El Paso’s top runners compete at NXR South; Ibrahim earns Top 10 finish

Pebble Hills’ Omer Ibrahim capped his junior year with a top 10 finish in the Championship Division at the Nike Cross South Regional, placing sixth in 15:40.4.

Pebble Hills junior Omer Ibrahim (left) was El Paso’s top runner at the Nike Cross South Regional, placing sixth.

Coronado junior Luis Pastor (14th, 15:54.9), Eastwood senior Andres Gurrola (19th, 16:01.6) and Americas senior Jared Laverty (24th, 16:08.9) were the only other top 25 runners.

Coronado’s Luis Pastor (in blue) had a top 15 finish at NXR South.

Grapevine, the Class 5A UIL state champion, won the team event with 66 points followed by Class 6A state champ Southlake Carroll (73 points), Class 6A runner-up The Woodlands (127 points) and Class 6A fourth place team Humble Atascocita, with 170 points.

Eastwood, which won Class 6A bronze, was fifth with 171 points and Class 4A state champion San Elizario was 19th with 449 points.

Eastwood, which won Class 6A bronze, was fifth at NXR South.

Sahil Dodda, from Dallas St. Marks, won the individual title in 15:15.3.

In the girls Championship Division, three El Paso runners finished in the top 25 including Eastwood senior Lauren Walls-Portillo (11th, 18:34.70), Eastwood freshman Adelynn Rodriguez (13th, 18:39.8) and Franklin junior Alyssa Laspada (24th, 19:07.0).

Lauren Walls-Portillo

Shewaye Johnson from Prosper won the individual title in 17:45.9.

Southlake Carroll won the team event with 95 points, Eastwood was 10th with 265 points and Franklin was 11th with 276 points. The Troopers are only the second girl’s team to finish in the top 10 at NXR. The other was Eastwood in 2013.

Alyssa Laspada

In the boys Open Division, four El Pasoans finished in the top 15 including Franklin junior Diego Flores who won the event in 16:36.8. A pair of teammates – junior Denovan Estrada (fifth, 16:49.0) and sophomore Matthew Engle (ninth 16:54.8) – had top 10 finishes and Riverside senior Jayden Bustillos was 11th in 16:57.0.

Franklin junior Diego Flores won the boys Open Division. The team finished second overall.

The Woodlands won the team title with 91 points followed by Franklin (108 points). Eastwood was 11th overall with 406 points and Cathedral was 16th with 462 points.

In the girl’s Open Division, San Elizario senior Samantha Ramirez was 14th in 20:26.7.

Samantha Ramirez

Keller Bear Creek’s Vivien Boehmer won the individual title in 19:21.7.

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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