Franklin Cross Country Sweeps Mt. View Invitational; Americas Boys, Coronado Girls win Race to Midnight


The Franklin boys won the Mt. View Freedom Run on Saturday morning. Seniors Fernie Morales and Steve Porras finished 1-2.

The Franklin Cougar boys and girls cross country teams went out and ran more than impressive races Saturday morning at the Mountain View Freedom Run.

It was not a surprise that Franklin junior Eva Jess continues her dominance in El Paso, easily winning the 2.7 mile desert course Saturday morning in 17:03.70.

What was a bit of a shock was what happened on the boy’s side with Franklin seniors Fernie Morales and Steve Porras finishing 1-2 to help the Cougars to the boy’s championship over Class 4A state power, San Elizario.

Morales finished the race in 15:25.99 while Porras was second at 15:40.21. The Cougars placed three runners in the top 6 (Daniel Kennedy was sixth in 15:51.57) to earn the team championship with 30 points. San Elizario was second with 46 and Ysleta was third with 90.

San Elizario junior Edwin Gomez, was third in 15:43.32 followed by classmate Dilan Sanchez (15:43.57). Ysleta freshman Cristian Ibarra was fifth in 15:44.32.

“Fernie has never run a cross country race in his life,” said Franklin coach Anthony Laspada. “He has to be coached every step of the way during the race which isn’t bad for him.”

A commitment to a strong dedicated summer workout plan helped lead to a productive race for Morales and Porras.

“Neither one of those guys missed a summer workout,” Laspada said. “For Fernie, it’s been a long but quick learning experience and for Steve, we talked about what it would take from him to reach the next level and that’s consistency. He needed to be more consistent in his workouts and he did that during the summer.”

Other top 10 finishers where senior Rene Arambula (San Elizario, 15:52.87), junior Joaquin Oretga (Chapin, 16:08.21), freshman Alex Sanchez (Horizon, 16:08.56) and junior Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 16:25.39.

The Franklin girls have not missed a step from last year, easily winning the meet with 18 points followed by Canutillo (75) and Clint (78).

The Franklin girls won the Mt. View Freedom Run with with 18 points. Eva Jess won the individual title in 17:03.70. Franklin’s top fiver runners finished in the top 8 including Jenna Saunders in second (18:38.02), Alyssa Laspada in third (18:44.52) Jordan Torres in fifth (19:18.34) and Sofia Camacho in eighth (20:01.45).

Franklin’s top five runners finished in the top 8 including Jess at No. 1, sophomore Jenna Saunders in second (18:38.02), freshman Alyssa Laspada in third (18:44.52) sophomore Jordan Torres in fifth (19:18.34) and freshman Sofia Camacho in eighth (20:01.45).

“I’m running four freshman on the varsity including my daughter Alyssa,” Laspada said. “I preach buy-in and camaraderie and the girls have bought into it; they believe in what we are doing. I really believe team chemistry is a key component to the success of the program.”

Filling out the top 10 were:  fourth place, freshman Natalie Rivera (Canutillo, 19:15.99); sixth place junior Angelina Lujan-Marrufo (Parkland, 19:46.27); seventh place junior Destiny Beltran (Horizon, 19:58.01); ninth place freshman Andrea Villagomez, (Horizon, 20:24.98) and Mt. View junior  Kayhla Talavera in 10th (20:25.40).

“We have a long way to go,” he said. “We are still learning and trying to teach those kids how to prepare for a race because it’s a lot different than a middle school meet. They are having fun and Eva has been a great mentor for them. This is a great way to start.”

Montwood’s Race to Midnight

On Friday night, Hanks senior Rodger Rivera started the season with an impressive – and easy – night, handling the field if runners at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.

Rivera won in 15:29.04 followed by Eastlake sophomore Isreal David (16:08.07), Tornillo senior Ofir Ortega (16:17.42), Americas sophomore Melo Corral (16:20.47) and Americas senior Hector Sanchez (16:40.46).

Americas ran away with the team title scoring 30 points followed by Eastwood’s JV (87), Coronado (120), Eastlake (130) and Hanks (137).

The Trailblazers had six runners in the top 10 including junior Gage Garcia at sixth (16:43.77), sophomore Jared Laverty at seventh (16:50.11), sophomore Aaron Saenz at eighth (16:53.59) and senior Seth Andrade at 10th (17:02.82). Austin junior Jose Nilo was night in 16:53.76.

Here are the full results:

Mariana Guzman

On the girl’s side, Americas senior Mariana Guzman also easily won the race in 18:48.20.

Tornillo freshman Kylene Elias was second in 19:14.83 followed by Montwood junior Karyme Garcia (19:38.39), Jefferson junior Melody Tsumi (19:57.22) and Fabens freshman Stephanie Soto (20:00.09).

Coronado won the team title scoring 70 points with Americas coming in second with 79 and Burges third with 113. Montwood was fourth with 117 points and Jefferson in fifth with 118.

The top runners for Coronado where senior Sophia Flores (sixth, 20:03.40) and freshman Kyra Walker (seventh, 20:06.12).

Rounding out the top 10 were: Burgees sophomore Annette Guzman (20:18.30), Austin sophomore Elizabeth Hernandez (20:49.47) and Austin junior Morayama Montes (21:02.42).

Here are the full results:

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.

3 thoughts on “Franklin Cross Country Sweeps Mt. View Invitational; Americas Boys, Coronado Girls win Race to Midnight”

      1. Our promoter is working on sum things as far as school visits. Johnny & I have attended the Franklin XC Invitational the last 2 years. Coach Anthony Laspada has always bin good to us. We also have a good friend in Maria Kennedy El Paso ISD AD.


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