fifth consecutive boy’s District 1-5A title?
  • Hanks is seeking its eighth individual title – will senior Gael Alvarado defend his championship?
  • The San Elizario boys are racing for its eighth consecutive district championship at the Class 4A level, will they be able to pull it off?
  • Will the Franklin girls win its fourth consecutive District 1-6A team title?
  • How about Jefferson senior Crystal Peterson going after her fourth District 1-5A championship?

These questions will be answered at the district cross country championships at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Vista Hills Country Club.

The top three teams and top 10 individuals from each district will advance to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 25. Last year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, only two teams qualified to regionals.

Here is a breakdown of the boy’s and girl’s district races.

Championship season is upon us. Who’s ready to take the next step? We’ll find out this weekend!

BOYS

District 1-6A

2020 District Champion: Eastwood.

2020 Individual District Champion: Israel David, Eastlake.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Eastwood and Americas.

The Eastwood Troopers hope two competitive out-of-town invitationals – Woodbridge (Calif.) Classic and Desert Twilight, the Nike Pre-Southwest Regional meet in Queen Creek Ariz. – have prepared them for championship season.

Seeking its 11th straight district championship, the Troopers are led by seniors Andres Gurrola, Isaac Mendoza, Devon Paez, Victor Anchondo and junior Joaquin Chavez – all top 10 runners in El Paso.

The Troopers are nationally recognized as well – garnering the attention of DyeState which ranks them third in the South Region and MileSplit which ranks Eastwood at No. 22 in the nation.

Americas, behind seniors Jared Laverty and Carmelo Corral, pose the biggest threat to Eastwood. Franklin, behind juniors Diego Flores and Austen Percifull and Coronado – with juniors Luis Pastor and Sam Flores – will fight it out for the third and final qualifying spot to regionals.

The individual race could be the closest – and fastest – in memory.

Eastlake senior Israel David looks to defend his title with heavy competition from Pebble Hills junior Omer Ibrahim, Coronado’s Pastor, Americas’ Laverty and Gurrola and Mendoza from Eastwood. This is anybody’s race.

Senior Julian Maldonado hopes to lead the Burges Mustangs to its fifth consecutive boy’s District 1-5A championship.

District 1-5A

2020 District Champion: Burges.

2020 Individual District Champion: Joaquin Ortega, Chapin.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Burges and El Paso High.

The Burges Mustangs are chasing its fifth consecutive boy’s district championship. Seniors Julian Maldonado and David Herrera will be depended on heavily in order to make that happen.

David Ramirez and Leo Valenzuela look to help El Paso High return to the Region 1-5A championship. The third and final spot to regionals will be a toss up between Chapin, which is led by sophomores Seth Truax and Dauntae Herrera and Jefferson led by junior Isaac Ortega and sophomore Francisco Reyes.

The individual title should come down to Truax, Herrera or Maldonado.

Chapin sophomore Seth Truax has had a solid year and looks primed to compete for a spot to the Region 1-5A championship.

District 2-5A

2020 District Champion:  Hanks.

2020 Individual District Champion: Gael Alvarado, Hanks.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Hanks and Bel Air.

Hanks won the district championship in 2020 for the first time since the 1990s. The team shouldn’t have to wait another two decades for another one.

The team is led by senior and defending district champion senior Gael Alvarado and junior Alejandro Tarin.

The Knights biggest challenge will come from Bel Air which is led by junior William Potter and senior Hector Garcia. Watch for Horizon seniors Yahir Barrios and Juan Linares to make a push for a spot to regionals along with Del Valle which has been led by seniors Kevin Rivera and Omar Salais for much of the season.

The individual title will be a race between Hank’s teammates Alvarado and Tarin.

District 1-4A

2020 District Champion: San Elizario.

2020 Individual District Champion: Edwin Gomez, San Elizario.

2020 Regional qualifiers: San Elizario and Riverside.

An eighth district championship for San Elizario is within reach – but it could be the Eagles toughest team race to date with Riverside nipping at their heels.

San Elizario junior Chris Moreno and seniors Alan Ceballos and Irvin Vazquez and brothers Matthew Maese (junior) and sophomore Angel Maese have been consistent all season.

Riverside counters with seniors Andrew Valdiviezo and new comer Jayden Bustillos.

Moreno and Valdiviezo will fight it out for the district individual crown.

The last spot to regionals will come down to Clint, Mt. View or Fabens.

District 4-3A

2020 District Champion: Presidio.

2020 Individual District Champion: Emilio Rios, Presidio.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Presidio and Tornillo.

The Coyotes could potentially have two of the top 5 Class 3A runners in the state in sophomore Daniel Romero and junior Angel Torres.

Both should easily qualify for the Region 1-3A Championship. The big question is, will they take a team with them?

In any other year – with top-tier runners such as Romero and Torres leading the way – Tornillo would be the odds-on favorite to finally win its first state championship. But unlike other years, the Cotton Valley school seriously lacks depth which could put the school’s streak of 13 years qualifying to regionals at risk.

Romero and Torres are the favorites to win individual titles but must watch for Presidio sophomore Eddie Flores, who finished fourth at last year’s district championship.

Saturday will be a full day of exciting races. This is what the schedule looks like – 8 a.m. 1-4A girls, 8:30 a.m. 1-4A boys; 9 a.m. 1-5A girls, 9:30 a.m. 1-5A boys; 10 a.m. 2-5A girls, 10:30 2-5A boys; 11 a.m. 1-6A girls, 11:30 a.m. 1-6A boys. All races will be at Vista Hills Country Club.

Girls

District 1-6A

2020 District Champion: Franklin.

2020 Individual District Champion: Eva Jess, Franklin.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Franklin and Montwood.

The Franklin girls are going after its fourth consecutive District 1-6A team title.

Junior Alyssa Laspada, seniors Jenna Saunders, Abby Barraza and Jordan Torres and junior Sofia Camacho make up solid five.

Eastwood counters with senior Lauren Walls-Portillo and freshman Adelynn Rodriguez who are the state’s fourth-ranked 1-2 punch and third in Region 1-6A. Juniors Salma Licon and Sophia Watts and senior Adalia Olmos all have top 15 times in the city.

The team championship will come down to the placement of the 4-5-6-7 runners for each school.

Montwood, the district runner-up last year, are led by juniors Kassandra Jimemez and Jazmine Miranda and senior Alexa Rangel. The struggle for the Rams is consistency in the 4-7 runners. With the top three girls, the Rams should have enough for another Region 1-6A appearance.

There are several individual runners who could claim a top 10 spot and a trip to regionals.

One thing is for sure, there will be a new individual champion as Franklin alumni and four-time district champion Eva Jess is now competing at Texas. It could come down to Walls-Portillo, Rodriguez and Laspada.

Other runners who could crack the top 10 and advance include Pebble Hills junior Natalia Martinez, Socorro senior Ana Rojas, Americas freshman Lexee Salas and Coronado sophomore Alexa Lawrence and junior Kyra Walker.

District 1-5A

2020 District Champion: Jefferson.

2020 Individual District Champion: Crystal Peterson, Jefferson.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Jefferson and El Paso High.

Jefferson senior Crystal Peterson is going after her fourth District 1-5A championship and a back-to-back team title for the Foxes. Peterson and classmate Monique Correa have led the Foxes the entire season with seniors Camila Prieto, Sofia Hernandez and Jelia Lugo rounding out the top 5.

El Paso High and Burges will battle for runner-up honors with both having legitimate opportunities to advance to regionals.

The Tigers – with sophomores Andrea Castillo and Sofia Ramirez and junior Jezarae Valenzuela – are a little deeper than the Mustangs but at a district race, anything goes.

Burges senior Pamela Ramirez leads the Mustangs and should contend for individual honors against Peterson and Correa. Austin senior Elizabeth Hernandez could also finish in the top 10 and advance to regionals.

Hanks’ senior Mia Rivera will contend for the District 2-5A individual title and possibly help her team to a regional berth.

District 2-5A

2020 District Champion:  Bel Air.

2020 Individual District Champion: Angie Marrufo-Lujan, Parkland.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Bel Air and Canutillo.

This could be the most wide-open team race of the district championship races with no-clear cut favorite.

Canutillo and Del Valle have been improving every week, Hanks has been steady and consistent but you can’t sleep on defending champion Bel Air.

Eagles junior Natalie Rivera has emerged as one of the top 10 runners in the city. Juniors Dania Cano and Jennifer Najar and freshmen Arania Castaneda and Mia Covarrubio round out Canutillo’s top five.

Del Valle counters with two top 25 runners – junior Valeria Loo-Kung and senior Anisa Sanchez. From there, the Conquistadores struggle with depth. Senior Bianca Parker, top 10 sprinter in track field, sophomore Bobbi Guillen and senior Anahi Lara are working their hardest to move up a few spots.

Hanks’ seniors Mia Rivera and Madison Spencer and freshman Elizabeth Aguirre should be enough to get the Knights to regionals.

Seniors Abigail Murillo and Jaylee Levario will need plenty of help in order to get Bel Air a return team visit to regionals.

The individual race could be the most entertaining of the district meets with Canutillo’s Natalie Rivera going head-to-head with Hanks’ Mia Rivera and Bel Air’s Abigail Murillo and Levario.

District 1-4A

2020 District Champion: Clint.

2020 Individual District Champion: Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Clint and San Elizario.

San Elizario had an impressive showing at the District Preview on September 18 at Vista Hills.

Senior Samantha Ramirez won the two-mile event boosting the Eagles to a team championship. Sophomores Katelyn Montoya and Osmary Vazquez and Ximena Holguin all had top 10 finishes.

Riverside could contend for the title if seniors Marcela Hernandez and Lauren Perez get some help from sophomore Hillary Hernandez and senior Daniela Luna who need strong races.

The final spot to regionals will come down to Clint and Mt. View who are pretty even.

Mt. View does have senior Madeline Estrada, one of the top runners in the district. Clint’s top runners are freshman Ileana Maldonado and seniors Natalie Frausto and Jessica Herrera.

San Elizario’s Ramirez and Mt. View’s Estrada will make for a great two-mile duel.

Tornillo senior Olivia Garcia has been steady all season. She is looking to help guide the Coyotes to its first District 4-3A championship on Thursday at Tornillo.

District 4-3A

2020 District Champion: Presidio.

2020 Individual District Champion: Kylene Elias, Tornillo.

2020 Regional qualifiers: Presidio and Tornillo.

The Coyotes fell seven points short of winning its first district championship in school history.

With Kylene Elias, the two-time defending district champion, returning to an already strong team, Tornillo has a legitimate shot.

Along with Elias, sophomore Nataly Escajeda, junior Brianna Ibarra and seniors Olivia Garcia and Abetsi Blanco hope to bring home a golden trophy to the Cotton Valley.

High School Boy’s XC Poll: Week 8

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top boy’s cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

Chapin Invitational: 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 9 at Don Haskins Recreation Center. Franklin, Irvin, Andress, Jefferson, Chapin, Montwood, El Dorado, Eastlake, Santa Teresa, Tornillo, Loretto, San Elizario, Harmony, Cathedral, Anthony, Canutillo.

Championship season is next week! Four teams in each district will advance to the Region 1 Championship in Lubbock on Oct. 25.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: After two consecutive weeks of competitive out-of-town races, the Troopers did not run Saturday. The team is preparing for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club. However, the JV team placed third at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex. Matthew Marshal finished fourth in 17:15.78.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers placed fourth in the “elite” division at Nike South in The Woodlands.  Seniors Jared Laverty (eighth, 14:02.7) and Carmelo Corral (17th, 14:07.8) finished in the top 20. Americas will rest its varsity on Saturday as the team prepares for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

3. Franklin: The Cougars ran away with the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex with 27 points. Franklin runners claimed six of the top 10 spots including Diego Flores (second, 16:49.48), Matthew Engle (third, 17:11.53), Rai Lopez (sixth, 17:17.84), Austen Percifull (seventh, 17:20.38), Oscar Guzman (ninth, 17:32.92) and Juan Leal (10th, 17:33.71). Franklin will not race on Saturday as the team prepares for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

4. Coronado: The T-Birds scored 50 points and finished second at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at the SAC. Junior Luis Pastor picked up his third individual title finishing 16:15.52. Sophomore Carlos Mendez was fifth in 17:16.25 and junior Sam Flores, was eighth in 17:31.43. Coronado will not compete at the Dale Reinhardt Inviteon Saturday. Coronado will not race on Saturday as the team prepares for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

5. San Elizario: The Eagles, who were without its top runner Chris Moreno, finished third at the Clint/Fabens Invitational at Clint High School with 78 points. Two runners – brothers Matthew Maese (fifth, 16:28.43) and Angel Maese (eighth, 16:35.33) – finished in the top 10. San Elizario will prepare to defend its District 1-4A title on Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

6. Cathedral:  The Irish won the Clint/Fabens Invitational at Clint with 50 points. Sophomore Preston Arnett led a trio of Cathedral runners who finished in the top 10, placing fourth in 16:15.52. Brothers Jacob Noble (ninth, 16:35.69) Elijah Noble (10th, 16:36.19) also finished in the top 10.

7. Riverside: The Rangers move up one spot after finishing second at the Clint/Fabens Invitational with 72 points. Riverside had two seniors – Andrew Valdiviezo (second, 15:44.47) and Jayden Bustillos (seventh, 16:33.38) finish in the top 10. The Rangers will prepare for District 1-4A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

8. Pebble Hills: The Spartans drop one after finishing 17th in the “elite” division at Nike South in The Woodlands. Junior Omer Ibrahim picked up his city-best fifth individual title of the season finishing the 2.8 mile course in 13:44.8. Pebble Hills will not race on Saturday as the team prepares for the District 1-6A championship at Vista Hills Country Club on Oct. 16.

9. Hanks: The Knights did not race on Saturday. The team will resume racing at the District 2-5A Championship on Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

10. El Paso: On the brink the entire season, the Tigers finally break into the top 10 with its fourth-place finish at the Clint/Fabens Invitational. David Ramirez was the top runner for El Paso, finishing 18th in 17:07.7. El Paso will now prepare for the District 1-5A Championship on Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

Dropped out: Burges.

On the brink: Chapin.

Coronado’s Luis Pastor won his third individual championship last week at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

1, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 14.43.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

2, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 14.49.7 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

3, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 15:02.15 (Del Valle, 8/28).

4, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:02.73 (Del Valle, 8/28).

5, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 15:04.79 (Del Valle, 8/28).

6, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 15:13.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

7, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 15:16.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18)

8, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:24.83 (Canutillo, 8/21).

9, Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 15:28.0 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

10, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 15:38.71 (Del Valle, 8/28).

11, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 15:41.47 (Clint, 10/2).

12, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15:41.95 (Canutillo, 8/21).

13, Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 15:44.07 (Del Valle, 8/28).

14, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 15:44.47 (Clint, 10/2).

15, Jacob Becket, Eastwood, 15:44.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

16, Diego Flores, Franklin, 15:51.32 (Mary Francis Keisling, 9/11).

17, Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 15:52.3 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

18, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:01.51 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

19, Aaron Saenz, Americas 16:04.0 (Cleveland, 8/28).

20, Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 16:15.52 (Clint, 10/2).

21, Austen Percifull, Franklin, 16:16.35 (Mary Francis Keisling, 9/11).

22, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 16:19.03 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

23, Isaac Romero, Franklin, 16:22.86 (Southlake, 8/28).

24, Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 16:25.30 (Desert Twilight, 9/24).

25, Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 16:28.43 (Clint, 10/2).

Franklin’s Rai Lopez and Austen Percifull are key runners for the upstart Cougars.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 64 (3).

2, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 55 (5).

3, Jared Laverty, Americas, 51 (4).

4, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 43.

5, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 37 (1).

5, Diego Flores, Franklin, 37 (1).

7, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 34.

8, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 33 (2).

9, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 29.

10, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 27.

10, Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 27.

Israel David, Eastlake, 25.

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 22.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 22.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 20.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 19.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 16.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 15.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 11.

Seth Truax, Chapin, 11.

Omar Rivera, Canutillo, 9.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 9.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 9.

Israel Quintana, Immanuel, 8.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 8.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 8.

Matthew Marshall, Eastwood, 8.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 8.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 7.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 7.

Frank Lozano, Franklin, 7.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 6.

Carlos Mendez, Coronado, 6.

Oscar Guzman, Franklin, 6.

Denovan Estrada, Franklin, 5.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 5.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 5.

Sam Flores, Coronado, 5.

David Herrera, Burges, 5.

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 4.

Aydan Lugo, El Paso High, 4.

Bryan Estrada, Eastlake, 3.

Antonio Palos, Irvin, 3.

Angel Maese, San Elizario, 3.

Alexander Flores, Eastwood, 2.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 2.

Sebastian Gonzalez, Franklin, 2.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 2.

Juan Leal, Franklin, 2.

Luis Martinez, Irvin, 2.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 2.

Heiden Pereda, Eastwood, 2.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 2.

Isaac Romero, Franklin, 1.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 1.

Mauricio Cuartes, Eastwood, 1.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 1.

High School Girl’s XC Poll: Week 8

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top girls cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

EPISD Invitational: 8 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 9 at Don Haskins Recreation Center. Franklin, Irvin, Andress, Jefferson, Chapin, Montwood, El Dorado, Eastlake, Santa Teresa, Tornillo, Loretto, San Elizario, Harmony, Cathedral, Anthony, Canutillo.

With 10 days until the district championships, many of the top individual runners will not race this week. However, for some teams, Saturday’s race will determine the 5-7 runners who will compete at district.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: After two consecutive weeks of competitive out-of-town races, the Troopers did not run on Saturday. The team will prepare for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

2. Franklin: The Cougars easily won the Dale Reinhardt Invitational with 17 points. Franklin runners took the top four spots led by junior Alyssa Laspada who picked up her second individual title in 18:58.39, followed by senior Jenna Saunders (19:22.86, a season best), senior Abby Barraza (19:44.17) and senior Jordan Torres (19:48.52). Sofia Camacho was seventh in 20:17.42. Franklin will race some of its varsity runners at the EPISD Invitationalat the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

3. Montwood: The Rams did not run a full team at Nike South in The Woodlands on Saturday. Junior Kassandra Jimenez had the best El Paso time turning in a 17:33.6 in the “elite” division on the wet and muddy 2.8 mile course. The team will prepare for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

 4. Pebble Hills: The Spartans finished seventh at Nike South in The Woodlands with 205 points. Pebble Hills had two runners finish in the “regular” varsity division – junior Natalia Martinez was 11th in 18:16,4 and junior Carolina Zarrabal was 17th in 18:29.1 (2.8 miles). Pebble Hills will prepare for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

5. Coronado: The T-Birds finished second at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational with 62 points. Coronado had two runners – sophomore Alexa Lawrence (8th, 20:20.05) and junior Kyra Walker (9th, 20:22.74) – in the top 10. Coronado will prepare for the District 1-6A championship at Vista Hills Country Club on Oct. 16.

6. Jefferson: The Foxes had a third-place finish at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex on Saturday. Jefferson scored 69 points on the strength of Crystal Peterson (fifth, 20:02.02) and Monique Correa (sixth, 20:06.17) – both season-best times. Jefferson is scheduled to run the EPISD Invitationalat the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

7. Canutillo: The Eagles won the Clint/Fabens Invitational with 25 points. Canutillo had four runners in the top 10 including winner Natalie Rivera who turned in a season best 18:52.86, Dania Cano (sixth, 20:52.13), Jennifer Najar (seventh, 20:57.58) and Ivy Lara (10th, 21:12.07). This was Rivera’s second individual win of the season. Canutillo is scheduled to run the EPISD Invitationalat the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

8. Hanks: The did not race on Saturday. The team will prepare for the District 2-5A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

9. Americas: The Trailblazers finished 16th out of 30 teams in the “regular” varsity division at Nike South in The Woodland.  Freshman Lexee Salas was 35th out of 256 runners in 18:51.9. The team will now prepare for the District 1-6A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

10. Del Valle: The Conquistadores return to the top 10 after its second-place finish at the Clint/Fabens Invitational with 45 points. Valeria Loo-Kung was second in 20:04.76 and Anisa Sanchez was fifth in 20:47.71. The team is preparing for the District 2-5A championship Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

Dropped out: Eastlake.

On the brink: Burges, El Paso High.

Canutillo’s Natalie Rivera turned in a season best 18:52.86 at the Clint/Fabens Invitational – a top five time in El Paso.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

1, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 17:17.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

2, Adelynn Rodriguez, Eastwood, 17:20.1 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

3, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 18:28.29 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11)

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 18:30.07 (Southlake, 8/28).

5, Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 18:52.86 (Clint, 10/2).

6, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 18:59.11 (Del Valle, 8/28).

7, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 19:07.10 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

8, Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills, 19:08.03 (Del Valle, 8/28).

9, Salma Licon, Eastwood, 19:10.4 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

10, Sophia Watts, Eastwood, 19:11.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

11, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:22.86 (SAC, 10/2).

12, Abby Barraza, Franklin, 19:25.63 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

13, Ana Rojas, Socorro, 19:38.94 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

14, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 19:41.07 (Del Valle, 8/28).

15, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 19:51.64 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

16, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 19:53.20 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

17, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:57.39 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

18, Anisa Sanchez, Del Valle, 19:57.84 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

19, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 19:58.38 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

20, Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 19:58.92 (Del Valle, 8/28).

21, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:02.02 (SAC, 10/2).   

22, Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 20:03.13 (Canutillo, 8/21).

23, Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 20:03.35 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

24, Valeria Loo-Kung, Del Valle, 20:04.76 (Clint, 10/2).

25, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:06.17 (SAC, 10/2).   

Del Valle’s Valeria Loo-Kung was second at the Clint/Fabens Invitational in 20:04.76. She has the 24th fastest time in the city.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 54 (2).

2, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 44 (2).

3, Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 44 (2).

4, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 43 (2).

5, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 42 (1).

5, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 42.

7, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 40 (1).

7, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 40.

7, Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills, 40 (1).

10, Adelynn Rodriguez, Eastwood, 36 (1).

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 32.

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 31.

Anisa Sanchez, Del Valle, 31.

Abby Barraza, Franklin, 29.

Samantha Ramirez, San Elizario, 23 (1).

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 23.

Valeria Loo-Kung, Del Valle, 22.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 16.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 15.

Andrea Castillo, El Paso High, 13.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 13.

Dania Cano, Canutillo, 12.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 11.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 11.

Katelyn Montoya, San Elizario, 11.

Madelyn Estrada, Mt. View, 9.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 8.

Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 8.

Sofia Ramirez, El Paso High, 8.

Lexee Salas, Americas, 7.

Marcela Hernandez, Riverside, 6.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 6.

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 6.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 5.

Jennifer Najar, Canutillo, 5.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 4.

Osmary Vazquez, San Elizario, 4.

Jaylee Levario, Bel Air, 4.

Kyra Walker, Coronado, 4.

Allison Perez, Coronado, 3.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 3.

Salma Licon, Eastwood, 3.

Jeanette Rivera, YWLA, 3.

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 2.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso, 2.

Caroline Pitchkolan, Coronado, 2.

Sophia Watts, Eastwood, 2.

Lauren Perez, Riverside, 2.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 1.

Ximena Holguin, San Elizario, 1.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 1.

High School Boy’s XC Poll: Week 7

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top boy’s cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

Clint/Fabens Invitational: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Clint High School.  Burges, El Paso, Austin, Bowie, El Dorado, Riverside, Del Valle, Parkland, YWLA, Clint, Fabens, Mt.View, Horizon, Santa Teresa, Tornillo, Loretto, San Elizario, Canutillo , Harmony, Cathedral.

Dale Reinhardt Invite: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.  Franklin, Coronado, Jefferson, Chapin, Socorro, Eastwood, Valle Verde, Ysleta, Hanks, Bel Air, Ft Hancock, Anthony.

Nike South: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at The Woodlands. Eastlake, Pebble Hills, Americas, Montwood.

Las Cruces Invite: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Las Cruces High. Irvin.

Eastwood finished a grueling three-week stretch where the team trained and raced in two consecutive “sweepstakes” races – placing fifth in Woodbridge and second at Desert Twilight.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers finished second out of 27 teams and 231 runners in the “sweepstakes” division at the Desert Twilight, the Nike Pre-Southwest Regional meet, in Queen Creek Arizona. Top 50 runners were seniors Andres Gurrola (20th, 15:32.20, Isaac Mendoza (27th, 15:43.30) and Devon Paez (46th, 16:03.40). The team’s 1-5 split was 41 seconds. U.S. No. 12 Niwot High, the defending Colorado state champion, won the event with 63 points. Eastwood finished ahead of U.S. No. 14 Desert Vista. The Eastwood JV will race at the Dale Reinhardt Inviteon Saturday.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers won the Class 6A division of the Lubbock Invitational with 58 points, one point ahead of McKinney Boyd. Four seniors – Jared Laverty (third, 16:06.5) and Carmelo Corral (fourth, 16:23.8), Aaron Saenz (10th, 17:03.2) and Jesse Morales (11th, 17:03.6) – finished in the top 11. Americas will compete at Nike South in The Woodlands on Saturday.

3. Franklin: The Cougars won the Rob Winter Classic at Organ Mountain High School in Las Cruces with 51 points, one point ahead of host Organ Mountain. Franklin landed three runners – junior Diego Flores (third, 16:16.48), junior Austen Percifull (eighth, 16:45.90) and sophomore Juan Leal (10th, 16:47.31) – in the top 10. Sophomore Frank Lozano was 12th in 16:48.08. The team will race at the Dale Reinhardt Inviteon Saturday.

4. Coronado: The T-Birds finished third at the Rob Winter Classic at Organ Mountain High School in Las Cruces and move up one spot. Junior Luis Pastor picked up his second individual championship finishing in 15:26.95 and junior Sam Flores was ninth in 16:46.76.  Sophomore Carlos Mendez was 14th in 16:57.24. Coronado will compete at the Dale Reinhardt Inviteon Saturday. 

5. San Elizario: The Eagles were 21st in the mega-competitive “sweepstakes” division at the Desert Twilight in Queen Creek Ariz. Junior Chris Moreno was 23rd out of 231 runners, finishing in 15:36.90. The Eagles will race at the Clint/Fabens Invitational at Clint High School on Saturday.

6. Cathedral:  The Irish dropped two spots after finishing 26th in the “sweepstakes” division at the Desert Twilight Invitational in Arizona. Its top runner was sophomore Preston Arnett who was 105th in 16:34.80. Cathedral will try to get back on track at the Clint/Fabens Invitational at Clint High School on Saturday.

7. Pebble Hills: The Spartans were sixth in the Class 6A division of the Lubbock Invitational with 137 points. Junior Omer Ibrahim won his fourth individual title of the season finishing in 15:34.8. Junior Noah Castorena finished 16th in 17:26.9.  Pebble Hills will hit the road again when they travel to Nike South in The Woodlands on Saturday.

8. Riverside: The Rangers had a team average of 17:13 in the “sweepstakes” division at the Desert Twilight Invitational. Senior Andrew Valdiviezo had a top 50 finish, placing 47th out of 231 runners in 16:02.50. The Rangers will compete at the Clint/Fabens Invitational at Clint High School on Saturday.

9. Hanks: The Knights were fifth in the Class 5A division of the Lubbock Invitational with 149 points.  Juinor Alejandro Tarin was third in 16:27.2 and senior Gael Alvarado was fourth in 16:32.4. The team average was 17:54.5. Hanks will race at the Dale Reinhardt Inviteon Saturday.

10. Burges: The Mustangs were sixth in the Class 5A division of the Lubbock Invitational with 168 points. Senior Julian Maldonado had a top 10 finishing, placing ninth in 16:57.0. Burges will race at the Clint/Fabens Invitational at Clint High School on Saturday.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: El Paso High, Chapin.

Hanks senior Gael Alvarado and Burges senior Julian Maldonado have been consistent runners this entire season. Alvarado ran a 16:19.03 at Shawver Park on Sept. 4 (the city’s 21st fastest) and Maldonado has the city’s 23rd fastest time, racing to a 16:30.94 at Del Valle in August.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

1, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 14.43.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

2, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 14.49.7 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

3, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 15:02.15 (Del Valle, 8/28).

4, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:02.73 (Del Valle, 8/28).

5, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 15:04.79 (Del Valle, 8/28).

6, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 15:13.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

7, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 15:16.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18)

8, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:24.83 (Canutillo, 8/21).

9, Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 15:28.0 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

10, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 15:38.71 (Del Valle, 8/28).

11, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15:41.95 (Canutillo, 8/21).

12, Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 15:44.07 (Del Valle, 8/28).

13, Jacob Becket, Eastwood, 15:44.8 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

14, Diego Flores, Franklin, 15:51.32 (Mary Francis Keisling, 9/11).

15, Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 15:52.3 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

16, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 15:58.00 (Mae Simmons, 9/25).

17, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 16:01.41 (Del Valle, 8/28).

18, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:01.51 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

19, Aaron Saenz, Americas 16:04.0 (Cleveland, 8/28).

20, Austen Percifull, Franklin, 16:16.35 (Mary Francis Keisling, 9/11).

21, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 16:19.03 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

22, Isaac Romero, Franklin, 16:22.86 (Southlake, 8/28).

23, Julian Maldonado, Burges, 16:30.94 (Del Valle, 8/28).

24, Seth Truax, Chapin, 16:34.44 (Del Valle, 8/28).

25, Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 16:40.42 (Del Valle, 8/28).

Angel Torres won the Class 4A Division at the Lubbock Invitational, turning in a season-best 15:58.00 at Mae Simmons, the 16th fastest in El Paso this season.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 54 (2).

2, Jared Laverty, Americas, 48 (4).

3, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 45 (4).

4, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 43.

5, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 37 (1).

6, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 34.

7, Diego Flores, Franklin, 28 (1).

8, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 27.

9, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 23 (1).

10, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 22.

10, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 22.

Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 20.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 19.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 19.

Israel David, Eastlake, 18.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 16.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 12.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 11.

Seth Truax, Chapin, 11.

Omar Rivera, Canutillo, 9.

Israel Quintana, Immanuel, 8.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 8.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 8.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 8.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 7.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 7.

Frank Lozano, Franklin, 7.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 6.

Denovan Estrada, Franklin, 5.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 5.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 5.

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 4.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 4.

Aydan Lugo, El Paso High, 4.

Oscar Guzman, Franklin, 4.

Bryan Estrada, Eastlake, 3.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 3.

Antonio Palos, Irvin, 3.

Alexander Flores, Eastwood, 2.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 2.

Sebastian Gonzalez, Franklin, 2.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 2.

Luis Martinez, Irvin, 2.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 2.

Heiden Pereda, Eastwood, 2.

Sam Flores, Coronado, 2.

Matthew Marshall, Eastwood, 1.

Isaac Romero, Franklin, 1.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 1.

Mauricio Cuartes, Eastwood, 1.

Juan Leal, Franklin, 1.

High School Girl’s XC Poll: Week 7

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top girls cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

Clint/Fabens Invitational: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Clint High School.  Burges, El Paso, Austin, Bowie, El Dorado, Riverside, Del Valle, Parkland, YWLA, Clint, Fabens, Mt.View, Horizon, , Santa Teresa, Tornillo, Loretto, San Elizario, Canutillo , Harmony, Cathedral.

Las Cruces Invite: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Las Cruces High. Irvin.

Dale Reinhardt Invite: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.  Franklin, Coronado, Jefferson, Chapin, Socorro, Eastwood, Valle Verde, Ysleta, Hanks, Bel Air, Ft Hancock, Anthony.

Nike South: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at The Woodlands. Eastlake, Pebble Hills, Americas, Montwood.

There are three weeks left before districts! It’s going to be a fun one!

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers placed 14th in the “Sweepstakes” division at Desert Twilight, the Nike Pre-Southwest Regional meet in Queen Creek Arizona on Friday night. Eastwood had two runners in the top 25 – senior Lauren Walls-Portillo (16th, 17:47.10) and freshman Adelynn Rodriguez (22nd, 17:56.50 – in the 187-runner, 23-team race. The team is scheduled to compete at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.

2. Franklin: The Cougars won the Rob Winter Classic in Las Cruces with 25 points. Franklin had all five scoring runners place in the top 8. Junior Alyssa Laspada was second in 18:33.46, senior Jenna Saunders third (19:25.00) senior Jordan Torres, was fifth in 19:40.37 and seniors Abby Barraza (seventh, 20:04.03) and Sofia Camacho (eighth, 20:17.35) round out the top five for Franklin. The team’s 1-5 split was 1:43. The Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex is next for the Cougars.

3. Montwood: The Rams finally put it all together and finished sixth in the 6A Division at the Lubbock Invitational with 149 points, moving them up two spots. Junior Kassandra Jimenez was the lone top 10 runner and top El Paso runner, placing sixth in 19:54.2. Senior Alexa Rangel (15th, 20:43.8) and junior Jazmine Miranda (16th, 20:47.1) had top 20 performances. Montwood will race at Nike South in The Woodlands on Saturday.

4. Pebble Hills: The Spartans finished seventh in the 6A Division at the Lubbock Invitational with 150 points, one point behind Montwood. Junior Natalia Martinez was 11th in 20:31.3 to pace Pebble Hills. Sophomore Carolina Zarrabal was 22nd in 21:24.3. Pebble Hills will race at Nike South in The Woodlands.

5. Coronado: The T-Birds finished third at the Rob Winter Classic in Las Cruces with 80 points. Coronado had two runners – sophomore Alexa Lawrence (9th, 20:26.31) and junior Kyra Walker (10th, 20:29.29) – in the top 10. Coronado will race at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex on Saturday.

6. Jefferson: The Foxes did not race on Saturday as the DaVinci Invitational was cancelled.  The team will race at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex on Saturday.

7. Canutillo: The Eagles also did not race on Saturday because the DaVinci Invitational was cancelled.  The team will race at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex on Saturday.

8. Eastlake: The Falcons did not race on Saturday because the DaVinci Invitational was cancelled. The team will travel to The Woodlands for Nike South.

9. Hanks: The Knights finished sixth in the Class 5A race at the Lubbock Invitational. Senior Mia Rivera was eighth in 20:14.5. Hanks will compete in the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex on Saturday.

10. Americas: The Trailblazers finished ninth in the Class 6A division of the Lubbock Invitational without its top runner – freshman Lexee Salas. Senior Isabelle Medina was 27th in 21:37.1. The team will race Nike South in The Woodlands on Saturday.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Del Valle, Burges, El Paso High.

Alex Rangel (left) and Jazmine Miranda have been solid 2-3 runners for Montwood all season.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

1, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 17:17.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

2, Adelynn Rodriguez, Eastwood, 17:20.1 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

3, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 18:28.29 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11)

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 18:30.07 (Southlake, 8/28).

5, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 18:59.11 (Del Valle, 8/28).

6, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 19:07.10 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

7, Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills, 19:08.03 (Del Valle, 8/28).

8, Salma Licon, Eastwood, 19:10.4 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

9, Sophia Watts, Eastwood, 19:11.6 (Woodbridge, 9/18).

10, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:25.00 (Las Cruces Organ, 9/25).

11, Abby Barraza, Franklin, 19:25.63 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

12, Ana Rojas, Socorro, 19:38.94 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

13, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 19:41.07 (Del Valle, 8/28).

14, Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 19:45.20 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

15, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 19:51.64 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

16, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 19:53.20 (Shawver Park, 9/4).

17, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:57.39 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

18, Anisa Sanchez, Del Valle, 19:57.84 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

19, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 19:58.38 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

20, Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 19:58.92 (Del Valle, 8/28).

21, Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 20:03.13 (Canutillo, 8/21).

22, Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 20:03.35 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

23, Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 20:11.1 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

24, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 20:16.4 (Mary Frances Keisling, 9/11).

25, Valeria Loo-Kung, Del Valle, 20:16.96 (Del Valle, 8/28).

Socorro’s Ana Rojas and Pebble Hills’ Natalie Franco will be looking to help their teams at the District 1-6A championship on Oct. 16 at Vista Hills Country Club.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 44 (2).

1, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 44 (1).

3, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 43 (2).

4, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 42 (1).

5, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 40 (1).

6, Adelynn Rodriguez, Eastwood, 36 (1).

7, Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 34 (1).

8, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 33.

8, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 33.

10, Natalia Martinez, Pebble Hills, 30 (1).

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 26.

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 26.

Anisa Sanchez, Del Valle, 25.

Samantha Ramirez, San Elizario, 23 (1).

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 23.

Abby Barraza, Franklin, 21.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 15.

Andrea Castillo, El Paso High, 13.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 13.

Valeria Loo-Kung, Del Valle, 13.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 12.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 10.

Madelyn Estrada, Mt. View, 9.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 8.

Katelyn Montoya, San Elizario, 8.

Dania Cano, Canutillo, 7.

Lexee Salas, Americas, 7.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 7.

Marcela Hernandez, Riverside, 6.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 6.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 5.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 4.

Osmary Vazquez, San Elizario, 4.

Jaylee Levario, Bel Air, 4.

Allison Perez, Coronado, 3.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 3.

Salma Licon, Eastwood, 3.

Jeanette Rivera, YWLA, 3.

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 3.

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 2.

Caroline Pitchkolan, Coronado, 2.

Sophia Watts, Eastwood, 2.

Lauren Perez, Riverside, 2.

Kyra Walker, Coronado, 2.

Jennifer Najar, Canutillo, 1.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 1.

Sofia Ramirez, El Paso High, 1.

Ximena Holguin, San Elizario, 1.