Monday Cool Down: Chillin’ with Tornillo’s Kylene Elias and San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez

The San Elizario/Tornillo Invitational featured three state ranked teams – Tornillo in Class 3A, San Elizario in Class 4A and Eastwood in Class 6A.

TORNILLO-San Elizario senior Edwin Gomez and Tornillo sophomore Kylene Elias are familiar with success.

In his previous three years, Gomez won two UIL state cross country championships and finished with a silver medal last year. He also owns two golds and a silver medal from the Class 4A, Region 1 championship in his career.

Elias had a breakout fall season in 2019, winning the Class 3A, Region 1 championship and finished her freshman year with bronze medal at the state championship.

Each added to their local medal totals at the San Elizario/Tornillo Invitational at Tornillo High School on Saturday – Gomez winning in 16:26.23 and Elias in 21:12.56.

For Gomez, it was his first victory in three races this season and Elias’ second in a row after sitting out the Andress Invitational at Skyline Park.

Both attribute their slow starts to lack of training during COVID summer.

“I didn’t do much training during the summer,” Gomez said. “I was working construction in Dallas and I would be tired when I got home so I don’t have time to practice.”

San Elizario senior Edwin Gomez won his first invitational of the season, racing to 16:26.23 at the desert course at Tornillo High School.

But now that the season has begun, Gomez has turned in his hard hat and tool belt is looking forward to his senior year.

“I want to win another team state championship and try to get that first place individually,” he said. “Right now I’m not even close to where I want to be. I’m working on running a 15:15.00, that’s my goal. I’m running with the team in the morning, and in the afternoon, I’m doing 5 to 6 miles on my own because I didn’t get much training in the summer.”

In the desert course at Tornillo, the San Elizario boys – the No. 1 ranked Class 4A team in the state – finished second with 40 points, 12 points behind Eastwood who rested its top 5 runners in the boy’s and girl’s races.

Two of Gomez’s teammates – Dilan Sanchez (second, 16:42.51) and Chris Moreno (seventh, 17:24.61) – finished in the top 10.

The Troopers had its five scoring runners in the top 10 led by Victor Anchondo (third, 16:48.55), Nick Parra (fourth, 16:49.19), Devon Paez (fifth, 16:52.33) and Andres Gurrola (sixth, 16:57.09).

Tornillo, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3A, placed runners – Angel Torres (17:27.96) and Bryan Garcia (17:30.50) – to finish third with 82 points,  Bel Air was fourth (99) and Del Valle fifth (117).

Eastwood’s Joaquin Chavez rounded out the top 10 in 17:51.07.

On the girl’s side, Eastwood win the team championship with 29 points followed by Tornillo with 55 points, Bel Air (63) and Del Valle (85).

Bel Air’s Abigail Murillo finished second behind Elias in 21:47.57.

Eastwood had five runners in the top 10 including Trinity Martinez (third, 21:50.77), Desiree Carrillo (fourth, 22:07.98),  Amaryllis Rubalcaba (sixth, 22:29.71), Hannah Tellez (seventh, 22:39.00), Alexis Vasquez (ninth, 22:51.27) and Jasmine Martinez (tenth, Eastwood, 23:04.55).

Olivia Garcia was fifth for Tornillo (22:17.07) and Bel Air’s Sara Armendariz was eighth (22:44.36).

“It was so hard to train this summer because of COVID,” Elias said. “Coach would send us the workouts and we would practice on our own. We had to do that until August when we came back to school and practiced as a team.”

Like Gomez, Elias acknowledged not training as hard as she should have in the summer.

After missing the first race of the season, Tornillo sophomore Kylene Elias has won two in a row after turning in a 21:12.56 at the Tornillo Invitational.

“I kind of slacked off,” she said, letting out a big laugh. “I’m not going to lie to you. But it was just a little bit.”

The experience of her freshman season – a district and regional championship and a bronze medal at state – has motivated Elias to get serious about her training again.

“I’m very eager to run and do my best this year because we have such a great team,” she said. “We have freshman named Nat (Escajeda) who is a great runner. I’m looking forward to see what we can do as a team at regionals and maybe state.”

She is looking to share the state experience with her teammates this year.

“Last year when it was just me, it was boring,” Elias said. “When I went to state, it seemed to motivate the team and now they want to go as well. I know my role is to be a leader and to work harder so we can all make it to state.”

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Other highlights and results from across the city:

Dale Reinhardt Invitational (SAC)

The Americas boys won the event with 23 points followed by Cathedral (39), Socorro (79) and Montwood (83).

Americas placed runners in the first four spots led by Carmelo Corral who picked up his second straight meet victory in 17:13.37. Jared Laverty was second in 17:44.75, Michael Mier was third in  17:50.77 and Aaron  Saenz was fourth (18:18.00).

The rest of the top 10 were Luis Gomez, Cathedral,  18:21.49; Elijah  Noble, Cathedral,  19:29.13.; Bernard  Martinez, Cathedral, 19:53.52; Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 19:56.80; Jacob  Noble,   Cathedral,   20:09.25 and Mathew Estrada, Socorro,  20:27.99. 

The Montwood girls won the varsity division with 16 points followed by Loretto (69), Americas (70) and Socorro (85).

Montwood’s Jazmine Miranda won her first championship in 21:57.64 at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at the SAC.

The Rams Jazmine Miranda won her first championship in 21:57.64 to lead five Montwood runners in the top six. Kassandra Jimenez was second in 22:10.52 followed by Alexa Rangel (22:29.60) Natalie Espinosa (23:02.45) in fourth and Karyme Garcia (24:29.39) in sixth.

Other top 10 runners were Samantha Ramirez, Socorro (fifth, 23:57.92), Morayma  Montes, Austin (seventh, 24:30.91), Isabella Medina, Americas (eighth, 25:14.25),  Britney Martinez, Loretto (ninth, 25:40.30) and Mia  Vargas, Americas (tenth, 25:51.73).

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Coronado Invitational (Haskins Recreation Center)

Eastlake junior Israel David won his third straight invitational in 15:40.96 but it was Coronado – who placed three runners in the 2-3-5-6 spots – who won the team championship with 29 points. Eastlake was second with 39 and El Paso High was third with 62.

Coronado’s Luis Pastor was second in 16:41.71 followed by teammates Corey Dubrule (third, 16:52.53), Sam Breceda (fifth, 17:04.59) and Stephen Pitchkolan (sixth, 17:31.10). El Paso High’s Josep Ferret was fifth in 17:00.20. Rounding out the top 10 were Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress (seventh, 17:43.52), David Ramirez, El Paso (eighth, 17:58.94), Mario Elias, Eastlake (ninth, 18:11.52) and Angel Recio Martinez,  Eastlake (tenth, 18:19.48).

Coronado’s girls made it a T-Bird sweep winning the meet with 29 points. El Paso High was second with 35 points and Eastlake was third with 66.

Coronado sophomore Kyra Walker, a state qualifier last fall, won her second career varsity race in the 20:52.12. In all, the T-Birds had five runners in the top 10 including Alexa Lawrence (third, 21:32.18), Banah Abdeljaber (sixth, 21:44.99), Eva Asfahani (ninth, 22:11.31) and Christina Duncan (tenth, 22:12.39).

Other top 10 finishers were Eastlake’s Megan Kirtley (second, 21:13.25) and four El Paso High runners in 4-8 – Shayla Cohen Jones (21:34.19), Alissa Kennedy (21:42.13), Andrea Castillo (21:48.74) and Jezarae Valenzuela (22:00.39).

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Clint ISD Invitational (Mt. View High School)

Pebble Hills sophomore Omer Ibrahim won his first varsity meet completing the hilly, dusty, desert course in 19:33.04. Horizon’s Ivan Hernandez was second in 20:08.24.

Pebble Hills sophomore Omer Ibrahim won his first varsity meet completing the hilly, dusty, desert course Mt. View High School in 19:33.04.

Franklin won the team championship with 25 points followed by Pebble Hills (59), Horizon (59), Clint (112) and Valle Verde (129).

The Cougars place five in the top 10 led by Octavio Trujillo (20:15.62) and Diego Flores (20:29.03) who finished third and fourth. Three other Franklin runners finished 6-8 – Rai Lopez (21:18.53), Matthew Engle (21:40.94) and Austen Percifull (21:46.42).

Rounding out the top 10 were El Dorado’s Venancio Claderon (fifth, 21:02.55), El Dorado’s Aden Hodgson (ninth, 21:51.85) and Joshua Gonzalez from Mt. View who finished tenth in 21:58.98.

It was a perfect score of 15 for the Franklin girls who placed seven runners in the top 10. Pebble Hills was second with 70 points followed by Clint (76) and Horizon (83).                     

Eva Jess won her third meet and remains unbeaten in El Paso since her freshman year. She won in 21:50.18 followed by teammates Ally Little (second, 22:09.02), Sofia Camacho (third, 24:02.02), .Jenna Saunders (fourth, 24:23.74), Michele Paillard (fifth, 24:28.43),  Alyssa Laspada (sixth, 25:02.65) and 8, Sarah Villaronga (eighth, 25:33.84).

Horizon had two runners -Andrea Villagomez (seventh, 25:22.37) and Iris Baca (tenth,  25:56.46 – in the top 10 and Clint’s Vivian Zapata was ninth in 25:45.52.

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Parkland/Hanks Invitational (Northeast Regional Park)

Chapin’s Joaquin Ortega won his second varsity invitational of the season, racing to a time of 16:03.17, almost a full 27 seconds faster than runner-up Andrew Valdiviezo from Riverside (16:30.54).

Chapin’s Joaquin Ortega.

David Herrera was third in 16:36.13 to pace Burges to a team victory with 32 points. Hanks was second with 40 points, Riverside third (56) and Parkland was fourth (73).

Including Herrera, the Mustangs had four runners in the top 10 – Dylan Walker (eighth, 16:53.31), Julian Maldonado (ninth, 16:56.77) and David Gonzalez (tenth, 17:15.18).

Top runners for the Knights were Andrew Alvarado (fourth, 16:36.48) and Alejandro Tarin (sixth, 16:46.21).

Parkland’s Kenneth Lamar Golston was fifth in 16:45.92 and Canutillo’s Denovan Estrada was seventh in 16:48.50.

Parkland’s Angelina Lujan-Marrufo won her third championship in as many weeks finishing 19:12.42 but it was the Canutillo girls who surprised the field in winning the team title with 41 points.

Jefferson was second with 49 followed by Hanks (55), Riverside (98), Parkland (103) and Young Women’s Leadership Academy (120).

Canutillo had three runners in the top 10 including runner-up Chondra Espino (20:36.59), Natalie Rivera (fifth, 21:21.31) and Ivy Lara (tenth, 21:48.57).

Jefferson’s top three were Monique Correa (third, 20:42.30),  Jelia Lugo (sixth, 21:21.75) and Crystal Peterson (seventh, 21:35.22).

Hanks runner Mia Rivera (20:57.46) was fourth and Madison Spencer was ninth in 21:46.97.

Burges’ Emilee Antimo was eighth in 21:39.54.

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