Coronado duo work for return trip to state cross country meet

Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy
Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy is hoping for a third straight trip to the Class 6A UIL State Cross Country Championship in November.

During the brutal months and dog days of summer training, Coronado High School seniors Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy and Liam Walsh had one thing on their mind – a return trip to the UIL Cross Country State Championship.

“I decided not to do summer track this year,” Jaeger-Darakjy said. “That was really hard for me because I’ve been doing it ever since I was a 7th grader. I decided to train really hard in cross. I started really early in my training program with my training partner Dominic Lara who is on the boy’s team. We do every run together.”

Jaeger-Darakjy was ninth at last year’s UIL 6A-Region 1 meet, finishing in 17:11.17 and 22nd at the state meet in 18:25.2.

Walsh was seventh at the Region 1-6A race in 15:11.36 and 31st at state in 15:44.03.

Both will race at Saturday’s Ysleta/Hanks Cross Country Meet at Northeast Regional Park.

The varsity girls will run first at 8 a.m. followed by the varsity boys.

“Right after my junior season of track I started to put in the miles for cross,” Jaeger-Darakjy said. “I feel a lot stronger this year. My training has been really good. We’ll see what happens.”

Walsh said he too was happy with his summer training.

“I trained with a Coronado alum and ex-runner named Osman Reyes who helped me prepare for competition this year,” he said. “I’m very excited about my chances of going back to state but I know I’m going to have to run what I ran last year, 15:11 or lower. Competition at the state level is pretty high so I’m going to have to pick up the pace and keep training.”

Walsh 2
Coronado senior Liam Walsh hopes the last race of his high school cross country career is at the UIL State Championship Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

The state cross country meet is Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

As a team, Coronado placed 11th at the regional meet in 2017.

“I love my team, they’re my friends and my training buddies,” Walsh said. “I can’t wait for them to be able to experience regionals and hopefully come to state with me this year. I’m just looking for a great year.”

Jaeger-Darakjy said the Coronado girls have also been training hard with hopes of returning to the regional meet where they finished 10th.

“The girls have been training as a group and are sticking together as a team,” she said. “And the boys are doing pretty well so it would be great if both teams made it to regionals just like last year.”

For now, Jaeger-Darakjy will continue putting in the training miles trying to improve her times and hopefully earning a scholarship.

“God willing, if I do make it back to state, I hope that I can get in the top 15,” she said. “If I continue with the direction that I am going on and continue training hard with my partner and hitting my paces, hopefully I will be there.”

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 5

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 boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email

The Chapin Invitational at Skyline Park proved to be a worthy course. The course included grass, pavement, gravel, dirt, and a small section of sand.

Top Ten

1. Eastwood. The Troopers rested its varsity in preparation of running at the 38thWoodbridge Cross Country Classic in Irvine, Calif. Eastwood will compete in the Boys Sweepstakes race at 10 p.m. Saturday.

2. Americas. The Trailblazers won the Chapin Invitational at Skyline Park with 32 points. Americas’ top five runners finished in the top 10 including junior Jacob Ye (second, 16:43.18), senior Tyler Rodriguez (fifth, 16:58.11), senior Alek Duran (seventh, 17:10.61), freshman Jared Laverty (eighth, 17:10.61) and freshman Carmelo Corral (tenth, 17:16.09). The team will rest on Saturday.

3. San Elizario. The Eagles won the Tornillo/San Elizario XC Meet at Tornillo, scoring 30 points. Edwin Gomez won the race in a blazing 15:30.08. Other top 10 finishers were Seth Rodriguez (fourth, 15:58.36), Martin Pargas (seventh, 16:16.99) and Irvin Vasquez (ninth,  16:27.42). The steady downhill course was mostly aspahult with not many tight turns and no sand. San Elizario will race at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

4. Hanks.Hanks raced on the wet and muddy course at the Southlake Carroll Meet. Juniors Michael Abeyta and Roger Rivera were the top runners – Abeyta third in 16:26 and Rivera 19thin 17:08. The race included 234 runners. Hanks will race at its own invitational at the Northeast Regional Park.

5. Coronado.The T-Birds also raced at the Southlake Carroll Meet. Sophomore Nike Gonzalez was 22ndin 17:18; 38 and senior Liam Walsh was 38th in 17:49. Coronado will race at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

6. Socorro.The Bulldogs jump up two spots after placing second at the Chapin Invitational at Skyline Park. Socorro ended the day with 77 points. Socorro placed two runners – Mario Luna (third, 16:52.22) and Sebastian Mendoza (ninth, 17:13.78) – in the top 10. The team will travel to Arvada, Colorado to race in the Arvada West Invitational.

7. Chapin. The Huskies jump three spots with a third place finish at its own meet at Skyline Park. Chapin finished with 97 points. Angel Contreras was the top Chapin runner for the second week in a row, finishing in 16:58.33. They will run at Hanks/Ysleta Invitational at the Northeast Regional Park.

8. Burges.The Mustangs drop two spots. Burges scored 99 points and finished fourth at the Chapin Invitational at Skyline Park.

9. Franklin.The Cougars placed fifth at the Chapin Meet with 101 points. Jacobo Wedemeyer was fourth in 16:56.73. Franklin will race at the Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

10.  Tornillo. The Class 3A Coyotes are expected to run a full team this week at Veterans Park for first time this season. Ofir Ortega continues to race, he finished second at the Tornillo/San Elizaro Meet in 15:47.21. Teammate Eduardo Carrillo was sixth in 16:16.45.

Dropped out: None.
On the verge: Eastlake, El Paso High.

No. 2 Americas seems to have a different lead runner every week. Last Saturday at Skyline it was junior Jacob Ye he was second overall in a time of 16:43.18.

Top 25 Times

1, Roger Rivera, Hanks, 15:09:58 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

2, Brandon Seagraves, Cathedral, 15:22:57 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

3, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:30.08 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

4, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15:39:86 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

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

6, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:50:12 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

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

8, Seth Rodriguez, San Elizario, 15:58.36 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

9, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 15:58.41 (Del Valle, 9/1).

10, Alek Duran, Americas, 16:01:90 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

11, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:02:88 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

12, Tyler Rodriguez, Americas, 16:03:93 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

13, Elias Perez, Eastwood, 16:10.08 (Canutillo Invite, 8/25).

14, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16:13.02 (Canutillo Invite, 8/25).

15, Hector Rivera, Bel Air, 16:14:27 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

16, Steve Stresow, Cathedral, 16:14.67 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

17, Eduardo Carrillo, Tornillo, 16:16.45 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

18, Eddie Gallegos, Eastwood, 16:16.95 (Canutillo Invite, 8/25).

19, Martin Pargas, San Elizario, 16:16.99 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

20, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 16:18.38 (Canutillo Invite, 8/25).

22, Andres Marquez, Eastwood, 16:24.52 (Tornillo Invitational 9/8).

23, Irvin Vasquez, San Elizario, 16:27.42 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

24, Jorge Navor, Eastwood, 16:27.83 (Tornillo Invitational, 9/8).

25, Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 16:28:67 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/17).

The focus this week stays in Northeast El Paso with two meets – the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park and the Hanks/Ysleta Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Edwin Gomez, San Eli, 30 (3).

2, Roger Rivera, Hanks, 29 (1).

3, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 27 (1).

4, Brandon Seagraves, Cathedral, 25 (1).

4, Seth Rodriguez, San Eli, 25.

6, Chauncey Wilkes, Andress, 19 (1).

6, Jacobo Wedemeyer, Franklin, 19.

6, Tyler Rodriguez, Americas, 19.

9, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 18.

10, Mario Luna, Socorro, 17.

Carmelo Corral, Americas, 16.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 16.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 15.

Elias Perez, Eastwood, 15.

Martin Pargas, San Eli, 15.

Liam Walsh, Coronado, 14 (1).

Angel Contreras, Chapin, 13.

Israel David, Eastlake, 12.

Nicholas Gonzalez, Coronado, 12.

Alek Duran, Americas, 11.

Jacob Ye, Americas, 9.

Noah Yeager, Burges, 9.

Josep Ferret, El Paso, 9.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 8.

Sebastian Mendoza, Socorro, 8.

Kayn Quinones, Eastwood, 7.

Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 7.

Eddie Gallegos, Eastwood, 7.

Christian Parra, Socorro, 7.

Steve Stresow, Cathedral, 6.

Angel Ortiz, Burges, 6.

D’Angelo Flores, Jefferson, 5.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 5.

Eduardo Carrillo, Tornillo, 5.

Zach Sanchez, Andress, 4.

Sam Zambrano, Burges, 4.

Alan Alba, Coronado, 4.

Joshua Pineda, Pebble Hills, 4.

Carlos Armendariz, Eastlake, 3.

Evan Rubio, Ysleta, 3.

Hector Rivera, Bel Air, 3.

Jared Laverty, Americas, 3.

Luis Cuevas, Burges, 3.

Andres Marquez, Eastwood, 3.

Dylan Espinosa, Bowie, 3.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 2.

Irvin Vasquez, San  Elizario, 2.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 2.

Hector Sanchez, Americas, 1.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 1.

Abraham Navarez, Parkland, 1.

Matthew Avila, El Paso, 1.

Jorge Navor, Eastwood, 1.