The Franklin girls cross country team won its second straight meet of the young season and Eastwood’s boys proved they will be a team to be reckoned with at the state’s Class 5A level with a dominating performance at Saturday morning’s Canutillo Invitational.
After a fifth-place finish at last fall’s UIL State Cross Country Championship, a fifth-place outing at the UIL State Track and Field Meet in the 3,200 meters and a national championship in the 1,500-meter run at this summer’s USATF Junior Olympics, the maturation and continued improvement of Franklin sophomore Eva Jess was expected.
Jess, who also was the national runner up in the 3,000-meter run in the 15-16 age division at the USATF Junior Olympics this summer, has won individual gold in the first two meets of the season, winning Saturday morning’s Canutillo Invitational in 18:49.08.
What wasn’t expected is the early-season success of her Franklin High School teammates who won their second meet of the season, out-pointing Eastwood by two points.
Franklin’s top five finished 1-2-18-21 and 27 for 55 points and Eastwood’s five finished 4-5-6-22 and 30 for 57 points. Eastlake was third with 73 points, followed by Americas (99) and Montwood (136).
Franklin’s second year coach Anthony Laspada said the team championship at the Desert Run Challenge at Mt. View High School boosted the girl’s confidence.
“We have Eva and she’s going to do her thing,” he said. “Our other runners, two through seven, we weren’t really sure where they were going to be but they’ve been preparing all summer and I felt this is a great confidence booster for them to really achieve what they want to do at the end of the year and that’s compete for a district title.”
Franklin’s Amalia Dorion, was second in 19:29.21 followed by Eastlake senior Aeriel Garcia (19:35.60) and a trio of Eastwood runners – Lauren Walls (19:42.68; 5), Eileen McLain, (19:56.7) and Meadow Ortiz (20:09.16) finished 4-5-6.
Rounding out the top ten were Amaris Chavez (Eastlake, 20:09.43), Skyler Goodman (Chapin, 20:28.66), Priscilla Villalobos (Americas, 20:35.29) and Daphne Duran (Americas, 20:44.98).
Jess said she is squarely focused on cross country after training for summer track the past several months.
Her individual goal is to return to state and better her All-State fifth place finish but more importantly she wants her team to qualify to the Region 1-6A Regional Meet.
“It would be great to have them with me this year,” she said. “It would be better for me because I’ll have my teammates training with me and it will be better for them because everyone wants to go to regionals, it’s such a fun race. We have a really strong team and I think we can do it this year. I think we’re going to do really good.”
Laspada said there are no limits as to how well Franklin does this season.
“That’s up to the girls, whatever they want to do,” he said. “Today they definitely put themselves on the map as far as competing for a district title, our goal going in is to make it to regionals. We fell short last year, we had some issues that happened at the district championship that I think we can correct.”
As for the boys, senior Brandon Seagreaves, two-time defending TAPPS, Division 6A state champion, won the individual title in a time of 16:03.85.
Hanks Junior Roger Rivera, who won last week’s Run to Midnight, was second in 16:06.66, followed by Eastwood’s Elias Perez (16:10.08) and Sergio Leon Cuartas (16:13.02) and Coronado’s Nick Gonzalez (16:14.30).
“I haven’t been in many super competitive races and I haven’t had the chance to race guys at this level so this is good for me,” Seagreaves said. “I raced Roger last weekend so I know he’s a really strong runner and I knew the Eastwood guys were going to be there so it’s really nice to be able to race against guys that are that competitive.”
He said running against El Paso’s best will prepare him for the TAPPS Cross Country Championship which takes place Oct. 29 at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco.
“I value races like this a ton because I don’t race any of those TAPPS guys all season so I need to be as sharp as I can be,” he said. “It’s important for me to race these quality quys and to have things that I didn’t predict happen so when I get to the race in my league I’m ready for whatever presents itself.”
The Eastwood boys began its quest for another state medal, this time at the Class 5A level, with a dominating 3-4-6-7-9 performance scoring 24 points. Americas was second with 75 followed by Franklin (140), Eastlake (142) and Chapin (145).
The Troopers one through five runners had an impressive 9 second gap.
CANUTILLO INVITATION RESULTS
1, Brandon Seagreaves, Cath, 16:03.85; 2, Roger Rivera, Hanks, 16:06.66; 3, Elias Perez, Eastwood, 16:10.08; 4, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16:13.02; 5, Nicholas Gonzalez, Coro, 16:14.30; 6, Eddie Gallegos, Eastwood, 16:16.95; 7, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 16:18.38; 8, Jacobo Wedemeyer, Franklin, 16:19.22; 9. Kayn Quinones, Eastwood, 16:19.92; 10, Angel Contreras, Chapin, 16:29.91; 11, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 16:33.49; 12, Jared Laverty, Americas, 16:33.33; 13, Zach Sanchez, Andress, 16:38.25; 14, Chauncey Wilkes, Andress, 16:38.32; 15, Israel David, Eastlake, 16, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:45.45; 17, Seth Andrade, Americas, 16:48.07; 18, D’angelo Flores, Jeff, 16:48.66; 19, Carlos Armendariz, Eastlake, 16:52.94; 20, Jacob Ye, Americas, 16:53.08
1, Eastwood, 24; 2, Americas, 75; 3, Franklin, 140; 4, Eastlake, 142; 5, Chapin, 145; 6, Cathedral, 146; 7, Coronado, 175; 8, Andress, 178; 9, Canutillo, 265; 10, Bel Air, 274; 11, Montwood, 276; 12, Del Valle, 284; 12, Lydia Patterson, 308.
1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:49.08; 2, Amalia Dorion, Franklin, 19:29.21; 3, Aeriel Garcia, Eastlake, 19:35.60; 4, Lauren Walls, Eastwood, 19:42.68; 5, Eileen McLain, Eastwood, 19:56.74; 6, Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 20:09.16; 7, Amaris Chavez, Eastlake, 20:09.43; 8, Skyler Goodman, Chapin, 20:28.66; 9, Priscilla Villalobos, Americas, 20:35.29; 10, Daphne Duran, Americas, 20:44.98.; 11. Diane Mena, Montwood, 20:56.47; 12, Britney Martinez, Loretto, 21:00.34; 13, Emily Hernandez, Eastlake, 21:10.27; 14, Ivette Rojas, Jeff, 21:15.50; 15, Karen Garcia, Jeff, 21:16.41; 16, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 21:19.28; 17, Sophia Flores, Coro, 21:22.51; 18, Jordan Torres, Frank, 21:28.07; 19, Caryn Hart, Andress, 21:30.75; 20, Lauren Anderson Americas, 21:32.22.
1, Franklin, 55; 2, Eastwood, 57; 3, Eastlake, 73; 4, Americas, 99; 5, Montwood, 136; 6, Coronado, 153; 7, Bel Air, 182; 8, Hanks, 226; 9, Del Valle, 240; 10, Canutillo, 248