High School Girls XC Preseason Poll 2022

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top girls cross country runners.

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 150 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

For questions, videos and photos email vrmart66@gmail.com.

This week’s schedule

Eastlake Invitational: 8 a.m., Friday, Aug. 12 at Blackie Chesher Park. Franklin, Burges, Jefferson, Chapin, Pebble Hills, Montwood, Eastlake, Americas, Hanks, Del Valle and Cathedral.

Irvin Invitational: 8 a.m., Friday, Aug. 12 at Skyline Park. Irvin, Coronado, Austin, El Paso, Andress, Bowie, Radford, El Dorado, Ysleta, Loretto, Canutillo.

Clint Invitational:  8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at Clint High School. Clint, San Eli, Anthony, Eastwood, Ft Hancock, Bel Air, Riverside, Tornillo, Pebble Hills.

Eastwood sophomore Adelynn Rodriguez (Bib No. 538) is the city’s top returning runner. She finished seventh at state in 17:49.2.  

Top 10

1. Franklin: Coach Anthony Laspada has done an amazing job handling the talented Cougars lineup the past three years in establishing a regional contender. The team narrowly missed out on its third straight state appearance last year. The senior-laden team appears to be primed to make a return visit. Seniors Alyssa Laspada, Sofia Camacho and Abby Barraza will lead the team along with junior Victoria Hoyt. Watch for freshmen Abigail Pinon to make an impact on the team. The team will open the season Friday at the Eastlake Invitational at Blackie Chesher Park.

2. Eastwood: Eastwood finished its season in fifth place at the Region 1-6A championship. The big loss from that team was All State runner Lauren Walls-Portillo. The good news is five of the top seven runners are back including sophomore Adelynn Rodriguez who had a phenomenal season last year, finishing seventh at state in 17:49.2.  Seniors Salma Licon, Sophia Watts and Andrea Limon return along with junior Giovanna Zubia. Eastwood will race at the Clint Invitational at Clint High School on Saturday,

3. Montwood: The Rams have a solid 1-2 punch with seniors Kassandra Jimenez and Jazmine Miranda returning. Jimenez is coming off a spectacular summer track season, earning a USATF national championship in the steeplechase, a silver in the 3,000-meter run and a fourth-place finish in the 1,500. The biggest question is who will emerge to fill the scoring positions for Montwood. Senior Julie Canales should be the team’s No. 3 runner and freshman Mia Hairston, the daughter of former Del Valle cross country coaches Orlando and Valerie Hairston, could help the team as well. The team will open the season on Friday at the Eastlake Invitational at Blackie Chesher Park.

4. Coronado: The T-Birds have six of its top seven returning from a Region 1-6A qualifying team. In a loaded 1-6A district, Coronado will lean on seniors Kyra Walker, Sonya Lee, Isabella Galindo and Christina Duncan, Juniors Alexa Lawrence and Caroline Pitchkolan will be huge contributors, as well.  Watch from some great things from this group in 2022. The T-Birds will race at the Irvin Invitational at Skyline Park on Friday.

5. Pebble Hills: The Spartans were the surprise team of 2021 and with all its runners back, including the top three – senior Natalia Martinez, junior Carolina Zarrabal and sophomore Krystal Talavera. Pebble Hills should contend for a spot to regionals. Junior Natalie Franco and sophomore Sophia Santivanez will add much need depth in one of the toughest districts in Region 1. The Spartans will open the season Friday at the Eastlake Invitational at Blackie Chesher Park.

6. Americas: The Trailblazers season ended at district, but sophomore Lexee Salas did get to experience the Region 1-6A championship. Americas will lean on Salas and fellow sophomore Natalie Tolliver in a very competitive District 1-6A. The young Trailblazers have five sophomores and two juniors running on varsity this year. Watch for sophomore Gisel Abascal to have a break-out season. It all starts Friday at the Eastlake Invitational, 8 a.m.at Blackie Chesher Park.

7. Canutillo: The Eagles finished 10th at the Region 1, Class 5A championship and return three of its top five including seniors Natalie Rivera, Dania Cano and Jennifer Najar. The Eagles hope its four freshmen runners can show improvement throughout the season if it hopes to be a District 2-5A contender. Canutillo will race at the Irvin Invitational at Skyline Park on Saturday.

8. El Paso High: The Tigers look to build an its Region 1-5A Championship appearance. Five of its top six return including top runner senior Jezarae Valenzuela, juniors Andrea Castillo and Sofia Ramirez and sophomores Claudia Ferret and Samantha Ordonez. The Tigers race Friday at   the Irvin Invitational at Skyline Park on Friday.

9. Del Valle: After winning District 2-5A for the first time since 2010, the Conquistadores are looking to rebuild. The Conquistadors have a solid 1-2 punch in senior Valeria Loo-Kung and junior Bobbi Guillen returning from the team’s top five. Del Valle must find the right mix to defend its district title. The races Friday at the Eastlake Invitational at Blackie Chesher Park.

10. Burges: The Mustangs return all but two runners – state qualifier Pam Ramirez and Amy Lozano. Sophomore Keilah Valenzuela-Garcia must continue to excel as does junior Aritzel Garcia. Seniors Alyssa Rosales, Isabella Aguilera and Karyme Garcia will need to contribute  heavily if Burges is to advance to its second consecutive regional championship. The team will race on Friday at the Eastlake Invitational.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: None.

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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