Tornillo and San Elizario boys have 5th regional championships in sight; Arambula returns from injury

Region 1 Previews

Friday: Class 4A and Class 3A.

Saturday: Class 5A.

Sunday: Class 6A.

Make Plans

What: Region 1 Cross Country Championship.

When:  Monday, Oct. 22. Times (CST): 6A Girls, 9 a.m.; 6A Boys, 9:30 a.m.; 3A Boys, noon; 4A Girls, 1 p.m.; 4A Boys, 1:30 p.m.; 5A Girls, 2 p.m.; 5A Boys, 2:30 p.m.

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

At Stake: Top three teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the UIL Cross Country State Championship, Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

FelipeRochaClint
Clint senior Felipe Rocha will compete for a second trip to state after his 10 place finish at the District 1-4A meet where he outlasted San Elizario senior Martin Pargas.

The similarities between the San Elizario and Tornillo boys cross country teams are striking.

Each team just celebrated its fifth district championship.

Every year San Eli’s Cesar Morales and Tornillo’s Jesse Garcia  do more with less than any other coaches in the city.

On Monday morning, both will be going for their fifth regional championship in a row – San Elizario in Class 4A and Tornillo in Class 3A at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

“They have to want it, they have to want every inch, every step and they have to fight for it,” Garcia said about his Coyotes. “We will come out on top if we believe in one another and push one another and have that fight in them throughout the race.”

At last year’s regional meet, Tornillo finished 1-2-3-15 and 25.

HeribertoAmaya
Tornillo’s Heriberto Amaya was fifth at last week’s District 3-3A Championship. He is looking to help his team to it’s fifth regional championship in a row.

Eddie Carrillo, who just won the District 3-3A championship, was third and Ofir Ortega, who was the work house No. 1 guy for Tornillo, was 15th.

“I ran them heavy last week, this week we are tapering off a little bit so they can get their legs back and be ready for the big fight,” Garcia said. ‘It’s going to be very close and we’re going to need everything they’ve got.”

They will be challenged by district rival Crane which was just three points behind them at district.

“When we get back, we’ll make a few adjustments again and take what we’ve been wanting for a long time which is a state title,” Garcia said.

Winning a state title is old hat or San Elizario.

If they qualify on Monday, which is highly likely, the Eagles will be going after their fifth straight Class 4A state championship.

The return of junior Rene Arambula could not have come at a better time for San Elizario.

ReneA
San Elizario junior junior Rene Arambula eventually caught this Clint runner to take third at the District 1-4A Championship. Arambula made his return four weeks ago after breaking his right ankle.

Arambula, who was second at last year’s regional, was thought to be lost for the season after he broke his right ankle in an ATV accident in the summer.

“It’s a great feeling being back; I missed running a lot,” he said after finishing third at the district meet. “It was tough being out. I was frustrated, having (emotional) breakdowns, trying to keep calm and give my body a rest.”

Arambula was in a cast for two months. He just started walking six weeks ago and ran his first race – at the JV level – four weeks ago.

“When the doctor told me I could run again, I was excited and happy but I knew I wouldn’t be immediately back to normal,” he said. “It took me about two weeks to get back to a steady pace.”

His first varsity race was two weeks at the Horizon Golf Course.

“I was really anxious to get back but it wasn’t about me, I wanted to get back for my team,” he said. “I knew I had failed them and I wanted to get back to them as quickly as possible.”

Morales is happy Arambula is back.

“It has been an incredible recovery for Rene,” he said. “As soon as he got the clearance from the doctor, that same day, he started running. We spoke about being smart about it and not just going out and running 10 miles right away.”

Morales was impressed by how patient Arambula has been.

“He’s a hard working kid,” Morales said. “I knew he was going to come back. I saw a big improvement from his JV race to his Horizon race not only in competition but a big improvement on a daily basis at practice. I had to put him varsity.”

Arambula is no longer going to take running for granted.

“As soon as it happened, I sent a text message to my coach and my teammates telling them that more than likely I was out for the season,” he said. “It would be a long shot if I was going to be back. But now that I’m back, I’m going to work hard and push myself but more importantly, try to push my team.”

Mt.View-ClingGirls
Clint junior Brisa Aguilar out kicked Mt. View freshman Madeline Estrada at the District 1-4A meet last week. Both runners will compete in Monday’s Region 1-4A Championship in Lubbock.

The San Elizario girls also qualified for regionals along with the Fabens boys, the Clint girls and Mt. View’s boys and girls team.

Clint senior Felipe Rocha, finished in the top 10 at district and qualified as an individual.

Mt. View sophomore Joshua Gonzalez was 14th at regionals and advanced to state, as did San Elizario junior Yajary Quiroz and sophomore America Morales.

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 9

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top 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 and 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 5K/3 mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

BoysPackSac
The 2018 Cross Country season began with a Race to Midnight at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex. On Monday in Lubbock, it will end for most runners. For those luckily and talented enough, the season will continue on Nov. 3 in Round Rock at the UIL State Championship.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers won its eighth straight district championship scoring 25 points and placing six runners in the top 10. Senior Kayn Quinones led the way for the Troopers finishing third in 16:14.00. followed by junior Elias Perez (fourth, 16:28,23), sophomore Nathan Hernandez (fifth, 16:28.23), junior Juan Olmos (sixth, 16:30.73), senior Eddie Gallegos (seventh, 16:30.24) and sophomore Sergio Leon Cuartes (10th, 16:46.41). Its 1-5 split was 16 seconds. The team will advance to the Region 1-5A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers won the District 1-6A with 38 points. It is their first district championship since 2005. Americas had four runners – senior Tyler Rodriguez (third, 16:21.83), freshman Jared Laverty (fifth, 16:35.06), junior Jacob Ye (sixth, 16:36.05) and senior Alek Duran (10th, 16:53.83) – in the top 10. The team will advance to the Region 1-6A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

3. San Elizario: The Eagles scored a perfect score of 15 to win its fifth District 1-4A championship. Sophomore Edwin Gomez was first in 16:33.79 followed by freshman Irvin Vazquez (17:30.16), junior Rene Arambula (17:40.71) and sophomores Dilan Sanchez (17:46.68) and Jacob Ordonez (17:48.50). San Elizario seeks its fifth Region 1-4A championship Monday in Lubbock.

4. Coronado: The T-Birds jump three spots after finishing second at the District 1-6A Championship. Coronado had three runners finish in the top 10 including district champion, junior Nick Gonzalez (15:58.97) and runner up, senior Liam Walsh (15:59.51). Junior Alan Alba was seventh in 16:40.85. Coronado advances to the Region 1-6A championship in Lubbock on Monday.

5. Franklin: The Cougars advance to the Region 1-6A Championship after its third place finish at the District 1-6A Championship. Senior Jacobo Wedemeyer was fourth in 16:26.47.

6. Burges: The Mustangs narrowly defended its District 1-5A title scoring 56 points, just ahead of Chapin and Jefferson each with 63 points.  Burges senior Sam Zambrano was second overall in 16:42.72. Burges will compete at the Region 1-5A championship in Lubbock on Monday.

7. Eastlake: The Falcons move up a spot after its second place finish at the District 2-5A Championship, narrowly beating Hanks by one point. Eastlake had two runners – freshman Israel David (eighth, 16:33.44) and senior Carlos Armendariz (ninth, 16:41.48) – in the top 10. The team will race at the Region 1-5A Championship in Lubbock on Monday.

8. Hanks: The Knights drop four spots after its third place finish at the District 2-5A Championship. Juniors Michael Abeyta and Rodger Rivera finished first and second in times of 15:42.74 and 16:03.89. They will compete in the Region 1-5A Championship in Lubbock on Monday.

9. Tornillo: Tornillo won its fifth District 3-3A championship in row Saturday, finishing three points better than Crane. The Coyotes placed three runners in the top 10 including district champion Eddie Carrillo (17:11) and district runner up Ofir Ortega (17:35) and Heribeto Amaya was fifth (18:21). Tornillo will be on the hunt for its fifth Region 1-3A championship in Lubbock on Monday.

 10. Jefferson/Chapin: The Foxes showed some grit at the District 1-5A meet, earning a second-place tie with Chapin. Jefferson placed three runners – D’Angelo Flores (third, 17:12.23), Uciel Garcia (sixth, 17:32.56) and Jordy Cortez (seventh, 17:32.56) – in the top 10.  Two Huskies – junior Angel Contreras (fourth, 17:18.78) and Joaquin Ortega (ninth, 17:34.36) – finished in the top 10. Both teams will race in the Region 1-5A Championship on Monday.

Dropped out: Socorro.
On the verge: Cathedral.

ChapinBoys
It has been a long and grueling fall season that began for most teams with summer training. Championship season continues Monday in Lubbock with the Region 1 races.

Top 25 Times (5K/3 mile)

1, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 14:32.48 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

2, Elias Perez, Eastwood, 14:37.0 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

3, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 14:52.5 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15)

4, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 14:55.2 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

5, Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 14:59:46 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

6, Kayn Quinones, Eastwood, 15:03.3 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

7, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 15:13.4 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

8, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:14.85 (NcNeil Invitational, 9/29).

9, Nick Gonzalez, Coronado, 15:18.09 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

10, Liam Walsh, Coronado, 15:19.73 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

11, Eddie Gallegos, Eastwood, 15:22.9 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

12, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:24:52 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

13, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 15:31.8 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

14, Jacob Ye, Americas, 15:39.67 (McNeil Invitational, 9/29).

15, Tyler Rodriguez, Americas, 15:41:9 (Mae Simmons Park, 9/22).

16, Jacobo Wedemeyer, Franklin, 15:45.10 (Desert Twilight, 9/29).

17, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 15:47.21 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

18, Brandon Seagraves, Cathedral, 15:47:50 (Desert Twilight, 9/28).

19, Alek Duran, Americas, 15:48:30 (McNeil Invitational, 9/29).

20, Alan Alba, Coronado, 15:48.83 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

21, Carlos Armendariz, Eastlake, 15:51.12 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

22, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:51.29 (McNeil Invitational, 9/29).

23, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 15:56.30 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

24, D’Angelo Flores, Jefferson, 15:57.92 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

25, Daniel Kennedy, Franklin, 16:03.58 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

TornilloRunner
Mae Simmons Park will be the site of the Region 1 Championship, one step away from the UIL State Championship. Earlier in the year, several El Paso schools competed at the Lubbock Invitational,including Tornillo.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Edwin Gomez, San Eli, 99 (6).

2, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 64 (3).

3, Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 59 (1).

4, Nicholas Gonzalez, Coronado, 54 (2).

5, Liam Walsh, Coronado, 53 (1).

5, Chauncey Wilkes, Andress, 53 (2).

7, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 42 (1).

7, Brandon Seagraves, Cathedral, 42 (2).

9, Tyler Rodriguez, Americas, 37 (1).

10, Israel David, Eastlake, 36.

 

Jacob Ye, Americas, 33.

Jacobo Wedemeyer, Franklin, 32

Seth Rodriguez, San Eli, 30.

Eduardo Carrillo, Tornillo, 29 (1).

Mario Luna, Socorro, 26.

Elias Perez, Eastwood, 24.

Alan Alba, Coronado, 24.

Sam Zambrano, Burges, 23.

Alek Duran, Americas, 20.

Angel Contreras, Chapin, 20.

Carlos Armendariz, Eastlake, 19.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 19.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 18.

Carmelo Corral, Americas, 17.

D’Angelo Flores, Jefferson, 17.

Martin Pargas, San Eli, 15.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 15.

Jared Laverty, Americas, 15.

Kayn Quinones, Eastwood, 15.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 14.

Irvin Vasquez, San Eli, 12.

Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 12.

Christian Parra, Socorro, 11.

Eddie Gallegos, Eastwood, 11.

Sebastian Mendoza, Socorro, 9.

Noah Yeager, Burges, 9.

Josep Ferret, El Paso, 9.

Rene Arambula, San Eli, 8.

Dilan Sanchez, San Eli,7.

Jacob Ordonez, San Eli, 6.

Steve Stresow, Cathedral, 6.

Angel Ortiz, Burges, 6.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 6.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 6.

Lloyd Frilot, Andress, 6.

Heriberto Amaya, Tornillo, 6.

Gael Hernandez, Fabens, 5.

Matthew Lindsey, Montwood, 5.

Uciel Garcia, Jefferson 5.

Jordy Cortez, Jefferson, 4.

Zach Sanchez, Andress, 4.

Joshua Pineda, Pebble Hills, 4.

Adrian Morales, Irvin, 4.

Dylan Espinosa, Bowie, 4.

Evan Rubio, Ysleta, 3.

Hector Rivera, Bel Air, 3.

Luis Cuevas, Burges, 3.

Andres Marquez, Eastwood, 3.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 3.

Sebastian Mendoza, Socorro, 3.

Mario Garcia. Mt. View, 3.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 2.

Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 2.

Daniel Kennedy, Franklin, 2.

Hector Sanchez, Americas, 1.

Abraham Navarez, Parkland, 1.

Matthew Avila, El Paso, 1.

Jorge Navor, Eastwood, 1.

Felipe Rocha, Clint, 1.

 

High School Girls XC Poll: Week 9

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top 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 and 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 151 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 5K/3-mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

Girl'sBacks
With the district races behind them, the focus is now on the UIL Region 1 Cross County Championship at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock on Monday.

Top 10  

1. Franklin: The Cougars earned its first District 1-6A championship since 2005. Sophomore Eva Jess defended her individual title winning in 18:39.37. The Cougars had four runners in the top 10 and finished with 34 points. Other top 10 runners were senior Amalia Dorion (fourth, 20:24.29), freshman Jenna Saunders (seventh, 20:51.92) and junior Lorien Clark (tenth, 21:20.19). The team will advance to the Region 1-6A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

2. Eastwood: The Troopers won its 11th district title in 13 years, easily winning the District 2-5A championship with 32 points. Freshman Lauren Wells won the individual title in 19:23.73. Eastwood placed four runners in the top 10 – Walls and juniors Meadow Ortiz (fifth, 20:34.94), Destiny Martinez (sixth, 20:34.94), Eileen McLain (10th, 21:16.56). The team will race at the Region 1-5A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

3. Americas: The Trailblazers finished second at the Distirict 1-6A Championship with 61 points. Three Americas runners finished in the top 10 – junior Daphne Duran (third, 19:57.28), junior Priscilla Villalobos (eighth, 21:10.32) and sophomore Lauren Anderson (tenth, 21:17.33). The team will advance to the Region 1-6A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes move up a spot after its impressive District 1-5A championship. Jefferson placed five runners – individual champion Crystal Peterson (first, 19:44.80), Monique Correa (second, 20:44.56), Melody Tsutsumi (fourth, 20:54.08), Ivette Rojas (seventh, 21:17.93) and Saxon Alvarez (tenth, 21:36.13) – good for 20 points. The team will advance to the Region 1-5A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

5. Eastlake: Eastlake was second in the District 2-5A championship with 58 points. Senior Aeriel Garcia was second overall in 19:47.43 while classmate Amaris Chavez was third in 20:15.59. The team will advance to the Region 1-5A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

6. Coronado: The T-Birds were third with 66 points at the District 1-6A Championship. Senior Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy was second in 19:07.31 and junior Sophia Flores was sixth in 20:45.45. The team will advance to the Region 1-6A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

7. Socorro: The Bulldogs placed fourth at the District 1-6A Championship with 91 points. However, junior Jazmin Chacon finished fifth overall in 20:35.30 to qualify for the Region 1-6A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

8. Canutillo: The Eagles picked a good day to run its best team race  of the season and placed second at the District 1-5A Championship. The team scored 81 points and will advance to the Region 1-5A Meet in Lubbock on Monday. Its top two runners were juniors Ivy Lara (14th, 22:25.35 and Yulisa Ortega (15th, 22:29.26).

9. San Elizario:The Eagles move up a spot after winning the District 1-4A Championship. San Elizario and Clint finished with an identical 36 points but the Eagles won the title based on its sixth runner junior Giselle Acevedo who finished 14th, three spots ahead of Clint’s sixth runner sophomore Leilani Navarrete. The team will advance to the Region 1-4A Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

10. Horizon: Horizon placed third at the District 2-5A Championship with 99 points and will advance to the Region 1-5A Meet. Senior Kenia Enriquez was fourth in 20:31.26 while junior Destiny Beltran was seventh in 21:02.05.

Dropped out: Bel Air, Montwod.

On the brink: Clint.

MoraMontesAustin
Austin sophomore Mora Montes was third at the District 1-5A Championship. She will compete at the Region 1-5A XC Meet in Lubbock on Monday.

Top 25 Times (5K/3Mile)

1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 17:30.05 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

2, Aeriel Garcia, Eastlake, 17:49.17 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

3, Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy, Coronado, 18:31.85 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

4, Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 18:36.0 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

5, Amaris Chavez, Eastlake, 18:38.59 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

6, Eileen Mclain, Eastwood, 18:38.6 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

7, Skyler Goodman, Chapin, 18:48.55 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

8, Daphne Duran, Americas, 18:48.63 (McNeil Invitational, 9/29).

9, Lauren Walls, Eastwood, 19:02.5 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/25).

10, Mariana Guzman, Americas, 19:06.79 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

11, Priscilla Villalobos, Americas, 19:08.71 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

12, Amalia Dorion, Franklin, 19:09.26 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

13, Lauren Villareal, Eastwood, 19:15.3 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/25).

14, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 19:18.55 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

15, Sophia Flores, Coronado, 19:20.82 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

16, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 19:28.27 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

17, Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 19:28.74 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

18, Jenna Saunders, Franklin 19:31.02 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

19, Karen Garcia, Jefferson 19:31.80 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

20, Morayma Montes, Austin, 19:33.63 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

21, Emily Hernandez, Eastlake, 19:34.68 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

22, Lorien Clark, Franklin 19:38.52 11 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

23, Destiny Martinez, Eastwood, 19:39.6 (Woodbridge Classic, 9/15).

24, Angelina Lujan, Parkland, 19:43.96 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

25, Deserie Herrera, Eastlake, 19:46.9 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/15).

kaynHartANdress
Andress sophomore Caryn Hart was ninth at Friday’s morning’s District 1-5A Championship and earned herself a trip to regionals.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 82 (7).

2, Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy, Coronado, 73 (2).

3, Aeriel Garcia, Eastlake, 63 (2).

4, Amalia Dorion, Franklin, 51.

5, Skyler Goodman, Chapin, 48.

6, Daphne Duran, Americas, 43.

7, Kenia Enriquez, Horizon, 40.

8, Angeline Lujan, Parkland, 32 (2).

9, Morayma Montes, Austin, 29.

10, Sophia Flores, Coronado, 28.

 

Marisol Hernandez, El Paso, 27.

Amaris Chavez, Eastlake, 26.

America Morales, San Elizario, 25.

Lauren Walls, Eastwood, 25 (1).

Priscilla Villalobos, Americas, 24.

Jazmin Chacon, Socorro, 24 (1).

Nicole Estrada, Mt. View, 24 (1).

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 23.

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 21.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 21.

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 18 (1).

Natalie Jimenez, Burges, 18.

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 17.

Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 15.

Eileen McLain, Eastwood, 14.

Brisa Aguilar, Clint, 12.

Destiny Beltran, Horizon, 11.

Janeth Chacon, Socorro, 10.

Deserie Herrera, Eastlake, 10.

Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 10.

Mariana Guzman, Americas, 9.

Diane Mena, Montwood, 9.

Ivette Rojas, Jefferson, 9.

Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 8.

Marcela Perches, Loretto, 6.

Jocelyn Castro, Fabens, 6.

Lilian Breceda, Coronado, 6.

Madeline Estrada, Mt. View, 6.

Natalia Perez, San Elizario, 6.

Jacqueline Castillo, Clint, 6.

Destiny Martinez, Eastwood, 6.

Emilia Fontes, Socorro, 5.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 5.

Katelyn Robles, Del Valle, 5.

Evonna Walker, Burges, 5.

Emily Guerrero, San  Elizario, 5.

Rosalinda Reza, Mt. View, 4.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 4.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 4.

Lorien Clark, Franklin, 4.

Demi Garcia, Socorro, 3.

Lynette Rocha, Clint, 3.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 3.

Valerie Gonzalez, Pebble Hills, 2.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 2.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 2.

Jalyn Guardado, Coronado, 2.

Karen Garcia, Jefferson, 1.

Amaya Foran, Andress, 1.

Natalia Espinosa, Montwood, 1.

Paulina Friare, Hanks, 1.

Saxon Alvarez, Jefferson, 1.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 1.

Anise Robles, Del Valle, 1.

Karina Gallegos San Elizario, 1

Jaqueline Spencer, Hanks, 1.

UPDATE: Nine District Championships earned; On to Regionals for 13 area teams

Who advanced

The top three teams from each district and the top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championships. The following teams and runners have advanced:

Boys

Class 6A: Americas, Coronado and Franklin. Also, Mario Luna, Socorro and Matthew Lindesy, Montwood.

Class 5A: Eastwood, Burges, Chapin, Eastlake, Jefferson and Hanks. Also, Chauncey Wilkes and Lloyd Frilot, Andress; Adrian Morales, Irvin and Dylan Espinoza, Bowie.

Class 4A: San Elizario, Fabens, Mt. View. Also, Felipe Rocha,Clint.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Girls

Class 6A: Franklin, Americas and Coronado. Also, Jazmin Chacon, Socorro.

Class 5A: Eastwood, Jefferson, Eastlake, Canutillo, Horizon and Burges. Also, Mora Montes, Austin; Skyler Goodman, Chapin; Marisol Hernandez, El Paso; Caryn Hart, Andress; Angelina Lujan, Parkland and Jaqueline Spencer, Hanks.

Class 4A: San Elizario, Clint and Mt. View.

What’s next

Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 22 at Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

americasboys@district2

Eight district cross country championship were up for grabs on a wet, muddy hilly course at the Chamizal National Memorial Park on Friday.

On this dreary morning, just right for a cross country meet, three runners –  Hanks sophomore Michael Abeyta and the Coronado duo of junior Nick Gonzalez and senior Liam Walsh – finished with sub 16-minute 5K times.

The San Eizario boys finished with a perfect score of 15 to capture their fifth consecutive district championship; the Americas boys and the Franklin girls won district titles for the first time since 2005 and the Eastwood boys won its eighth straight district championship.

Here is a rundown on the district races.

PetersonJefferson
Jefferson freshman Crystal Peterson won the District 1-5A race in 19:44.80. It was Peterson’s second varsity race, ever.

District 1-5A roundup

The highlight of the meet – and biggest surprise – was Jefferson’s Peterson, who won the District 1-5A championship in only her second varsity race.

“It was kind of unexpected for me,” Peterson said. “I never ran cross country before and I didn’t get started until late August so I had to build myself up to reach this point.”

Jefferson’s girls placed five runners – Peterson (first, 19:44.80), freshman Monique Correa (second, 20:44.56), Melody Tsutsumi (fourth, 20:54.08), Ivette Rojas (seventh, 21:17.93) and Saxon Alvarez (10th, 21:36.13) – in the top 10 to easily win the team title with 20 points followed by Canutillo and Burges. All three qualified for the Region 1-5A Championship in Lubbock on Oct. 22.

Runners also advancing to regional who are not on a qualifying team are Austin sophomore Mora Montes (third, 20:50.21), Chapin senior Skyler Goodman (fifth, 20:58.50), El Paso High junior Marisol Hernandez (sixth, 21:09.39) and Andress sophomore Caryn Hart (ninth, 21:33.14).

Peterson, who plays basketball and is a 400-meter runner, said her friends encouraged her to run cross country.

“I never really heard much about cross country but my friends wanted me to come out and try it and now I like it,” she said.

A district championship will do that to a runner.

JeffersonGirls@District
Jefferson’s girls won the District 1-5A title with a dominating performance, scoring 20 points. All six runner finished in the top 9, including three runners in the top four.

Jefferson’s longtime coach Alfredo Trejo said the team has been working towards this the entire season.

“This is what we’ve been working on all season, to peak at the right time,” he said. “The girls ran well today, they deserved to win it.”

He wasn’t even surprised that Peterson won.

“We thought she could run well so we brought her and ran her on JV,” he said. “She’s been getting better with every race.  And then two weeks ago we ran her here on the varsity and she ran really well.”

Boys2-5APack
The boys District 1-5A race was the best of the day. Burges defended its tea m title with 56 points while Jefferson and Chapin tied at 63. Jefferson earned the team silver based on the sixth runner placing three spots ahead of the Chapin runner.

On the boy’s side, Burges narrowly defended its title scoring 56 points, just ahead of Chapin and Jefferson each with 63 points. All three teams advance to the regional meet

Andress senior Chauncey Wilkes won the individual title in 16:38.41, ahead of Burges senior Sam Zambrano (16:42.72) and Jefferson’s D’Angelo Flores (17:12.23).

Andress senior Lloyd Frilot (fifth, 17:30,) Irvin senior Adrian Morales (eighth, 17:32.98) and Bowie junior Dylan Espinoza (10th, 17:36.92) also earn regional spots.

“I never thought that I could be that guy but here I am,” Wilkes said of being a district champion. “It’s something special, it’s just an awesome feeling. Four years ago I would never have thought I would be where I am now.”

Wilkens@District
Andress senior Chauncey Wilkes won the District 1-5A championship in 16:38.41. It was his second meet championship in his career.

Wilkes said he didn’t feel he was consistent enough or good enough to be a district champion, but here he is.

“Last year I made that jump and was able to be in that front pack,” he said. “Now I really cemented myself into that. I went to a runner’s camp and I was able to see some top talent and I saw their lifestyle and the work they put in. You can’t just put in slow miles and that changed my mentality, that really inspired me to make my jump.”

EastwoodGirs@District
The Eastwood girls won its eighth district championship in a row placing runners in four runners in the top 10 with its fifth runner placing 11th.

District 2-5A roundup

Another freshman, Eastwood’s Lauren Walls, came away with a surprise championship, winning the District 2-5A race in 19:23.73.

“I wanted to get out fast for my team and build them up from the start,” Walls said. “My only motivation was to help my team win. It surprised me that I won the race because the Eastlake girl Aeriel (Garcia) is such a good runner. She is tough and strong so I was surprised that I was able to push pass her.”

Walls helped Eastwood to its 11th district title in 13 years. The Troopers placed four runners in the top 10 – Walls and juniors Meadow Ortiz (fifth, 20:34.94), Destiny Martinez (sixth, 20:34.94), Eileen McLain (10th, 21:16.56).

Eastlake was second behind two seniors – Garcia (second, 19:47.43) and Amari Chavez (third, 20:15.59) – and Horizon was third with two runners – senior Kenia Enriquez (fourth, 20:31.26) and junior Destiny Beltran (seventh, 21:02.05) – finishing in the top 10.

Two runners not on the three qualifying teams – Parkland sophomore Angelina Lujan (eighth, 21:14.84) and Hanks senior Jaqueline Spencer (10th, 21:20.97) – qualified for regionals.

Eastwood’s boys won its eighth straight district championship scoring 25 points and placing six runners in the top 10.

Senior Kayn Quinones led the way for the Troopers finishing third behind the Hanks junior duo of Michael Abeyta (15:42.74) and Rodger Rivera (16:03.89).

Quinones was third in 16:14.00 followed by teammates junior Elias Perez  (fourth, 16:28,23), sophomore Nathan Hernandez (fifth, 16:28.23), junior Juan Olmos (sixth, 16:30.73), senior Eddie Gallegos (seventh, 16:30.24) and sophomore Sergio Leon Cuartes (10th, 16:46.41).

Eastlake, behind freshman Israel David (eighth, 16:33.44) and senior Carlos Armendariz (9th, 16:41.48), finished second with 74 points, one point ahead of Hanks. All three teams will be headed to regionals.

“It feels good to win district but our goal is to continue on to regionals and state so this was a good first step,” Quinones said. “The race wasn’t too bad, it was cold at the start and a little muddy and not too slippery but there were a lot of crazy turns and the hills were kind of tricky but overall it was a good race.”

AbeytaRiveraLeadingpack
Hanks juniors Michael Abeyta and Rodger Rivera finished 1-2 in the District 2-5A district race. This was Abeyta’s third district championship.

For Abeyta, it was just another day at the office, winning his third District 2-5A championship.

“All the mud and the rain made it really fun,” he said. “The hills were also fun. I love hills, I train on them almost every day.”

What was different about this district championship was Abeyta brought a friend in Rivera.

“It was kind of unexpected,” Rivera said of his second-place finish. “Running in the mud is not my strong suit but I did OK. It was fun, it was a good race.”

NickLiamleadingPack
Coronado’s Liam Walsh (right) and Nick Gonzalez (left), lead the District 1-6A pack for most of the meet. Gonzalez won his first district title in 15:58.97

District 1-6A roundup

For the first time since 2005, the Americas boys were able to hoist the District 1-6A trophy over their heads.

Americas had four runners – senior Tyler Rodriguez (third, 16:21.83), freshman Jared Laverty (fifth, 16:35.06), junior Jacob Ye (sixth, 16:36.05) and senior Alek Duran (10th, 16:53.83) – in the top 10 to score 38 points.

“They’ve been disappointed the past few years,” said Americas coach Ken Lucero. “We always have high expectations and been disappointed so this is very satisfying. We work so hard every year and we finally win it; the kids deserve it.”

Lucero has been blessed with some talented teams and runners over his 10-year tenure at Americas. He said this team ranks right up there with the best of them.

“Overall this is probably our best time,” he said. “We’ve had better individuals on the team who have finished higher. Jayden Rankins won it my first year here and then Cameron (Laverty) was the first one in school history to make it to the state and Brian Lujan was the second one so we’ve had some top level guys but as a team and the gap being close and running as a pack, this is the best one.”

Coronado was second with 55 points and Franklin was third with 77 points to earn a trip to regionals.

Coronado’s 1-2 runners junior Nick Gonzalez and senior Liam Walsh were first and second in times of 15:58.97 and 15:59.51.

Socorro senior Mario Luna (eighth, 16:50.67) and Montwood senior Matthew Lindesy (ninth, 16:53.56) also earned trips to regionals.

“Winning my first district championship feels so great,” Gonzalez said. “Liam is great. We have a great competitive relationship. It’s always back and forth between us. We really pushed each other in this race and in our training.”

EvaJess@District
Franklin sophomore Eva Jess successfully defending her District 1-6A title winning in 18:39.37.

Franklin sophomore Eva Jess pushed the young Cougars to its first district championship since 2005, just like the Americas boys.

The Cougars had four runners in the top 10 and finished with 34 points. Americas was second with 61 points and Coronado was third with 66.

Jess finished in 18:39.37 followed by Coronado senior Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy (19:07.31), Americas junior Daphne Duran (19:57.28), Franklin senior Amalia Dorion (20:24.29) and Socorro junior Jazmin Chacon (20:35.39).

“This is not terrible, I hope it continues for the next two years,” Jess said. “We push each other in practice every single day, we love each other so much. It’s definitely hard work but it definitely pays off.”

NicoleAMerica@district
Mt. View junior Nicole Estrada and San Elizario America Morales fought the entire District 1-4A two-mile race. Estrada edged out Morales in by one second.

District 1-4A roundup

Don’t look now but there’s another “Estrada” on the loose.

Mt. View junior Nicole Estrada picked a good time to win her first varsity meet.

Estrada won the 2-mile District 1-4A Championship in 15:58.97, a second ahead of San Elizario sophomore America Morales (15:59.51). Clint sophomore Vivian Zapata was third in 16:21.83, teammate Brisa Aguilar, a junior, was fourth in 16:26.47 and Mt. View freshman Madeline Estrada was fifth in 16:35.06.

“I know there would be a lot of great competition and I needed to push myself,” Estrada said. “Going up the big hills, I felt confident that I would do well in the race.”

If “Estrada from Mt. View sounds familiar it’s because Nicole’s two older sisters, Emily and Michelle, each won District 1-4A cross country championships as well.

Oh, and by the way, that freshman Madeline Estrada who finished fifth is the younger sister.

“It’s hard sometimes,” Nicole Estrada said of living up to the Estrada name. “I know I have to do well because of who my sisters are. I want to do good not only for me but for them too. I know they worked really hard when they were running so I want to make them proud.”

San Elizario won back-to-back team titles. But it was not easy.

San Elizario and Clint finished with an identical 36 points but the Eagles won the title based on its sixth runner junior Giselle Acevedo who finished 14th, three spots ahead of Clint’s sixth runner sophomore Leilani Navarrete.

Mt. View was third with 53 points. San Elizario, Clint and Mt. View will advance to regionals.

“We’ve come a long way,” San Elizario coach Cesar Morales said. “We lost some girls due to graduation and injuries so we came out with a fairly no group. We knew it was going to be tough with Clint and Mt. View. Before the race we talked about how important our fifth, sixth and seventh runner was going to be and it came down to the sixth runner.”

Edwin@District
San Elizario sophomore Edwin Gomez cruised to District 1-4A championship in 16:33.79 to lead the clean sweep for the Eagles who ended the race with a perfect score of 15.

The San Elizario boys scored a perfect score of 15, placing its scoring runners in the top five.

Sophomore Edwin Gomez was first in 16:33.79 followed by freshman Irvin Vazquez (17:30.16), junior Rene Arambula (17:40.71) and sophomores Dilan Sanchez (17:46.68) and Jacob Ordonez (17:48.50).

Fabens was second with 68 points followed by Mt. View with 74. All three teams qualify for regionals as well as Clint senior Felipe Rocha (10th, 18:24.21).

Coach Morales was happy to have Arambula back after missing most of the season recovering from a broken ankle.

“My main instructions to the team was not to win but to still healthy,” Morales said. “The course was muddy and getting worse so all I wanted from them was to stay healthy and qualify for regionals. At the end we ended up getting a perfect score again but that was not the priority.”

TornilloBoys
Tornillo won its fifth straight District 3-3A Championship at the hilly course at Paisano Baptist Encampment in Alpine. Tornillo placed three runners in the top 10 including district champion Eddie Carrillo and district runner up Ofir Ortega. Heribeto Amaya was fitfh (18:21) followed by Bryan Garcia (13th, 18:54), Michael Maney (14th. 19:06), Tommy Montelongo (16th, 19:16) and Bryan Guzman (17th, 19:16). The Coyotes ended the day with 35 points followed by Crane with 38 points and Presido with 67.

District 3-3A roundup

Tornillo’s boy made it five District 3-3A championships in row Saturday morning at the Paisano Baptist Encampment in Alpine.

Tornillo placed three runners in the top 10 including district champion Eddie Carrillo and district runner up Ofir Ortega.

Carrillo managed the rocky, hillside course in 17 minutes, 11 seconds, followed by Ortega who crossed the line in 17:35.

Heribeto Amaya was fifth (18:21) followed by Bryan Garcia (13th, 18:54), Michael Maney (14th. 19:06), Tommy Montelongo (16th, 19:16) and Bryan Guzman (17th, 19:16).

The Coyotes ended the day with 35 points followed by Crane with 38 points and Presido with 67. All three teams will advance to the Region 1-3A Championship in Lubbock.

“We had a tough race with Crane,” Tornillo head coach Jesse Garcia said. “Crane has everybody back from last year’s team with all that experience but we managed to pull it off on a tough course against state-caliber competition.”

Last year, Tornillo was second at state, Crane was fifth and Presido was ninth.

“For me, district has always been the hardest race, even harder than regional and state,” Garcia said. “I don’t know why but it just is. We have a tough little district, it’s no joke.”

The district race helped the team prepare for the next two races.

“What the district meet does for the boys is it wakes them up and lets them know that we are going to be challenged,” he said. “I told them before the race that every race is going to be cardiac race from here on in. Every race is going to be close but I expect them to come out on top, even at state where the bigger dogs are at.”

EddieCarrillo
Tornillo senior Eddie Carrillo won the District 3-3A championship in 17 minutes 11 seconds. Tornillo placed three runners in the top 10 including district runner up Ofir Ortega.

Garcia said he was not surprised with Carrillo’s individual district championship.

“Eddie has been my number two guy all season,” Garcia said. “He has been nursing an injury all season but he did finish 11th at state last year so we knew he had it in him. Ofir wasn’t 100 percent, either. He had to go to the doctor a few times last week to clean out his stomach which took away his strength. If these guys get it right, it should make for a fun race at regionals where they should be pushing each other for one and two.”

Garcia expects a fifth consecutive regional championship on Monday.

“We can’t let the teams or the guys in the past down,” he said. “They built this regional championship tradition. We not only have won regional team championships the past four years but we’ve also had individual champions each year. I have a feeling we’re going to come out strong in the next two races. I’ve made a few training changes that hopefully will create a lot tighter unit and defend that 79853 zip code with everything they’ve got.”

 

 

 

 

 

District 1-5A Preview: Burges boys, El Paso girls hope to repeat; Chapin’s Skyler Goodman looks to defend individual title

District Previews

Monday – District 1-4A, District 3-3A

Tuesday – District 2-5A

Wednesday – District 1-6A

Thursday – District 1-5A

Make Plans

What: District Cross Country Championship.

When: 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Rolling schedule (girls first, then boys) – District 1-6A; District 1-4A; District 2-5A, District 1-5A.

Where: Chamizal National Memorial Park, 800 S San Marcial.

At Stake: Top three teams and the top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 22 at Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

1-5A Group
Burges is seeking a repeat performance of last year’s district race which ended in a championship.

There are two things that are almost certain – the Burges boys will defend its District 1-5A team title and Chapin senior Skylar Goodman will claim her second straight district crown.

Everything else in this district championship is up for grabs.

Aside from the Burges boys, no school in the district has shown any kind of consistency this season which could lead to two of the most intriguing races of the day.

The Burges boys are seeking a return to state, but first they must take care of business Friday and then finish in the top four at the Region 1-5A championship at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock on Oct. 22.

Senior Sam Zambrano, sophomore David Gonzalez and junior Noah Yeager are the Mustangs top three and seniors Angel Ortiz, Luis Cuevas are solid 4-5 runners.

Zambrano said in order for the Mustangs to match last years district and regional performance, which eventually got them to the state meet – the team needs to focus.

“Our first year at regionals we were just happy to be there,” Zambrano said. “We just wanted to see what we could do. The next year, last year, we made it to state and that was a big deal for us because we were only the second team from Burges to take our coach to state again. We didn’t really perform well over there so we want to go back and hopefully place in the top three.”

But before any of that can happen, the District 1-5A race looms.

“We’re all about business right now,” Zambrano said. “We need to show what we’re all about. We need to focus on our individual performances and then we can work as a team. Last year at state, we were just happy to be there. That was my second time but our team’s first and that was a big deal for us.”

Burges must keep an eye out for the Chapin Huskies who are capable of putting up a solid battle for the district title and, at the very least, run well enough to earn a trip to regionals.

The pack-running Huskies are led by junior Angel Contreras, senior Thomas Magee, junior Michael Gunnison and sophomore Jaquin Ortega.

The third and final spot to regionals will come down to El Paso, Jefferson and Irvin but do not count out the young Austin Panthers who could surprise everyone with a qualifying run of the season.

ChaunceyWilkes
Andress senior Chauncey Wilkes is the favorite to win the district championship.

Individually, Andress senior Chauncey Wilkes hopes to earn the district championship. He will be challenge by the Burges pair of Zambrano and Gonzalez and Jefferson’s D’Angelo Flores.

“It’s my goal,” Wilkes said of winning district. “It would mean a lot to me, especially heading into regionals. The district course has a few hills but it’s not anything like regionals. Getting out there and focusing on having a good first two miles and focusing on staying on a pace where it would relate to regionals would be my goal.”

Wilkes said he hopes it rains on Friday.

D'Angelo2
Jefferson did not run a full team at last year’s district meet. However, senior D’Angelo Flores finished sixth and qualified for regional.

“I want a tough course,” he said. “Something that I have to work hard at and where I have to push myself. We can’t always stress about times, even through we all want to see those sub 16s but right now it’s all about placing.”

District 1-5A boys at a glance:

2017 District Champion: Burges.

2017 Individual District Champion: Aaron Gillam, Irvin.

2017 Regional team qualifiers: Burges, Austin, Chapin.

Projected order of finish:

1, Burges: Favorite to defend district title.

2, Chapin: Huskies will give it a run.

3, Jefferson: Always seem to be in the mix.

4, El Paso: Tigers are up for an upset.

5, Irvin: Rockets are dangerous unknowns.

6, Austin: Rebuild is in full effect.

7, Canutillo: Still developing under a new coach.

8, Address: Not deep enough.

9, Bowie: The Bears keep plugging away.

EPHS@Horizon
The El Paso High girls won the district meet last year by 3 points last year.

Skylar Goodman, the defending girls district champion, has been preparing for Friday the entire season.

“We went to Lubbock this year and it gave me a chance to run a hilly course against some great competition,” Goodman said. “That put me into the mindset that in order to push myself I had to train as hard as possible and run against as great of competition as I possibly can.”

At the Lubbock Invitational, Goodman finished second in 18:54 at Mae Simmons Park, the Region 1-5A course.

Goodman, a senior, said 2018 has been a challenging year.

“We lost a lot of our team from last year and only have six varsity girls,” she said. “We have a stronger bond with each other because we have such a small team. At practice, if someone gets tired and wants to give up, we feed off each other and push each other to keep going. We are constantly encouraging each other to push on.”

She has also had to make some training adjustments.

“One of those adjustments was training with the guys team,” she said. “They are closer to the paces that I want to hit or the paces that I am hitting. I also put on extra practice outside of my school practice.”

Skyler Goodman
Chapin senior Skyler Goodman is the defending district champion. Last year, Chapin’s team finished 3 points behind El Paso High.

Clearly, Goodman is the class of the district. Austin sophomore Morayma Montes could pose a threat as well as a slew of Jefferson and El Paso High runners.

Jefferson and El Paso High have the deepest teams in the district.

When the Silver Foxes run as a unit, which they haven’t done much this season, they look to head and shoulders above the rest of the district. On any given day – Crystal Peterson, Monique Correa, Saxon Alvarez, Karen Garcia or Melody Tsutsumi – could lead this team.

Same goes for the Tigers and its top runners – junior Marisol Hernandez and sophomores Alissa Kennedy, Stevie Tuckman, Vivian Shaheen and Camille Watts.

The final regional spot could very well be Chapin.

“I think we have really good chance of qualifying as a team for regional,” Goodman said. “We’ve put in a lot more mileage the past two weeks so I’m really looking forward to the district meet and see how we do.”

District 1-5A girls at a glance:

2017 District Champion: El Paso.

2017 Individual District Champion: Skyler Goodman, Chapin.

2017 Regional team qualifiers: El Paso, Chapin, Jefferson.

Projected order of finish:

1, Jefferson: Foxes always peak at the right time.

2, El Paso: Young Tigers could surprise people.

3, Chapin: Toss up for the final spot.

4, Burges: Why not the Mustangs to regionals?

5, Canutillo: Has the potential in a few years.

6, Bowie: Bears will run hard.

7, Irvin: Rockets will not quit.

8, Andress: Will not run a full team.

9, Austin: Will not run a full team.

District 1-6A Preview: Americas boys, Franklin girl’s favorites to win titles; Jess looks to defend individual championship

District Previews

Monday – District 1-4A, District 3-3A

Tuesday – District 2-5A

Wednesday – District 1-6A

Thursday – District 1-5A

Make Plans

What: District Cross Country Championship.

When: 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Rolling schedule (girls first, then boys) – District 1-6A; District 1-4A; District 2-5A, District 1-5A.

Where: Chamizal National Memorial Park, 800 S San Marcial.

At Stake: Top three teams and the top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 22 at Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

AmericasBoys
The Americas boys are looking for its first district championship since 2005.

 

One thing is certain to happen at Friday’s district cross country championships – a new District 1-6A champion will be crowned.

Because of realignment, Eastwood – the district and region champion and bronze medalist at state – will compete in Class 5A the next two years, opening the door for a new district champion in both boys and girl’s races.

That boy’s team should be the deep and talented Americas Trailblazers.

Americas has had an impressive season competing in three out-of-town meets, including the McNeil Invitational where they finished a very impressive fourth out of 81 teams right behind state power Southlake Carroll.

They averaged 15:53 as a team and also had a 39 second 1-5 split.

They had four runners in the top 60 with junior Jacob Ye leading the team with a time of 15:39.67 finishing 30th, senior Alek Duran finishing 47th with a time of 15:48.30, and senior Tyler Rodriguez finishing 53rd with a time of 15:51.29.

Jared Laverty came in with a freshman national best of 15:51.29.

“The team has been performing really well all season,” Rodriguez said. “Our two freshmen have helped us a lot and the older guys bring a lot of experience so we’ve been able to win a lot of meets this season.”

Freshman Melo Corral, junior Seth Andrade and sophomore Gage Garcia make up the remainder of the team.

Rodriguez said he is excited about Friday’s district meets and the potential Americas has to advance to the state meet.

“As an underclassman, I always watched the older guys have an opportunity to compete at state, now it’s finally our chance to move up there,” he said. “Hopefully we can make it, its something I’m looking forward to.”

Americas is looking for its first district championship in 13 years. The Trailblazers have won a district championship in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005.

CoroBoysHill
Coronado will need a total team effort if they hope to return to the regional meet.

The real battle will be for the final two qualifying team spots for the UIL 6A Region 1 Championship between Franklin, Coronado and Socorro.

Franklin is one of the most improved teams in the city and appears to be peaking at the right time.

“They definitely don’t have any pressure on them,” said coach Anthony Laspada. They’ve put in the work during the summer. Our goal since the beginning of the season was to advance to regionals. If we do everything we have to do, we should be able to get in.”

Four of its runners, including its top two runners – senior Jacobo Wedemeyer and junior Daniel Kennedy – had personal best times at the Desert Twilight Invitational two weeks ago.

“That experience we had and the teams we faced out there was like no other,” Laspada said. “Our boys and girls have never experienced anything like that before. They were nervous before the race but they all did great; a lot of them had personal best times.”

FHS-StevenPorras
Franklin junior Steven Porras is the Cougars No. 3 man. His finish will be pivotal in Franklin’s quest for a trip to regionals.

Laspada said that race give the boys and girls team confidence.

“It made them ready for district, regionals and hopefully we can squeeze in there for state,” he said. “At least they got that exposure to that type of caliber of competition.”

Franklin missed out on the regional meet last year, placing fourth at district.

Coronado’s top three – senior Liam Walsh, juniors Nick Gonzalez and Alan Alba – have been carrying the T-Birds all season and hope to hold off Socorro for the final spot.

Individually, the race is wide open.

The top returning runner is Coronado’s Walsh who placed third in 16:23.26 ahead of Gonzalez (16:34.63) his teammate, Wedemeyer (16:35.83) and Americas’ Ye (16:42.57) at last year’s meet.

Look for Americas’ Rodriquez and Socorro’s Mario Luna to also contend.

All six have run well this season against quality competition and courses.

District 1-6A boys at a glance:

2017 District Champion: Eastwood.

2017 Individual District Champion: Anthony Molina, Eastwood.

2017 Regional team qualifiers: Eastwood, Coronado, Americas.

Projected order of finish:

1, Americas: The Trailblazers are the team to beat. Balance throughout its top five makes them the clear favorite.

2, Franklin: Cougars four and five runners will be the difference.

3, Coronado: It’s very possible the T-Birds will have three runners in the top 10.

4, Socorro: The Bulldogs are dangerous and could grab the last spot to regionals.

5, Montwood: The Rams could be a year out.

6, Pebble Hills: The Spartans have work to do.

Eva Jess@Chapin
Franklin sophomore Eva Jess will defending her District 1-6A title Friday morning at 9 a.m. at the Chamizal National Memorial.

Laspada, Franklin’s coach, has been blessed with a talented squad of young ladies who are willing to put in the effort.

As the year has progressed, the Cougars have gained valuable experience and confidence, all culminating with an impressive finish in the Sweepstakes race at Desert Twilight where six of the seven girls earned personal best times.

“With hard work and everyday grinding, things will start to take care of itself,” Laspada said. “I know it sounds cliché but whatever these girls put their minds to, they can accomplish.”

The team – seniors Amalia Dorion and Natalie Linford, junior Lorien Clark, sophomores Eva Jess and Sarah Villaronga and freshmen Jenna Saunders and Jordan Torres – have put together a strong season.

“I don’t really know they realize what they have accomplished so far,” Laspada said. “Every week we have a different girl who steps up. If one girl has a bad day, another girl will step up. That says a lot about their character and their competitiveness.”

Last time Franklin won a district championship was in 2005.

However, if the Cougars do falter, Americas is more than capable of winning its second district championship in two years.

Americas core group of girls – juniors Daphne Duran, Priscilla Villalobos and Victoria Duran – won the district championship as freshmen and with the addition of sophomore Lauren Anderson, they can win it again.

Americas has won district titles in 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2016.

Which leaves Coronado and Socorro fighting for the final spot to regionals.

Coronado is always dangerous with one-two punch senior Jennelle Jaeger-Daraksy and junior Sophia Flores leading the way to a possible second consecutive regional team appearance.

“Our team is doing really well right now,” said Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy, Coronado’s top runner. “Every week our times are dropping. We’re doing better and better week after week because of the way we train. We try to progressively get better and drop down a couple of spots; that’s the way our coaches train us.”

The return of senior Lilly Breceda, who has been nursing an injury, will help the T-Bird cause.

“Right now, we should be at our peak,” Jaeger-Darakjy said. “We work really, really hard for what we want. We’re going to surprise some people so I’m pretty excited about that.”

JazminChaconSocorro
Socorro junior Jazmin Chacon is looking for a top 10 finish which will earn her a trip to regionals.

Socorro could challenge for the final spot to regionals if it’s four and five runners pick up the pace. Twin sisters Jazmin and Janeth Chacon pace the Bulldogs with freshman Ana Rojas providing a solid three.

Individually, the race is for second place as Franklin’s Jess is clearly the class of the city. Her toughest challenge will come from Jaeger-Daraksy with Duran and Flores battling for top five spots.

District 1-6A girls at a glance:

2017 District Champion: Eastwood.

2017 Individual District Champion: Eva Jess, Franklin.

2017 Regional qualifiers: Eastwood, Coronado, Americas.

Projected order of finish:

1, Franklin: The young Cougars just might be a year away from challenging for a bid to state.

2, Americas: The Trailblazers are very capable of upsetting Franklin.

3, Coronado: The T-Birds outpointed Socorro by 13 points at the Chamizal two weeks ago.

4, Socorro: The final spot for regionals will come down to the fifth runner.

5, Montwood: Don’t count out the Rams.

6, Pebble Hills: Only way is up for the Spartans.

 

District 2-5A Preview: Eastwood boys and girls team favorites; Hanks’ Abeyta, Eastlake’s Chavez hope to repeat

District Previews

Monday – District 1-4A, District 3-3A

Tuesday – District 2-5A

Wednesday – District 1-5A

Thursday – District 1-6A

Make Plans:

What: District Cross Country Championship.

When: 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Rolling schedule (girls first, then boys) – District 1-6A; District 1-4A; District 2-5A, District 1-5A.

Where: Chamizal National Memorial Park, 800 S San Marcial.

At Stake: Top three teams and the top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 22 at Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

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The Eastwood Troopers won a bronze medal at the Class 6A state meet last year. On Friday, the quest for a state 5A medal begins with a District 2-5A Championship.

The Eastwood Troopers are back in familiar territory.

The Troopers are back in District 2-5A and both girls and boy’s teams are heavy favorites to win yet another district title.

For the Eastwood boys, the quest for a UIL Class 5A state title begins on Friday. Last fall, the Troopers won the Region of Doom in Class 6A and then placed third at the state meet.

This team could be even better.

“They could end up as one of the best team’s we’ve ever had if things go well,” Eastwood coach Mike McLain said. “We’ve had some really great teams here. The two teams that are on top of that list are the 2017 team and our 2014 team which is a close second. I think this year’s team can be right next to those two teams.”

The 2017 team had a team average of 15:18.83 while the 2014 team’s average was 15:24.00.

Sophomore Sergio Leon Cuartas and junior Juan Olmos are both sub-15 runners and senior Kaye Quinones is just 3.3 seconds over the 15-minute mark. Sophomore Nathan Hernandez and senior Eddie Gallegos are not far behind.

Sophomore Aaron Perez and junior Elias Perez are as solid as they come 6-7 guys.

Eastwood’s 1-5 splits have been consistently close all season. At the Desert Twilight Meet in Casa Grande, it was 22 seconds and at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in Irvine, they had the second fastest 1-5 split of 36 seconds.

Eastwood is going for its eighth consecutive district title.

“Our goal has always been to compete against the best,” McLain said. “It doesn’t matter what division that it’s in. Locally, the best in the past couple of years has been Tornillo and San Eli. We always try to compete against them because they are consistently factors at the state meet every year.

“Out of town, we have gone to great extremes to compete against the best schools in the country,” he said. “We are not a rich school and a lot of times the schools we face out of town are rich schools who fly in their teams to California while we do the 12-hour drive. We were the top out-of-town finisher at Woodbridge, even after that long drive. Same thing when we got to Desert Twilight. We drove seven hours, got off the bus, raced and drove seven hours back.”

District 2-5A is going to be tough.

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Hanks juniors Michael Abeyta and Rodger Rivera are the front runners for the Hanks Knights. The teammates could finish 1-2 at the District 2-5A meet.

Hanks, with its 1-2 punch of juniors Michael Abeyta and Rodger Rivera, should lead the Knights back to the Regional 5A Meet.

“It’s all about the team,” said Abeyta, the two-time defending individual champion. “We’ve really improved this year. I just want my team to get to regionals and I’m going to do everything I can to make that happen.”

Abeyta acknowledges that the task will be tough to unseat Eastwood.

“Eastwood is a really talented team,” he said. “All those guys work hard so it’s no surprise that they are one of the top teams in the state. But running against them will help my team. If we can hang with a team of that caliber, it will really boast our confidence headed into regionals and hopefully state.”

Abeyta relishes the possibility of a first and second place for Hanks runners.

“It would be really great,” he said. “Rodger has been working really hard; he has actually been training with me here and there so we‘ve been helping each other get better. We stay on top of each other and encourage each other. He has really been a great teammate. By the end of this season, he is going to be up on that podium at state, I really believe that he’ll finish in the top 10.”

Both ran well two weeks ago against the nation’s best at the Nike Desert Twilight Festival with Abeyta finishing fourth in the 5K race in 14:50.10 and Rivera ninth in 15:15.70.

The battle for the third and final spot to regionals will come down to Eastlake, Bel Air and Horizon.

District 2-5A boys at a glance:

2017 District Champion: Eastlake.

2017 Individual District Champion: Michael Abeyta, Hanks.

2017 Regional team qualifiers: Eastlake, Hanks, Horizon.

Projected order of finish:

1, Eastwood: Looking for its eight consecutive district championship.

2, Hanks: With its 1-2 punch of Abeyta and Rivera, never count out the Knights.

3, Eastlake: Freshman Israel David could lead the young Falcons to another regional meet.

4, Bel Air: The Highlanders are very capable of snagging the last spot.

5, Horizon: But so are the Scorpions.

6, Del Valle: The Conquistadores are the dark horse.

7, El Dorado: The Aztecs could be a few years out.

8, Riverside: Will always compete.

9, Parkland: The Matador runners seem to have a lot of fun at meets.

10, Ysleta: Team works hard.

11, Valle Verde: Not enough is known about VV.

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The Eastwood and Eastlake girls will battle for the District 2-5A team championship on Friday.

The Eastwood girls are going for their 11th district title in 13 years.

“We have girls on the team that a lot of people probably have never heard of except for my freshman Lauren Wall,” McLain said. “Other than Lauren, we don’t have any club runners. There’s nobody that anybody in town was dying to get. These girls have just worked their tails off.  I have never seen the dedication that I’ve seen from them. This is the hardest working team I’ve had.”

But it’s not going to come easy.

The Eastlake Falcons loom large with Aeriel Garcia and Amaris Chavez, last year’s district champion.

“I want to come in at 18:30 which is I know is possible,” Garcia said. “I’ve been training on that course for the past week and I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit better. My goal is to ultimately win the race only because it will help my team. I know if Amaris and I come in first and second, that will put us in a good spot and then the rest of the girls will fall in after that.”

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Eastlake senior Aeriel Garcia comes into the District 2-5A meet with the city’s second best 3-mile time. She is the favorite to win the district crown.

The Falcons are one of the youngest teams. Other than Garcia, Chavez and junior Evelyn Alvarez, Eastlake will run four freshmen.

“We have some really good freshmen so we figured they would be on the varsity squad,” Garcia said. “They started really strong and as the season has gone on, they have gotten a lot better and even a lot stronger. Although they have been a little inconsistent, each one of them has proved that they have the ability to come in with good times to help us with a good team score.”

Eastwood is the odds-on favorite to win the team title with Eastlake a solid second leaving Hanks, Bel Air and Horizon battling for the final spot to Lubbock.

The Troopers are led by juniors Meadow Ortiz, Eileen McLain and freshman Walls, whose times rank among the top 10 in the city.

Eastlake’s 1-2 senior punch of Garica and Chavez should earn enough points for a team runner-up finish.

All five runners will also challenge for individual honors.

“We’re a pretty solid team, I have a lot of confidence in all of my girls that they’ll come in in pretty good times,” Garcia said. “It might a challenge for the freshman but I have  no doubt that all of them can finish in the top 20.”

Which leave us with Hanks, Bel Air and Horizon.

Horizon senior Kenia Enriquez and Destiny Beltran have been consistent all year while Hanks seniors Paulina Friare and Jaqueline Spencer hope to do enough to get them past Horizon.

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The young Highlanders have the potential to advance as well if sophomores Rosemary Torres, Sara Armendariz and freshman Abagail Murillo come of age on Friday.

What could play a factor in Friday’s race is the looming remnants of Hurricane Sergio which may bring over an inch of rain to much of southern New Mexico and far west Texas Friday and Saturday morning.

“We need the rain,” McLain said. “Every time it sprinkles in El Paso we cancel the meet. When we travel to Dallas and Houston and state, if it’s not lightning, they don’t care how muddy the course is, they run. If it’s ugly and muddy out there, it would be good for us. We need to learn how to run in those conditions. The rest of the state doesn’t have the same climate as we do in El Paso and we have to travel to their part of the state to race after district so I hope it rains so it can give us some great experience.”

District 2-5A girls at a glance:

2017 District Champion: Horizon.

2017 Individual District Champion: Amaris Chavez, Eastlake.

2017 Regional team qualifiers: Horizon, Eastlake, Hanks.

Projected order of finish:

1, Eastwood: The Troopers should have enough to win another district title.

2, Eastlake: Falcons are racing four freshmen.

3, Hanks: Knights could be headed for second consecutive regional.

4, Bel Air: If Hanks falters, the Highlanders will be right there waiting to take the last spot.

5, Horizon:  Don’t count the Scorpions out.

6, Del Valle: Del Valle showed some life this season.

7, Parkland: Angeline Lujan hopes to qualify for regionals.

8, El Dorado: The Aztecs are a few years away.

9, Riverside: Rangers will put up a good fight.

10, Ysleta: The Indians will race hard.

11, Valle Verde: Always willing to compete.