San Eli’s Gomez, Montwood’s Garcia earn first championships of the season

The San Elizario boys won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday. San Elizario placed three runners in the top ten.

Since her days of running middle school cross country, Montwood’s Karyme Garcia knew her day of winning a varsity race would eventually come.

She just needed a little patience.

All those years of putting in the miles and the sweat, suffering through the pain of summer training paid off Saturday morning as the Montwood junior won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park.

“I feel pretty accomplished in what I did,” Garcia said. “Good training in the summer and great motivation from my coach is the reason this happened.”

Garcia outkicked Jefferson’s Melody Tsumi in the final 100 meters to take the victory in 19:40.08. Tsumi finished in 19:44.53 and Bel Air’s Abagail Murillo was third in 20:16.27.

Garcia led through most of the race but was challenged by Tsumi throughout, particularly in the final 800 meters.

“I could hear Tsumi’s coaches shouting, ‘she’s tired, she’s tired’ so that motivated me a little bit; I was like, ‘I’m not tired, not at all.’ I was waiting until that last few yards because I knew she didn’t have a strong sprint so I knew I could take her there.”

Montwood’s Karyme Garcia won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational in 19:40.08. It is Garcia’s first ever varsity win.

The Eastwood JV won the team race with 46 points, Montwood was second (49) and Bel Air was third (109).

Other top 10 runners were Alexa Rangel, Montwood (fourth, 20:19.38), Angelia Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland (fifth, 20:23.38), Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood (sixth, 20:23.52), Crystal Peterson, Jefferson (seventh, 20:26.75), Morayama Montes, Austin (eighth, 20:31.12), Emilee Antimo, Burges (ninth, 20:31.12) and Sophia Watts, Eastwood (tenth, 20:44.37).

Full girl’s results here –

Unlike Garcia, San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez is no stranger to winning – except for this season.

Gomez, one of the top Class 4A runners in the state, has had a difficult time with nagging injuries all summer and early into the fall.

He finally picked up his first gold of the season, cruising to an easy win in 16:10.36. Pebble Hills freshman Omer Ibrahim was second in 16:39.35 and Hanks sophomore Gael Alvarado was third (16:46.65).

“I came to the race late and didn’t have time to warmup or stretch,” he said. “The guys were already on the line when I got here and I didn’t have my bib number so I had to get it and put it on right away.”

San Elizario won the team title with 54 points. Eastwood’s JV was second with 59 points and Burges was third with 108.

“We are doing pretty good considering we didn’t practice much in the summer because we had a lot of injured guys,” he said. ‘We’re improving with every race and stepping up to another level.”

Other top top runners were – David Gonzalez, Burges (fourth, 16:52.72), Victor Anchondo, Eastwood (fifth, 16:53.05), Rene Arambula, San Elizario (sixth, 16:53.90), Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario (seventh, 16:56.24), Alex Sanchez, Horizon (eighth, 16:59.33), Dylan Espinoza, Bowie(ninth, 17:00.48) and Abraham Cruz, Eastwood (tenth, 17:00.99).

San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational in 16:10.36. It was his first win of the season.

Cesar Morales, San Elizario’s head coach, said the injuries could be the cause of the team’s early season struggles.

“The fact that we didn’t win (state) last season took us away from the spotlight and taught us a little bit of humility,” he said. “We are working harder. Not being on the top all the time is helping us with the mentality of working harder. Nobody is going to give us anything, we have to work for it all the time.”

After winning four consecutive Class 4A state championship, the Eagles finished third last fall.

“A team win like this will us start to believe in ourselves again,” Morales said. “There was a time in the season where we lost to some very good teams that put a sense of doubt in our heads. We know we are still here and we can still compete.”

Full boy’s results here –