The road to state begins Saturday for El Paso cross country runners

Make Plans

What: District Cross Country Championship.

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Rolling schedule (girls first, then boys) – District 1-4A, District 1-5A, District 2-5A, District 1-6A.

Where: Chamizal National Memorial Park, 800 S. San Marcial.

At Stake: Top three teams and top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 28 at Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

 

091219Eastwood pack
The chase for a third consecutive state medal for Eastwood begins Saturday at the District 5A Cross Country Championship.

Eastwood is chasing a back-to-back state championship in Class 5A.

Americas is seeking its second Class 6A state appearance.

San Elizario is focused on some sort of redemption after earning a bronze medal at the Class 4A state meet.

Hanks senior Michael Abeyta and Rodger Rivera would like to improve on their Top 10, All State performances at last year’s Class 5A state championship.

But first, they all have to get endure the rolling bumps of the the district course at Chamizal National Memorial Park.

The district cross country championship will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday with the District 1-4A girls followed by the boys. There will be a rolling schedule after that (girls first, then boys) with District 1-5A, District 2-5A and District 1-6A.

The top three teams and top 10 individuals from each district will advance to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship, Oct. 28.

101019.ChristianParra
Socorro senior Christian Parra has the talent to finish in the top 10 at the District 1-6A Championship.

District 1-6A at a glance:

 2018 District Champion: Americas.

2018 Individual District Champion: Nick Gonzalez, Coronado.

2018 Regional qualifiers: Americas, Coronado, Franklin.

Americas is seeking back-to-back district championships. The team has been impressive throughout the season with different runners leading the team.

The core of the team includes seniors Hector Sanchez, Jacob Ye and Seth Andrade, junior Gage Garcia and sophomores Jared Laverty, Melo Corral and Aaron Saenz.

The Trailblazers hope this is a springboard to its second state appearance.

If all things go as planned, Coronado and Franklin are the best bets to advance to regionals.

Coronado is led by defending district champion, senior Nick Gonzalez. Fellow senior Alan Alba is a top 15 runner in El Paso and sophomore Stephen Pitchkolan round out a top three that should be enough for the T-Birds to advance.

Franklin was somewhat of a surprise this season with seniors Fernie Morales and Daniel Kennedy leading the way.  Both of them have turned in top 13 times in El Paso.

If any of these teams have a bad day, Montwood and Socorro could slip right past either one for the third spot. Montwood junior Trenton Nelson has impressed all year as has Socorro senior Christian Parra.

101819Jefferson
Jefferson senior Reginald finished eighth at the Class 5A division of the Lubbock Invitational. He might be the key to the Silver Foxes returning to the Region 1-5A Meet in Lubbock.

District 1-5A at a glance:

 2018 District Champion: Burges.

2018 Individual District Champion: Chauncey Wilkes, Andress.

2018 Regional qualifiers: Burges, Chapin, Jefferson.

 The Mustangs are racing for its third straight district championship, and they have the horses to do it.

Senior Noah Yeager and juniors David Gonzalez and Dylan Walker are more than capable of it.

Burges must be careful with Chapin who always seem to peak at the right time.

Senior Angel Contreras, a state qualifier last year, will be once again be the frontrunner for Chapin. Junior Joaquin Ortega could help the Huskies cause as well.

But would anyone be surprised if Jefferson snags another regional bid?

Like Chapin, the Silver Foxes always seem to be there at the end. Senior Reginald Robinson seemingly came out of nowhere to finish eighth at the Class 5A division of the Lubbock Invitational so who knows what’s in store for Jefferson.

Also, watch for El Paso High with junior Josep Ferret and seniors Matthew Avila and Jacob Ontiveros who could sneak up on someone.

101819David
Eastlake sophomore Isreal David is seeking a return visit to the Region 1-5A Championship in Lubbock.

District 2-5A at a glance:

 2018 District Champion: Eastwood.

2018 Individual District Champion: Michael Abyeta, Hanks.

2018 Regional qualifiers: Eastwood, Eastlake, Hanks.

 Eastwood is going after its ninth consecutive district championship.

The Troopers, the defending Class 5A UIL state champions, have been solid this year competing at the elite Woodbridge Classic in California and the Desert Twilight Invitational in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Seniors Elias Perez and Juan Olmos along with junior Sergio Leon Cuartas have to top three times in El Paso this year. Juniors Victor Parra and Nathan Hernandez make a solid top five for Eastwood.

The Hanks Knights will most certainly make it interesting with seniors Michael Abyeta and Rodger Rivera along with sophomore Gael Alvarado. The Knights hope to make it to regionals for the second year in a row.

The final spot to regionals should belong to Eastlake with sophomore Isreal David leading the way with junior Anthony Lara in support.

Edwin
San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez will lead the Eagles into Saturday’s District 1-4A Championship.

District 1-4A at a glance:

 2018 District Champion: San Elizario.

2018 Individual District Champion: Edwin Gomez, San Elizario.

2018 Regional qualifiers: San Elizario, Fabens, Mt. View.

San Elizario is back and looking for its sixth straight district crown.

The four-time Class 4A UIL State champion missed out on the big prize last season and appears to be over its early-season injuries so watch out for the Eagles again.

Junior Edwin Gomez is looking to make it three individual titles in row on Saturday. This year’s version is not as loaded as in years past but they are still dangerous.

Senior Rene Arambula and Seth Rodriguez would like to end their careers on a winning note while junior Dilan Sanchez and sophomore Irvin Vazquez are ready to improve on last year’s results.

Fabens has an excellent chance at returning to the regional meet with seniors Gael Hernandez and Jacob Cruz and sophomore Anthony Soto.

Clint is led by juniors George Mendieta, Richardo Franco and Joey Leos.

Mt. View’s chances to return to regionals hinge on how strong the team can finish the race. Junior Joshua Gonzalez hopes to improve on his ninth-place finish at district last year.

 

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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