Coronado sweeps individual titles at Chamizal; Burges boys, Eastlake girls pick up team honors

Chamizal National Memorial Park was the site of Saturday’s Jefferson/Burges Invitational. The district championships will be run at the same location on Friday, Oct. 12.

For two Coronado athletes, Saturday night’s Homecoming festivities began with a victorious early morning 3.1 mile run at Chamizal National Park.

Senior Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy and junior Nick Gonzalez swept individual gold for the T-Birds at the Jefferson/Burges Invitational.

Jaeger-Darakjy won in 18:57.80 while Gonzalez picked up his first varsity title in 16:19.87.

Eastlake’s girls won the team title with 60 points followed by Jefferson (71), Coronado (96), Socorro (109) and Montwood (136).

Burges won the boys portion with 99 points followed by Coronado (104), Eastlake (110), Socorro (112) and Chapin (138).

“My training is making sense now,” Jaeger-Darakjy said. “I’ve been hitting hills, 8-mile runs, 10-mile runs then tampering down for district. This is a result of me practicing like I should be racing so it only gets easier from here.”

Jaeger-Darakjy ran a course personal best of 18:57. Her previous Chamizal personal best was 19:15.

“The Chamizal is my favorite race; I love the course,” she said. “I’ve always been really good at hills, that’s what I focus on during track season. Our track team focuses on hill repeats every other day for the 800. We’re on the West Side so we run up in the mountains a lot. All the neighborhoods are going to be hilly which feels horrible during practice but it’ll pay off at the meets.”

Aeriel Garcia from Eastlake was second in 19:51.49 followed by Jefferson’s Crystal Peterson (19:59.96), Skyler Goodman from Chapin (20:19.21) and Horizon’s Kenia Enriquez (20:47.25).

Coronado junior Nick Gonzalez won his first varsity race Saturday at Chamizal National Memorial.

Gonzalez said winning his first varsity race was a great experience.

“I’m very happy to be able to win this race, especially because it’s homecoming,” he said.  “It’s very special for me because I’ve been working very hard the last couple of weeks, training with Liam (Walsh), staying with him in practice. It’s finally paying off for me.”

The Coronado race strategy was simple. Gonzalez, Walsh and Alan Alba wanted to stick together at the beginning of the race.

“In the first mile, we worked together and eventually it ended up just being me and Liam until the last 800 meters,” he said.

That’s when Gonzalez kicked in whatever was left in him after three miles, pulling ahead of his teammate for the victory.

Walsh was second in 16:19.87 followed by Eastlake freshman Israel David (16:48.83), Alba (16:58.07) and Eastlake senior Carlos Armendariz (16:59.01).

The Burges boys’ team are right where they want to be with the District 1-5A in two weeks at the same Chamizal course.

“We’re just preparing for district at this point by working harder and getting better,” said Burges senior Sam Zambrano. “Next week we’re getting the week off from racing so we’re going to train hard in practice and prepare ourselves for district.”

Burges senior Sam Zambrano led the Mustangs to a team championship. Zambrano was eighth overall.

Zambrano was the top Mustang runner, placing eighth in 17:20.21 followed by sophomore David Gonzalez (15th, 17:42.24) and junior Noah Yeager (16th, 17:48.79).

“At the moment, we’re not where we want to be,” Zambrano said. “We haven’t really fulfilled our full potential. We haven’t peaked yet. We know we can do so much better but it seems like we’re waiting for the right moment to show what we’re all about.”

Zambrano said winning the invitational will lift the team’s confidence level.

“We have to carry this momentum with us to district and heading into our week of training,” he said. “Last year we won district but we know it’s going to be tougher this year so we can’t relax at all.”

Jefferson/Burges Invitational at Chamizal National Memorial


1, Nick Gonzalez, Coronado, 16:19.87; 2, Liam Walsh, Coronado, 16:25.97; 3, Israel David, Eastlake, 16:48.83; 4, Alan Alba, Coronado, 16:58.07; 5, Carlos Armendariz, Eastlake, 16:59.01; 6, Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 17:06.49; 7, Christian Parra, Socorro, 17:13.58; 8, Sam Zambrano, Burges, 17:20.21; 9, Sebastian Mendoza, Socorro, 17:21.50; 10, D’angelo Flores, Jefferson, 17:22.01.

Team results: 1, Burges, 99; 2, Coronado, 104; 3, Eastlake, 110; 4, Socorro, 112; 5, Chapin, 138; 6, Americas JV, 201; 7, Montwood, 203; 8, Irvin, 226; 9, Jefferson, 259; 10, Fabens, 283; 11, Horizon, 294; 12, LPI, 327; 13, Clint, 328; 14, El Paso, 345; 15, Canutillo, 347; 16, Parkland, 349; 17, Riverside, 362; 18, El Dorado, 413; 19, Bowie, 471; 20, Del Valle, 509.


1, Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy, Coronado, 18:57.80; 2, Aeriel Garcia, Eastlake, 19:51.49; 3, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 19:59.96; 4, Skyler Goodman, Chapin, 20:19.21; 5, Kenia Enriquez, Horizon, 20:47.25; 6, Jazmin Chacon, Socorro, 20:50.36;  7, Monique Correra, Jefferson, 20:50.36; 8, Sophia Flores, Coronado, 21:08.71; 9, Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 21:15.59; 10, Marisol Hernandez, El Paso, 21:34.05.

Teams results: 1, Eastlake, 60; 2, Jefferson, 71; 3, Coronado, 96; 4, Socorro, 109; 5, Montwood, 136; 6, Horizon, 153; 7, El Paso, 200; 8, Loretto, 209; 9, Canutillo, 213; 10, Parkland, 215; 11, Chapin, 216; 12, Burges, 305; 13, Del Valle, 319; 14, Ysleta, 338; 15, LPI,  386.

Full results


McNeil Invitational in Round Rock

Girls Gold Division

1, London Culbreath, McKinney North, 16:36.86; 2, Ashlyn Hillyard, Plano, 16:51.70; 3, Allison Wilson, Montgomery, 17:09.46. Top 5 El Paso runners: 52, Daphne Duran, Americas, 18:48.63; 163, Priscilla Villalobos, Americas, 19:48.27; 165, Lauren Anderson, Americas, 19:49.38; 406, Maya Ramirez, Americas, 21:30.38; 424, Victoria Duran, Americas, 21:35.81.

Team results: 1, Prosper, 143; 2, Southlake 198; 3, Coppell, 202; 36, Americas.


Boys Gold Division

1, Justin Cantu, Memorial, 14:48.66; 2, Haftu Knight, Tyler Lee, 14:53.99; 3, Graydon Morris, 14:54.10. Top 10 El Paso runners:  11, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:14.85; 30, Jacob Ye, Americas, 15:39.67; 47, Alek Duran, Americas, 15:48.30; 53, Tyler Rodriguez, Americas, 15:51.06; 55, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:51.29; 129, Melo Corral, Americ3as, 16:19.33; 138, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:21.91; 159, Aaron Saenz, Americas, 16:30.33; 184, Seth Andrade, Americas, 16:36.74; 207, Seth Rodriguez, San Eli, 16:44.88.

Team results (81 teams):  1, Katy Tompkins, 211; 2, Smithson Valley, 22; 3, Southlake Carroll, 284; 4, Americas, 284; 36, San Elizario.

Desert Twilight in Mesa Grande, Ariz.

Boys Sweepstakes Race

1, Cole Sprout, Valor Christian (Colo), 14:33; 2, Cruz Culpepper,, Niwot (Colo), 14:44; 3, Kashon Harrison, Kirtland (NM), 14:50. Top 10 El Paso runners: 4, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 14:51; 9, Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 15:16; 18, Sergio Leon Cuartes, Eastwood, 15:37; 19, Elias Perez,15:43, Eastwood, 15:38; 26, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 15:43; 28, Kayn Quinones, Eastwood, 15:45; 30, Jacobo Wedemeyer, Franklin, 15;46; 31, Brandon Seagreaves, Cathedral,  15:48; 46, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:00; 64, Eddie Gallegos, Eastwood, 16:09.

Team results: 1, Eastwood, 112; 2, Niwot (Colo), 113; 3, Durango (Colo), 167.

Girls Sweepstakes Race

1, Quinn McConnell, Peak to Peak (Colo.), 17:01; 2, Abi Archer, Chapparral (Ariz.), 17:02; 3, Cameron McConell, Cherokee (Colo.), 17:18. Top 10 El Paso Runners: 9, Eva Jess, Franklin, 17:32; 71, Lauren Wells, Eastwood, 19:14; 103, Amalia Dorion, Franklin, 20:03; 108, Morayama Montes, Austin, 20:11; 126, Lorien Clark, Franklin, 20:23; 139, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 20:31; 142, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 20:34; 144, Destiney Martinez, Eastwood, 20:37; 145, Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 20:38; 158, Eileen McLain, Eastwood, 20:55; 160, Lauren Villarreal, Eastwood, 20:55; 167, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 21:10.

Author: Victor R. Martinez

My love of running began with my son Deric. His passion and talent for distance running opened my eyes to a sport I never imaged I would embrace with such enthusiasm. As a journalist at the El Paso Times, I was the lead writer for cross country and track for several years and I was able to tell the stories of these amazing unsung athletes. Never a runner myself, I decided to change that when I turned 50 in 2016 when I trained for my first 5K. I've been running ever since and I love every minute of it - well - sort of.

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