Boys Region 1 Preview: Five teams hopeful for a return trip to state

What: Region 1 Cross Country Championship.

When: Monday, Nov. 9, Times (MST):  3A Girls, 10 a.m. 3A Boys, 10:30 a.m.;  Class 5A Girls, 1 p.m.; Class 5A Boys, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10:  Class 4A Girls, 10 a.m.; Class 4A boys, 10:30 a.m.; Class 6A Girls, 1 p.m.; Class 6A Boys, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

At Stake: Top three teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the UIL Cross Country State Championship, Monday, Nov. 23 (3A, 5A) and Tuesday, Nov. 24 (4A and 6A)  at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Who advanced?

Class 6A: Eastwood and Americas. Also, Israel David, Eastlake and Luis Pastor, Coronado.

Class 5A: Burges, Hanks, Bel Air and El Paso High. Also, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin; Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress; Denovan Estrada, Canutillo; Ivan Hernandez, Horizon; Noah Gutierrez, Horizon; Miquel Avila, Del Valle and Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland.

Class 4A: San Elizario and Riverside. Also, Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

The race to state commences on Monday and Tuesday at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

For decades, El Paso’s boys have more than held their own at theRegion 1 Cross Country Championship.

Region 1, known as the Region of Doom because of the number of talented teams and individual runners, is the last stop before the UIL Cross Country State Championship Nov. 23-24.

The region is home to some of the top cross country programs in the state including Eastwood, Americas, Southlake Carroll, Flower Mound, Coppell and Lewisville Marcus.

Due to the pandemic, only the top three teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the state championship at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Last fall, six teams enjoyed the state experience – Americas’ boys and the Franklin girls in Class 6A, Eastwood and Hanks boys in Class 5A, San Elizario boys in Class 4A and Tornillo boys in Class 3A.

Fifteen individuals also advanced to the UIL State Cross Country Championship last year.

Of those six teams, Eastwood and San Elizario won Region 1 team titles.

Americas finished second in District 1-6A. The team is seeking its third consecutive state appearance.

Class 6A

Eastwood is seeking its fourth consecutive trip to state while Americas is looking for its third.

The Troopers are also racing for its fourth straight Region 1 championship, winning in Class 6A in 2017 and in Class 5A in 2018 and 2019.

Eastwood moved up to Class 6A this year.

“It’s no different than running in 5A,” said Eastwood coach Mike McLain. “Our goal every year is to schedule races where we’ll see the best teams possible which is why we go to Woodbridge (California) and Desert Twilight (Arizona). We want to run in these big races and compete at the highest level.”

He said even when the Troopers were at the 5A level, the team would compete against Texas powers such as South Lake Carroll, The Woodlands and Flower Mound.

“We would do well against those bigger schools at Nike regional and other national meets after the Texas state championships,” he said. “Racing in those big race environments helps our kids develop, and run with confidence. We know our region is tough and we’ll have to beat some good teams to qualify.”

Eastwood finished third at the Class 6A state meet in 2017 and won the Class 5A championship in 2018 and 2019 before moving back to Class 6A this season.

The team is lead seniors Sergio Leon Cuartas, Aaron Perez and Victor Parra and juniors Isaac Mendoza and Andres Gurrola (tenth, 16:27.3).

Americas top runners are juniors Carmelo Corral and Jared Laverty and senior Michael Mier.

Eastlake junior Israel David, who was fifth last year (14:59.10) in Class 5A, will race in the state’s biggest division this year.

“I know there are bigger schools in 6A and much better competition, and I’m prepared for that,” David said. “I always have to give it my best, no matter what. Going against these bigger schools motivates me. I always want to go up against the best, that’s what makes me better.”

Coronado sophomore Luis Pastor – who will be racing in his first regional – is the only other 6A runner competing.

Hanks junior Gael Alvarado was the seventh consecutive District 2-5A champion for the Knights. He looks to continue his winning ways at regionals.

Class 5A

Last year, Eastwood and Hanks took the top two spots out of the region while Burges finished seventh.

Of the four qualifying teams – Burges, Hanks, Bel Air and El Paso High – the Mustangs and the Knights have the best opportunity for an El Paso team to advance to state.

The Mustangs won its fourth consecutive District 1-5A championship, placing six runners in the 10 for 28 points.

Dylan Walker was second in 17:02.1, David Gonzalez was fifth (17:22.7), David Herrera was sixth (17:29.3) and juniors Aaron Gomez (seventh, 17:32.1) and Julian Maldonado (17:43.9) was eighth.

Hanks won its first District 2-5A title since 1995 and continued its streak of seven straight individual district champions as junior Gael Alvarado won the race in 16:49.0. Sophomore Alejandro Tarin and Alvarado have been swapping the low stick for the Knights all season with senior Michael Antuna being a steady third man.

Also watch for Chapin senior Joaquin Ortega, who won his first district championship racing the course in 16:50.4, who could advance individually.

“I’ve been able to finish in the top 10 in all my races this season, so hopefully that’s where I’ll end up at regionals and hopefully advance to state,” Ortega said. “Last year I missed going to state by two spots so that’s something I’m shooting for.”

Individual runners looking for a spot to state areAndress’ Jarrett Ketchmark, Canutillo’s Denovan Estrada, Ivan Hernandez and Noah Gutierrez from Horizon; Miquel Avila from Del Valle and Parkland’s Kenneth Lamar Golston.

Andress junior Jarrett Ketchmark was third in District 1-5A. He is one of several individual runners racing for a berth to state.

Class 4A

San Elizario is looking to defend its 2019 Region 1 championship.

The Eagles have won five of the past six regional titles – its only blemish was a third-place finish in 2018.

They are also seeking their seventh straight trip to state where the team has won championships in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The team finished third in 2018 and second last year.

Edwin Gomez, who was second last year (14:53.50), is looking to unseat Canyon senior Samuel Ashley at regionals on Tuesday.

But his focus remains on the team.

“The team has worked really hard throughout the season,” he said. “Even though we had a lot of injuries, we continued to try our best and to be focused. We have a good team, and our goal is to win another state title.”

Mt. View senior Joshua Gonzalez is also looking to get back to Round Rock. Last year he finished 14th (16:09.50) at regionals.

Burges senior David Gonzalez hopes to help deliver the Mustangs another state berth in Class 5A.

Class 3A

Three points over two years separates Tornillo from being six-time defending Region 1-3A champions.

After winning four consecutive titles – the Coyotes missed out by two points in 2018 and by one point in 2019.

 After battling COVID-19 issues for the past month, Tornillo appears to be prepared to return the regional hardware bac to the Cotton Valley.

Tornillo will look to senior Bryan Garcia, junior Angel Torres and freshman Daniel Romero for leadership and another trip to state.

The Coyotes have made the trip to Round Rock ten times in 11 years.

Girls Region 1 Preview: Advancing to state has been a tall task for El Paso teams

What: Region 1 Cross Country Championship.

When: Monday, Nov. 9, Times (MST):  3A Girls, 10 a.m. 3A Boys, 10:30 a.m.;  Class 5A Girls, 1 p.m.; Class 5A Boys, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10:  Class 4A Girls, 10 a.m.; Class 4A boys, 10:30 a.m.; Class 6A Girls, 1 p.m.; Class 6A Boys, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Mae Simmons Park, MLK Blvd. and 24th Street in Lubbock.

At Stake: Top three teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the UIL Cross Country State Championship, Monday, Nov. 23 (3A, 5A) and Tuesday, Nov. 24 (4A and 6A)  at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Who advanced?

The following teams and runners have advanced:

Class 6A: Franklin and Montwood. Also, Lauren Walls-Portillo and Adalia Olmos, Eastwood and Kyra Walker, Coronado.

Class 5A: Jefferson, Bel Air, Canutillo, El Paso High. Also, Angie Marrufo-Lujan, Parkland,   Pamela Ramirez, Burges; Annette Guzman, Burges; Morayma Montes, Austin; Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin; Andrea Villagomez, Horizon and Mia Rivera, Hanks.

Class 4A: Clint and San Elizario. Also, Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View; Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View; Anel Aranda, Riverside; Marcela Hernandez, Riverside; Athena Escobar, Fabens.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Hundreds of runners from across Region 1 will converge on Lubbock on Monday and Tuesday for regionals.

Regionals has not been friendly to girl’s teams from El Paso.

In the past few years only teams from Franklin and Eastwood have advanced to state.

And because of the pandemic, only the top three teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to the state championship at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Last fall, only Franklin’s girls advanced to state as a team in Class 6A and Eastwood accomplished that feat in 2018 in Class 5A.

Here is what’s in store for this year’s regional girl’s races:

Franklin and Montwood will race for an opportunity to advance to state as well as three individual runners from District 1-6A.

Class 6A

Franklin is looking to improve on its fourth place, state-qualifying performance of last year.

The Cougars ran 1-34-37-39 and 43 and eked out the last spot to state on the strength of its sixth runner – Amanda Sotelo – who finished ahead of the sixth runner from Lewisville Marcus to break the tie for fourth place.

Franklin senior Eva Jess won the individual title in 16:56.80.

“Advancing to regionals as a team is a special experience,” she said. “We all get to have a great time and support each other, it’s just a great experience.”

Jess said she hopes the team can advance to its second straight state championship meet.

“We are working so hard,” she said. “We believe that we can do it. We all have to run great races and we can do it. We can show everyone in the region how we run in El Paso. We’re ready, we just have to stay strong and keep up the training. Hopefully, we get to go. We never know when it will be our last meet so we always take the opportunity.”

Montwood, the District 2-5A runner up, is also looking to advance as a team.

Last year, senior Karyme Garcia advanced to state individually after finishing 15th (18:16.20) at regionals.

Also advancing are Eastwood juniors Lauren Walls-Portillo and Adalia Olmos and Coronado sophomore Kyra Walker.

Walls-Portillo was tenth at last year’s Class 5A regional, completing the course in 18:26.60, and advanced to state. Walker advanced to state after placing 22nd in 18:33.80.

Austin’s Morayma Montes and Elizabeth Hernandez will race in the Class 5A Region 1 Championship at 1 p.m. Monday.

Class 5A

It will be a tall task for an El Paso team to emerge from Class 5A so the focus should be on the individual times.

It’s not say Jefferson, Bel Air, Canutillo or El Paso High will not give it their all, it’s just that when you compare the depth of the teams with others in Region 1 such as Grapevine, Canyon Randall and Colleyville Heritage.

Jefferson junior Crystal Peterson is seeking her third trip to state after finishing seventh (18:17.70) at regionals last year.

“We really want to make it as a team,” said Peterson, who had the top finish for an El Paso runner in 5A at last year’s regionals. “It would mean a lot to go as a team and to get that regional experience.”

She said a number of Class 5A runners have the potential to advance to state.

“I really want to push myself to be able to get to state again and finish in the top 25,” she said.

Jefferson senior Melody Tsutsumi also qualified for state last year – finishing 23rd at regionals (19:07.60).

“I just squeezed in there,” she said.

Parkland senior Angie Marrufo-Lujan said she hopes to improve on her 19:57.30 (53rd place) time from last year.

“It has always been my dream to go to state for cross country,” Marrufo-Lujan said. “Every year, regionals kicks me in my butt, but I’m going to plan it out smarter, I’m going to be better prepared. Going to state would be a dream come true, especially my senior year. Fingers crossed that it happens.”

Other individual runners looking to advance are Pamela Ramirez and Annette Guzman from Burges, Morayma Montes and Elizabeth Hernandez from Austin, Andrea Villagomez from Horizon and Mia Rivera from Hanks.

Despite what happens at regionals, Bel Air coach Jerry Schaffer is proud of his girl’s efforts.

Bel Air’s Abigail Murillo finished third at the District 2-5A race in 20:43.9.

“The girls came out in the summer and worked hard,” Schaffer said. “The two seniors (Sara Armendariz and Rosemary Torres) have been together for four years. Abby (Abigail Murillo) came up a year behind them and they just love each other and they play off each other.”

It is believed to be Bel Air’s first district championship since 1982 and its first trip to regionals, as a team, since the 1997 or 1998.

Class 4A

Class 4A teams have not had much success at regionals.

San Elizario was 10th and Clint was 17th at last year’s regional. Both schools will represent the district at this year’s regionals.

District 1-4A champion senior Kayhla Talavera was fourth last year, completing the 2-mile course in 12:05.50 and advanced to state.

“I’m excited to run regionals again,” she said. “I think I can make it to state, but I’m going to say that I’m going to make it for sure. I’m going to shoot for the top 10, but if not, it’s OK, it’s been a good season, I got to run when I didn’t think we were going to have a season.”

Other runners looking to advance are Mt. View’s Madelaine Estrada, Anel Aranda and Marcela Hernandez from Riverside and Athena Escobar from Fabens.

Burges junior Annette Guzman finished 5th in the District 1-5A Championship.

Class 3A

Sophomore Kylene Elias was the first ever female runner from Tornillo to win the Region 1 Championship, racing the two-mile course in 11:57.60.

If you recall, she raced the majority of the race with only one shoe.

“I didn’t feel anything, not even the rocks, because it was so cold,” she said. “I felt my sock rip but it didn’t really rip, it was just so cold.”

She defended her District 4-3A crown last week and is looking to do the same at regionals.

“It was a hard race,” she said. “Hannah Spears (from Holliday) right behind me and she could have beaten me in the kick. It was a photo finish.”

Both girls ran an 11:57.60.

Elias went on to finish third at the State Championship.

“My team has trained hard and we’ve been doing pretty well,” she said. “I keep on motivating them so we can go to state this year as a team. I’m eager to go to regionals and hopefully to state.”

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 8

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top cross country male 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 and 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 151 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 5K/3-mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

This week’s schedule

Region 1 Cross Country Championship: At Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. Monday, Nov. 9, Class 3A, 10:30 a.m. (MDT), Class 5A 1:30 p.m. (MDT). Tuesday, Nov. 10, Class 4A 10:30 a.m. (MDT), Class 6A, 1:30 p.m. (MDT).

El Paso’s runners kept their focus during the season as they had to face the uncertain that the coronavirus brought.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The two-time defending Class 5A state champions returned to 6A and won its tenth straight district championship. The Troopers had runners finish in the 2-3-4-8 and 10 spot – seniors Sergio Leon Cuartas (second, 15:32.3) and Aaron Perez (third, 15:41.7, his season personal best), junior Isaac Mendoza. (fourth, 15:43.7), senior Victor Parra (eighth, 16:21.9) and junior Andres Gurrola (tenth, 16:27.3). Eastwood’s average time was 15:57.38 with a 55 second 1-5 split. Eastwood will run in the Class 6A regional race at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

2. Americas:  The Trailblazers finished second in District 1-6A scoring 48 points. Its top 10 runners were senior Michael Mier (fifth, 16:03.8, a season personal best), Carmelo Corral (sixth, 16:06.0) and Jared Laverty (seventh, 16:15.8), both juniors. The teams average time was 16:33.42. Americas will race in the Class 6A regional division at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

3. San Elizario: The Eagles won its seventh straight District 1-4A championship with 19 points and moved up one spot. Senior Edwin Gomez earned his fourth district gold. The team placed all five scorers in the top 6 including Gomez (15:51.11), Dilan Sanchez (third, 16:07.38), Alan Ceballos (fourth, 17:17.54), Irvin Vazquez (fifth, 17:24.53) and Matthew Maese (sixth, 17:27.58). The team average was 16:49.63. San Elizario will compete in the Class 4A race at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

4. Burges: The Mustangs move up one spot after claiming its fourth consecutive District 1-5A championship, placing six runners in the 10 for 28 points. Seniors Dylan Walker (second, 17:02.1) and David Gonzalez (fifth, 17:22.7), and juniors David Herrera (sixth, 17:29.3), Aaron Gomez (seventh, 17:32.1) and Julian Maldonado (eighth, 17:43.9) scored for the Mustangs. Senior Luis Holguin was tenth (18:07.4). The team average was 17:26.02 with a 1-5 split of 41 seconds.  Burges will compete in the Class 5A race Monday at 1:30 p.m.

5. Tornillo: After three weeks off dealing with COVID-19 issues, Tornillo missed out on the District 4-3A championship by three points. The Coyotes placed three runners in the top 10 – freshman Daniel Romero (second, 17:19.75), sophomore Angel Torres (third, 17:28.88) and senior Bryan Garcia (fifth, 17:45.78). The team will run in the Class 3A at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

6. Franklin: The young Cougars, moved up two spots after its impressive third-place finish in District 1-6A, scoring 97 points. Freshman Matthew Engle was first for the Cougars, placing 15th in 17:08.0. The teams average time was 17:40.68.

7. Cathedral: Cathedral finished one point away from reaching the podium at the TAPPS Class 6A Cross Country Championship, scoring 102 points, behind San Antonio’s Central Catholic High School for the bronze medal. Cathedral had four runners in the top 20 – Luis Gomez (14th, 17:24.9), Bernard Martinez (15th, 17:25.9), Elijah Noble (16th, 17.:30) and Dylan John Lorilla (20th, 17:32.1).

8. Riverside: The Rangers jump into the top 10 after its second-place finish at the District 1-4A Championship. Riverside qualified for regionals for the first time since 2005 behind a solid effort from junior Andrew Valdiviezo who finished second in 16:02.61 (a season personal best). Two other Rangers finished in the top 10 – Jayden Bustillos (eighth, 17:29.64 7) and Paul Ayala (ninth, 17:48.84). The Rangers had a team average of 17:41.89. The team will race in Class 4A division at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

9. Hanks: The Knights won its first District 2-5A title since 1995, scoring 48 points. In the process, the team also continued its streak of seven straight individual district champions as junior Gael Alvarado won the race in 16:49.0. Hanks had three runners in the top 10 – Alvarado, sophomore Alejandro Tarin (second, 17:06.0) and senior Michael Antuna (ninth, 18:01.1). The Knights team average was 18:01.04. Hanks will compete in the Class 5A race Monday at 1:30 p.m.

10. El Paso: El Paso High was second in District 1-5A with 58 points.The Tigers had two in the top 10 – Josep Ferret (fourth, 17:15.7) and David Ramirez (ninth, 17:52.8). Its time average was 18:48.96. The team advances to the Region 1-5A XC Championship on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Dropped out: Coronado.

On the brink: None.

Americas senior Michael Mier ran a season-best 16:03.8 as he finished 5th at the District 1-6A championship to lead the Trailblazers to another regional.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15:15.03 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

2, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 15:15.53 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

3, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:20.1 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

4, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:36.48 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

5, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 15:38.58 (Del Valle, 9/19).

6, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 15:39.22 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

7, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 15:40.33 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

8, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 15:40.73 (Del Valle, 9/19).

9, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:41.15 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

10, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 15:41.7 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

11, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 15:46.24 (Clint, 10/24).

12, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 15:55.35 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

13, Aaron Saenz, Americas, 15:56.91 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

14, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 15:57.58 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

15, Jose Nilo, Austin, 16:01.71 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

16, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 16:02.61 (Vista Hills CC, 10/30).

17, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:03.00 (Del Valle, 10/24).

18, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 16:03.17 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

19, Michael Mier, Americas, 16:03.8 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

20, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:06.00 (Del Valle, 10/24).

21, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 16:10.07 (Desert Twilight, 10/2)

22, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 16:22.99 (Del Valle, 9/19).

23, Josep Ferret, El Paso, 16:25.96 (Skyline Park, 10/10).

24, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 16:28.74 (Veterans Park, 10/3)

25, Sam Breceda, Coronado, 16:30.82 (Clint, 10/24).

Burges senior Dylan Walker finished second in the District 1-5A championship in 17:02.1. Walker sits in the top 10 in the El Paso Running power rankings.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Isreal David, Eastlake, 60 (6)

2, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 55 (5).

3, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 53 (2).

4, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 49 (3).

5, Jared Laverty, Americas, 48 (1).

6, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 47 (3).

7, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 46 (2).

8, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 43 (2).

9, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 42.

10, Dylan Walker, Burges, 41.

10, Michael Mier, Americas, 41.

Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 40 (2).

Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 39. 

Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 38.

Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 36 (1).

Angel Torres, Tornillo, 36.

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 33.

Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 33.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 32.

Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 32.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 31.

Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 30.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 30.

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 29 (2).

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 29.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 29.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 29.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 26.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 25 (1).

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 24.

David Herrera Burges, 24.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 21 (1).

David Gonzalez, Burges, 21.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 20.

Danovan Estrada, Canutillo, 20.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 20.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 19.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 17.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 15.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 15.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 14.  

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 13.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 13. 

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 13.

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 13.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 13.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 12.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 12.

Michael Antuna, Hanks, 12.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 12.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 11.

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 11. 

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 11.

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 11.

 Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 10.

Aaron Gomez, Burges, 10.

Octavio Trujillo, Franklin, 9.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 9.

Andres Buckley, Franklin, 8.     

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 8.

Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 7.

Matthew Marshall, Eastwood, 7.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 6.

Diego Garnica, Pebble Hills, 6.

Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 6.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 5.

Carlos Medez, Coronado, 5.

Jesse Rodriguez, El Paso High, 5.

Jacob Beckett, Eastwood, 5.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 5.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 5.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

Bryan Guzman, Tornillo, 4.

Cesar Sandoval, Chapin, 4.

Andres Garcia, Hanks, 4.

Sam Florez, Coronado, 4.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 4.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 4.

Angel Maese, San Elizario, 4.

Bryan Gunter, Bel Air, 4.

Larry Green, Irvin, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 3.

Anthony Soto, Fabens, 3.

Joaquin Martinez, Eastwood, 3.

Andre De Santos, El Paso High, 3.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin, 2.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 2. 

Yahir Barrios, Horizon, 2.

Omar Rivera, Canutillo, 2.

Moises Vera, Austin, 2.

Gianni Ortega, Eastlake, 2.

Paul Ayala, Riverside, 2.

Erfren Moncada, Parkland, 2.

Noah Castorena, Pebble Hills, 2.         

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Isaac Ortega, Jefferson, 1.

Christopher Torres, El Paso High, 1.

Stefan Alvarez, Americas, 1.

Juan Linares, Horizon, 1.

Joaquin Rascon, Del Valle, 1.

Noah Gutierrez, Horizon, 1.

High School Girls XC Poll: Week 8

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top cross country female 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 and 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 151 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 5K/3-mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

This week’s schedule

Region 1 Cross Country Championship: At Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. Monday, Nov. 9, Class 3A, 10 a.m. (MDT), Class 5A 1 p.m. (MDT). Tuesday, Nov. 10, Class 4A 10 a.m. (MDT), Class 6A, 1 p.m. (MDT).

The season ended for many teams last weekend. For the rest, its off to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship Monday and Tuesday in Lubbock.

Top 10

1. Franklin: Franklin won its third consecutive District 1-6A team championship, scoring 28 points. Eva Jess also won her fourth individual title, finishing in 18:11.3 – a personal best this season. The Cougars had four runners finish in the top 10 including seniors Jess and  Ally Little (third, 19:03.5), sophomore Michelle Paillard (sixth, 19:48.5, a season personal best) and junior Jenna Saunders (eighth, 20:00.1). Its average time was 19:26.26. They will race in the Class 6A division at the Region 1 Cross Country Championship at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

2. Montwood: The Rams were second in District 1-6A, placing three runners – sophomore Kassandra Jimenez (fourth, 19:33.8), senior Karyme Garcia (fifth, 19:47.7) and junior Alexa Rangel (seventh, 19:48.5) – in the top 10. All three had season personal best times. Montwood scored 41 points and had a time average time of 19:59.18. The team will compete in the Class 6A race at the Region 1 Cross Country Championship at 1 p.m. Tuesday.  

3. Eastwood: The Troopers finished third at the District 6A championship with 51 points. The Troopers had two runners – juniors Lauren Portillo-Walls (second, 18:42.7) and Adalia Olmos (tenth, 20:07.0, a season personal best) – finish in the top 10 and advanced to the Class 6A race at the Region 1 Cross Country Championship at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The team average was 20:03.92.

4. Bel Air: The Highlanders move up five spots after winning the District 2-5A championship with 40 points. It is believed to be Bel Air’s first district championship since 1982. The Highlanders placed four runners – juniors Abigail Murillo (third, 20:43.9) and Jaylee Levario (fifth, 21:04.7) and seniors Sara Armendariz (sixth, 21:14.2) and Rosemary Torres (seventh, 21:17.9) –  in the top 10. The team will race at Monday’s Class 5A division of the Region 1 Meet at 1 p.m. The team’s average time was 21:26.14.

5. Jefferson: The Foxes won their third straight District 1-5A crown with 34 points. Jefferson junior Crystal Peterson also won her third district championship, racing out to season personal best 19:57.4 to lead the Silver Foxes. Senior Melody Tsutsumi was fourth in 21:01.0 and junior Monique Correra was fifth in 21:18.8. The team will race at Monday’s Class 5A division of the Region 1 Meet at 1 p.m. Jefferson’s team average was 21:31.72.

6. El Paso High: El Paso was second (48) in the District 1-5A championship and advanced to the Monday’s Region 1, Class 5A championship. The Tigers had three runners – sophomore Shayla Cohen Jones (sixth, 21:28.7), senior Alissa Kennedy (seventh, 21:42.3) and sophomore Jezarae Valenzuela (ninth, 22.20.7) – in the top 10. The team average was 22:11.94.

7. CoronadoThe T-Birds finished with 134 points in the District 1-6A race and placed fourth. Sophomore Krya Walker had a season best 20:06.1 and finished ninth, good enough for a berth to the Class 6A regional.  Coronado’s team average was 22:45.84.

8. CanutilloThe Eagles drop two spots after finishing second at the District 2-5A championship with 75 points. Canutillo’s top three runners were senior Chondra Espino (second, 20:42.1), sophomore Natalie Rivera (eighth, 21:37.7) and junior Ivy Lara (ninth, 21:40.0). The Eagles – whose average time was 22:52.46 – will race at Monday’s Class 5A division of the Region 1 Championship.

9. Tornillo. Tornillo sophomore Kylene Elias defended her District 3-4A individual crown racing the 2-mile course in 14:04.94 Saturday afternoon in Presidio as the Coyotes finished second with 50 points. Also finishing in the top 10 for Tornillo were freshman Nataly Escajeda (fourth, 15:34.72) and junior Olivia Garcia (eighth, 15:48.02). The team will race in the Class 3A regional at 10 a.m. Monday.

10. Hanks. Hanks was third in District 2-5A with 81 points.  Hanks runners – sophomore junior Mila Rivera (tenth, 21:41.5) will advance to regionals in Class 5A. The team’s average time was 22:28.88.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: None.

Eastwood senior Victoria Ovalles turned in a season personal best 20:24.6 at the District 1-6A championship at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday. Ovalles’ time is the 21st fastest in the city.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Lauren Portillo-Walls, Eastwood, 18:04.35 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:11.3 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 18:39.33 (Haskins Center, 10/3).

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 19:03.19 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

5, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 19:12.42 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

6, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 19:33.8 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

7, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:43.31 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

8, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 19:47.7 (Vista Hills C.C., 10/31).

9, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 19:48.5 (Vista Hills C.C., 10/31).

9, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 19:48.5 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

11, Sofia Camacho, Franklin 19:55.96 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

12, Jordan Torres, Franklin 19:56.30 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

13, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 19:57.4 (Vista Hills CC 10/31).

14, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:58.1 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

15, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 20:06.1 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

16, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 20:07.0 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

17, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:15.2 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

18, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 20:19.07 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

19, Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 20:22.4 (Vista Hills CC 10/31).

20, Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 20:23.25 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

21, Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 20:24.6. (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

22, Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 20:25.4 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

23, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 20:26.27 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

24, Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 20:29.2 (Vista Hills CC, 10/31).

25, Selma Licon, Eastwood 20:35.22 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

Montwood capped an impressive regular season with a second-place finish in the District 1-6A Championship. The team consists of Kassandra Jimenez, Karyme Garcia, Alexa Rangel, Jazmine Miranda, Natalie Espinosa, Brianna Favela and Julie Canales.

Power rankings (number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 70 (7).

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 69 (6).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 60.

4, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 51 (4).

4, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 49 (2).

6, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 44 (2).

7, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 42.

8, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 40 (4).

8, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 40.

8, Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 40.

Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 39 (2).

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 39.

Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 37.

Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 37.

Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 35.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 33.

Mia Rivera, Hanks, 33.

Annette Guzman, Burges, 32.

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 31.

Janice Olivas, Clint, 28.

Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 27.

Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 25.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 24.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 24 (1).

Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso High, 24.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 23 (1).

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso High, 23 (1).

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 23.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 23.

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 22.

Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 22 (1).

Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 21.

Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 21.

Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 21.

Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View, 20 (1).

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 20.

Isabella Medina, Americas, 19.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 19.

Hannah Tellez, Eastwood, 19.

Morayma Montes, Austin, 17.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 17.

Andrea Castillo, El Paso, 16.

Sonya Lee, Coronado, 16.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 15.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 14.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 14.

Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View, 14.

Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 14.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 13.

Jacqueline Castillo, Clint, 13.

Carolina Pitchkolan, Coronado, 12.

Gracyn Hunt, Coronado, 12.

Alexis Vasquez, Eastwood, 12.

Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 10.

Daniela Peinado, Coronado, 10.

Ximena Jimenez, San Elizario, 10.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 9.

Mia Vargas, Americas, 9.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto, 9.

Pamela Ramirez, Burges, 9.

Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 9.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 8.

Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 8.

Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 8.

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 8.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 8.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 8.

Aylin Tepezano, Clint, 7.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 7.

Jaquelin Gonzalez, Horizon, 7.

Madison Spencer, Hanks, 7.

Amber Martin, Eastwood, 6

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 6.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 6.

Monica Hagerich, Eastwood, 6.

Luisa Ramirez, Coronado, 6.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 6.

Jaylee Levario, Bel Air, 6.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 5.

Selma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Vivian Shaheen, El Paso High, 5.

Mariah Martinez, Loretto, 5.

Marcela Hernandez, Riverside, 5.

Itzel Garcia, Americas, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Briana Canales, Eastlake, 4.

Eva Asfahani, Coronado, 4.

Paola Bolanos Hernandez, Parkland, 4.

Emma White, El Paso High, 4. 

Anel Aranda, Riverside, 4.

Osmary Vazquez, San Elizario, 4.

 Sarah Villaronga, Franklin, 3.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 3.

Claudia Vargas, Parkland, 3.     

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 3.

Jasmine Martinez, Eastwood, 2.

Jade Baca, Hanks, 2.

Amanda Sotelo, Franklin, 2.

Amanda Torres, Loretto, 2.

Sarah Gil, Eastwood, 2.

Athena Escobar, Fabens, 2.

Bianca Quintero, Chapin, 2.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air, 1.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 1.

Yulianna Anahi Martinez, Parkland, 1.

Christina Duncan, Coronado, 1.

Andrea Baeza, Loretto, 1.

Elliane Marshall, Eastwood, 1.

Camila Luna, Riverside, 1.

Iris Baca, Horizon, 1.

Monday Cool Down: A chat with Franklin’s Ally Little

Franklin’s Ally Little has made the transition from soccer to cross country a relatively easy one. In her first season of distance, the senior owns the city’s third quickest 3-mile times.

When you watch Franklin senior Allyson “Ally” Little run cross country, you would think she has been running all her life.

In sense, she has.

But most of her running was the explosive, high-intensity runs, the kind of sprints you would expect from a soccer player – not the long, melodic, tempo-paced runs of a distance runner.

There is a reason for that. Ever since she could walk, Little has played soccer.

And she has excelled at it, too, earning first-team El Paso Times and All District 1-6A honors as a midfielder in a COVID-19-shortend 2020 season.

In her three years on the varsity, Little scored 19 goals and assisted on 10 others for the Franklin Cougars.

Last summer, her club team, the FC U18 Rage, qualified for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup by winning a regional tournament in Round Rock.

It is the first time an El Paso team had qualified for the national tournament in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

But simply qualifying was not enough as FC Rage defeated the Central California Aztecs 2-1 in the championship to win the Presidents Cup.

This summer, with the coronavirus outbreak crippling the country, Little shifted her focus from   soccer to distance running, a sport where social distancing is never a problem. A sport Little had never tried.

Little – who is one of only two seniors on the squad – made an already dominate team, even stronger, quickly becoming one of the team’s low-stick runners, consistently finishing behind University of Texas commit Eva Jess.

“It’s been fun to be a part of this team and to be able to help win a title,” she said after finishing third at Saturday’s District 1-6A championship. “It’s been an amazing season. I have an amazing team that pushes me and an amazing coach who designs the workouts for us to have a chance to do great.”

Franklin won its third consecutive District 1-6A team title, scoring 28 points.

Little owns the third fastest 3-mile time in the city posting a 18:39.33 at the Haskins Recreation Center course on Oct. 3.

“Playing soccer has helped me because of all the running I’ve done in that sport,” she said. “Every week I’ve tried to get better.”

Little tasted the running bug last spring when she ran the 800 and the 4X4 relay for Franklin’s track team.

“My soccer coach agreed to let me run three meets during my bye weeks,” Little said. “That’s when I fell in love with running. When I run, it gives me an adrenaline rush.”

Little is surprised by how well the season has gone for her.

“I learned that I can really push myself,” she said. “Being surrounded by such amazing teammates and a coach who is always encouraging us made me realize that I can do this.”

The Cougars are on to the Region 1, Class 6A Cross Country Championship on Nov. 10 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock, with an opportunity to advance to its second consecutive state championships.

“I’m really looking forward to regionals,” Little said. “The team mentioned a few things about it like how we have to be mentally prepared and be together as pack to help us succeed.”

Cathedral finished one point away from reaching the podium at the TAPPS, Class 6A Cross Country Championship on Monday in Hewitt.

TAPPS State Championship

Cathedral finished one point away from reaching the podium at the TAPPS, Class 6A Cross Country Championship on Monday in Hewitt.

The Fighting Irish scored 102 points, just one point behind San Antonio’s Central Catholic High School for the bronze medal.

Cathedral had four runners in the top 20 – Luis Gomez (14th, 17:24.9), Bernard Martinez (15th, 17:25.9), Elijah Noble (16th, 17.:30) and Dylan John Lorilla (20th, 17:32.1).

San Antonio Antonian won the state title with 38 points and Houston’s St. Thomas was second with 59 points.

The Loretto Academy girls also competed in Class 6A and finished 12th with 326 points. The Angels were led by Mariah and Britney Martinez, who finished 56th and 57th overall.  

Tornillo sophomore Kylene Elias defended her District 3-4A individual crown racing the 2-mile course in 14:04.94 Saturday afternoon in Presidio.

District 3-4A Championship

Tornillo sophomore Kylene Elias defended her District 3-4A individual crown racing the 2-mile course in 14:04.94 Saturday afternoon in Presidio.

Also finishing in the top 10 for Tornillo were freshman Nataly Escajeda (fourth, 15:34.72) and junior Olivia Garcia (eighth, 15:48.02).

Presidio won the team title with 43 points followed by Tornillo (50) and Kermit (56).

Presidio and Tornillo will advance to the Region 1, Class 3A Cross Country Championship on Nov. 9 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

The Tornillo boys will advance to regionals after placing second, missing out on the district championship by three points.

Presidio won the event with 32 points, Tornillo was second with 35 points and Alpine was a distant third with 72 points.

Tornillo placed three runners in the top 10 – freshman Daniel Romero (second, 17:19.75), sophomore Angel Torres (third, 17:28.88) and senior Bryan Garcia (fifth, 17:45.78).

The district championships that almost never happened produces many storylines

Who advanced?

The top two teams from each district and the top 10 individuals make it to the Region 1 Cross Country Championships. The following teams and runners have advanced:

Boys

Class 6A: Eastwood and Americas. Also, Israel David, Eastlake and Luis Pastor, Coronado.

Class 5A: Burges, Hanks, Bel Air and El Paso High. Also, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin; Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress; Denovan Estrada, Canutillo; Ivan Hernandez, Horizon; Noah Gutierrez, Horizon; Miquel Avila, Del Valle and Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland.

Class 4A: San Elizario and Riverside. Also, Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Girls

Class 6A: Franklin and Montwood. Also, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood and Kyra Walker, Coronado.

Class 5A: Jefferson, Bel Air, Canutillo, El Paso High. Also, Angie Marrufo-Lujan, Parkland; Pamela Ramirez, Burges; Annette Guzman, Burges; Morayma Montes, Austin; Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin; Andrea Villagomez, Horizon; Natalie Rivera, Hanks and Mila Rivera, Hanks.

Class 4A:  Clint and San Elizario. Also, Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View; Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View; Anel Aranda, Riverside; Marcela Hernandez, Riverside; Athena Escobar, Fabens.

Class 3A: Tornillo.

What’s next

The Region 1 Cross Country Championship will be Nov. 9 for Class 3A and 5A and Nov. 10 for Class 4A and 6A at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

The Championship season begin on Saturday as runners from District 1-6A, 1-5A nad 2-5A competed for an opportunity to race at Regionals.

On a day that many El Paso cross country runners, coaches and supporters thought would never come, 12 individual district championships and six team titles were earned Saturday morning at Vista Hills Country Club.

Districts were in doubt early this week when – because of the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – County Judge Ricardo Samaniego urged the independent school districts in El Paso County to suspend athletics for at least two weeks.

Superintendents of the Socorro, El Paso and Canutillo school districts choose to postpone athletics for the next two weeks putting the district cross country championships in limbo.

Superintendents in Ysleta, Fabens, Clint, San Elizario, Anthony and Tornillo decided not to abide by the judge’s recommendation and proceed with athletics.

However, after a meeting of the district’s principals on Thursday morning, the decision to race was made.

“When they canceled the meet, I was really disappointed,” said Eastlake junior Israel David, who won the District 1-6A individual championship. “I trained all those months for no one to see where I’m at was hard to take. I did all those months of training just to see it go away.”

David won his first district championship in 15:20.1, 12 seconds ahead of Eastwood’s Sergio Leon Cuartas (15:32.3) and Aaron Perez (third, 15:41.7),

“The course was perfect,” he said. “It was a great mix of hills, grass and hard flat surfaces – it was a real cross country course,” David said.

Eastwood, the two-time defending Class 5A state champions, returned to 6A this year and won its tenth straight district championship.

The Troopers had runners finish in the 2-3-4-8 and 10 spot – Cuartas, Perez, Isaac Mendoza. (fourth, 15:43.7), Victor Parra (eighth, 16:21.9) and Andres Gurrola (tenth, 16:27.3).

“Our goal each year is not to win district, regionals or state,” said Mike McLain, Eastwood’s head coach. “Our goal is to do the best we can, be good teammates, run for each other and let the other stuff fall where it may.”      

It’s not only 10 straight district championships, but  a 10 year El Paso unbeaten streak, as well.

Americas was second with 48 points with its top three runners – Michael Mier (16:03.8),

Carmelo Corral (16:06.0) and Jared Laverty (16:15.8) – finishing 5-6-7. The Trailblazers

Coronado sophomore Luis Pastor was ninth in 16:27.1 and punched his ticket to regionals.

Franklin was third with 97 points followed by Coronado (121), Eastlake (127), Montwood (164), Pebble Hills (180) and Socorro (188).

The Region 1 Cross Country Championship will be Nov. 9 for Class 3A and 5A and Nov. 10 for Class 4A and 6A at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, only two teams and the top ten individuals qualified from district to regionals. In the past, the top three teams would advance.

The Franklin girl’s won its third straight team title on Saturday.

The Franklin girls won its third consecutive District 1-6A team title, scoring 28 points followed be Montwood (41) and Eastwood (51). Coronado was fourth (130), Americas was fifth (143), Pebble Hills sixth (162), Eastlake was seventh (175) and Socorro was eighth (179).

“It’s been a long time since my first district meet. Back then, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t really know how good I was my freshman year. I’m so happy about the seasons I’ve had in high school and I’m sad that they are almost over, but I’m ready for college, too. I had a great time competing for Franklin and I’ve met many great friends over the past four years.”

Franklin and Montwood will advance.

The race was tight in the first mile between Jess and Eastwood junior Lauren Walls-Portillo, who had beaten Jess two Saturdays ago. But Jess opened the gap at that point and sailed to a 31 second victory.

“I felt really good,” Jess said. “Stronger than I’ve felt over the past several weeks.”

Jess finished the race in 18:11.3 followed by Walls-Portillo (18:42.7) and Franklin senior Ally Little (19:03.5).

Three other Franklin runners finished in the top 10 – Michelle Paillard (sixth, 19:48.5), Jenna Saunders (eighth, 20:00.1) and Alyssa Laspada (tenth, 20:07.9).

Montwood placed three runners – Kassandra Jimenez (fourth, 19:33.8), Karyme Garcia (fifth, 19:47.7) and Alexa Rangel (seventh, 19:48.5).

Coronado sophomore Kyra Walker was ninth in 20:06.1 and will advance to regionals for the second year in a row.

District 1-5A

Jefferson, led by junior Crystal Peterson, won the District 1-5A team title for the third straight year. It was also, Peterson’s third individual title.

Jefferson junior Crystal Peterson won her third District 1-5A championship, racing out to 19:57.4 to lead the Silver Foxes.

Senior Melody Tsutsumi was fourth in 21:01.0 and Monique Correra was fifth in 21:18.8 to help Jefferson to its third straight district championship with 34 points. El Paso High was second (48) and Burges was third (67).

“It’s been a strange season,” Peterson said. “First off, we didn’t even know we were going to have a season and when we found it we were really happy and we knew it was going to be special because of our senior Melody who is going to graduate and we wanted to win this for her as her sending away gift.”

Peterson said racing a different district course was a challenge.

“This is was a lot faster,” she said. “There were less hills with more dirt, it was very different than the Chami (Chamizal National Memorial Park).”

El Paso High had three runners – Shayla Cohen Jones (sixth, 21:28.7), Alissa Kennedy (seventh, 21:42.3) and Jezarae Valenzuela (ninth, 22.20.7).

Burges’s top runners, Pamela Ramirez (20:22.4) and Annette Guzman (20:47.0) finished 2-3 and Austin qualified two runners Morayma Montes (eighth, 22.07.7) and Elizabeth Hernandez (tenth, 22.24.7).

Tsutsumi, who has run varsity all four years, said just being able to run this season has been a blessing.

“I really didn’t think we were even going to have a season so just being able to run has been great,” she said. “It was really nice to be able to run with my teammates one last season. Winning three straight district championships has been real special. Crystal and Monique have both grown as runners and have really strengthened our team.”

The Burges Mustangs won its fourth consecutive boy’s district championship, placing six runners in the 10 for 28 points.

Dylan Walker was the low stick for the Mustangs, finishing second in 17:02.1. David Gonzalez was fifth (17:22.7), David Herrera was sixth (17:29.3), Aaron Gomez was seventh (17:32.1), Julian Maldonado was eighth (17:43.9) and Luis Holguin was tenth (18:07.4)

El Paso High was second with 58 points. The Tigers had two in the top 10 – Josep Ferret (fourth, 17:15.7) and David Ramirez (ninth, 17:52.8).

Andress runner Jarrett Ketchmark was third in 17:13.0.

Chapin senior Joaquin Ortega won his first district championship racing the course in 16:50.4.

Chapin senior Joaquin Ortega won his first district championship racing the course in 16:50.4.

“This week has been a roller coaster,” Ortega said. “I really didn’t know how the district was going to play this out. Luckily I was able to do well, so I’m happy we got to run.”

Ortega said he was mentally prepared for this race.

“I always like to picture myself in the front winning it,” he said. “Dream it and it can happen, I guess. “

District 2-5A

The Bel Air girls won its first district championship since 1982 and a new district champion was crowned.

The Highlanders placed four runners – Abigail Murillo (third, 20:43.9), Jaylee Levario (fifth, 21:04.7), Rosemary Torres (seventh, 21:17.9) and Sara Armendariz (sixth, 21:14.2) – in the top 10 to score 40 points, well ahead of second place Canutillo (75).

Hanks was third with 81 points, Del Valle fourth (92), Ysleta fifth with 150 and Parkland was sixth (157).

“The last time the girls made it to regionals as a team was in 97 or 98, and they went as a third-place team,” said Bel Air coach Jerry Schaffer. “We’ve had lots of very good individual runners advance to regionals but this is my first district championship.”

For Schaffer, having both boys and girls advance is dream come true.

“We are finally going to put two teams on the bus to have the regional experience,” he said. “The kids always want to have their teammates around them. The girls kind of knew they took care of business earlier and we waited around for the boys results to be official because we didn’t want assume anything.”

Parkland senior Angie Marrufo-Lujan won the individual title – her first district championship –  in a 19:37.8.

“It’s always been my goal to win a cross country district title so it feels really good,” Marrufo-Lujan said. “I’ve worked really hard this entire season and my work has finally paid off. I feel really blessed and accomplished for what I have done.”

 Canutillo’s top two runners were Chondra Espino (second, 20:42.1) and Ivy Lara (ninth, 21:40.0),

Three individual runners – Horizon’s Andrea Villagomez (fourth, 20:49.6) and a pair of Hanks runners Natalie Rivera (eighth, Hanks, 21:37.7) and Mila Rivera (tenth, 21:41.5) – will also advance to regionals.

The Hanks boys won their first district title since the 90s.

On the boy’s side, the Hanks Knights continued its streak of seven straight individual district champions as junior Gael Alvarado won the race in 16:49.0.

Alvarado, Alejandro Tarin (second, 17:06.0) and Michael Antuna (ninth, 18:01.1) also led the Knights to its first district championship since 1995, scoring 48 points.

“This is definitely not an easy course,” Alvarado said. “The first time we ran here was extremely difficult, very grassy, the hills were a little difficult and then the change from grass to concrete is definitely unsettling but it was a good, fun race.”

Alvarado is now the fourth consecutive runner from Hanks to win a district championship joining Isaiah Hernandez (2014), Solomon Weatherby (2015), and Michael Abeyta who won four in a row (2016-2019).

“It was an honor to run with Michael and Rodger (Rivera),” he said. “Not many people have the privilege to be able to run with two of the best in the state. To see them run and watch their work ethic helped me.”

Bel Air had two runners in the top 10 – William Moreno (third, 17:11.5) and Bryan Gunter (seventh, 17:45.5) – was second with 58 points, Del Valle third (102), Ysleta fourth (109) and Parkland was fifth with 125 points.

Other runners who advanced to regionals are Canutillo’s Denovan Estrada (fourth, 17:17.0), Horizon runners Ivan Hernandez (fifth, 17:20.6) and Noah Gutierrez (tenth, 18:15.0), Del Valle’s Miquel Avila (sixth, 17:39.2) and Parkland’s Kenneth Lamar Golston (eighth, 17:48.0).

San Eli boys, Clint girls earn 1-4A championships; Gomez and Talavera defend individual titles

San Elizario won its seventh consecutive District 1-4A championship, scoring 19 points. The Eagles placed all five scorers in the top 6.

The District 1-4A Cross Country Championship went as expected on a crisp, peaceful Friday morning at Vista Hill Country Club.

It was quiet because spectators were not allowed on the course due to the pandemic, leaving only coaches and athletes to cheer on their teammates.

The San Elizario boys won the district championship for the seventh consecutive year. Senior Edwin Gomez earned his fourth district gold medal and Mt. View senior Kayhla Talavera defended her district title completing the 2-mile course in 13:01.80.

The Clint girls won the team championship scoring 23 points. San Elizario was second with 47, just nipping Riverside by three points for the final spot to regionals.

Clint had three runners – Janice Olivas (second, 13:12.89), Vivian Zapata, (fourth, 13:55.21) and Jacqueline Castillo (fifth, 14:03.90) – in the top five.

Other top 10 runners were Mt. View’s Madelaine Estrada (third, 13:13.68), San Elizario’s Ximena Jimenez (14:04.48), a pair of Riverside runners – Anel Aranda (seventh, 14:18.24) and Marcela Hernandez (eighth, 14:21.71) Athena Escobar from Fabens (14:29.27) and San Elizario’s Osmary Vazquez (14:34.07).

Clint sophomore Janice Olivas helped the Lions to a District 1-4 championship, completing the 2-mile course in 13:12.89. Clint will advance to the Region 1-4A championship in Lubbock.

The Riverside boys qualified for regionals for the first time since 2005 behind a solid effort from junior Andrew Valdiviezo who finished second in 16:02.61.

San Elizario placed all five scorers in the top 6 including Gomez (15:51.11), Dilan Sanchez (third, 16:07.38), Alan Ceballos (fourth, 17:17.54), Irvin Vazquez (fifth,  17:24.53) and Matthew Maese (sixth, 17:27.58).

Rounding out the top 10 were Joshua Gonzalez from Mt. View (seventh, 17:28.02), Riverside’s Jayden Bustillos (eighth, 17:29.64 7), his teammate Paul Ayala (ninth, 17:48.84) and San Elizario’s Angel Maese (tenth, 17:56.65).

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the University Interscholastic League had to modify the 2020 cross country post-season structure.

This year, only two teams and the top ten individuals shall qualify from district to regionals. In the past, the top three teams would advance.

The Region 1-4A Cross Country Championship is Nov. 10 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

“It was different this year because it was a new course,” Gomez said. “This was a real flat course, it’s not like the Chamizal with all the hills. This course was good, but I prefer the Chamizal because it’s much more difficult.”

Gomez said he is proud of the way the team performed.

“We’ve all worked really hard throughout the season,” he said. “We had a lot of injuries, myself included, but we kept on trying our best and staying focused.”

Being focused has not been easy during the COVID season.

“We didn’t know if we were going to even have a district race or a season at all,” he said. “But we continued to practice and put in the time to train as a team and by ourselves.”

Mt. View senior Kayhla Talavera defended her District 1-4A title, completing the 2-mile course at the Vista Hills Country Club in 13:01.80.

Talavera is also grateful to be able to run this season. But her issues went beyond the restrictions of coronavirus.

“I had a torn ACL in my left knee that required surgery in January,” she said. “I didn’t even know if I was going to be able run this season. It all depended on my recovery. I started walking five months after surgery and little by little I started jogging and then started running and now I’m here.”

The injury occurred when Talavera went out for the soccer team and fell wrong after jumping in the air.

“It was a hard season because of COVID and my knee,” she said. “The whole summer we kept going back and fourth, ‘are we going to have a season or are we not?’ And at the same time I was worried about how my knee was going to heal.”

Without question, her knee healed just fine.

“I’m pretty excited that I got to run this year, and where I’m at right now,” she said.

Right now she is back on the course, doing what she loves with an opportunity to race at regionals and another state berth.

“I think I can make it back to state,” she said. “I’m hoping for a top 10 finish but if not, that’s OK, I got to run my senior year, that’s all that matters, I thought I wasn’t going to run this year.”

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 7

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top cross country male 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 and 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 151 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 5K/3-mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

This week’s schedule

District 1-4A Championship: 9:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 30 at Vista Hills Country Club. San Elizario, Fabens, Clint, Mt. View, Riverside. The girls will race first followed by the boys.

District 1-6A, 1-5A, 2-5A Championships: Saturday, Oct. 31 at Vista Hills Country Club.9 to 10:15 a.m. 2-5A girls, followed immediately by boys; 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. 1-5A girls, immediately followed by boys; 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 1-6A girls, immediately followed by boys.

District 3-4A Championship: Noon Saturday, Oct. 31 at Presidio High School. Tornillo, Presidio, Alpine, Kermit and Anthony. Girls followed by boys.

The Championship Season begins this weekend. Who will survive and advance to regionals?

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The two-time defending Class 5A state champions, will be seeking its tenth straight district championship. The Troopers, which moved back to 6A this year, are led by senior Sergio Leon Cuartas who is supported by a more than capable group of runners including junior Nathan Hernandez,  Isaac Mendoza, Aaron Perez, Victor Anchondo and Victor Parra – all who own top 13 times in the city.

2. Americas:  The Trailblazers, who won the District 1-6A championship the past two years, will provide the Trooper its biggest challenge. A pair of juniors – Carmelo Corral and Jared Laverty – set the pace for Americas. The two have combined for three individual championships and have turned in two of the city’s fastest top 10 times – 15:15.03 for Corral and 15:41.15 for Laverty. Two other runners are on the top 25 list of fastest times including Aaron Saenz (15:56.91) and Michael Mier (16:04.08).

3. Coronado: Because only two teams qualify for regionals, it will be difficult for Coronado to advance this season. Last week, the T-birds almost had a perfect score at the Clint Invitational, scoring 16 points. Sophomore Luis Pastor won the event in 15:46.24, followed by Sam Breceda, (16:30.82), Corey Dubrule (16:33.99),  Stephen Pitchkolan (16:54.74), Carlos Medez (17:22.59) and Sam Florez (17:25.27). With only one senior, the future is bright for Coronado.

4. San Elizario: The Eagles are going for its fifth straight District 1-4A championship. At the Pre-District Invitational two weeks ago, all seven runners finished in the top 10 led by winner Edwin Gomez (16:00.6) followed by Dilan Sánchez (16:43.0). Other runners include Christopher Moreno (fourth, 17:14.2.5), Alan Ceballos (fifth, 17:24.5), Irvin Vazquez (sixth, 17:52.1), Angel Maese (eighth, 18:15.0) and .Matthew Maese (tenth, 18:17.7).

5. Tornillo: The Coyotes have not raced in two weeks. They will compete for a District 4-3A championship on Saturday at Presidio.

6. Franklin: Franklin will make a run for it at Saturday’s District 1-6A Championship. With only one senior, watch for the Cougars to be a force in 2021.

7. Burges: The Mustangs won the District 1-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational with 31 points two weeks ago. The Mustangs placed five runners in the top 10 including runner-up Dylan Walker (16:38.5), David Gonzalez (fourth, 17:08.7), David Herrera (seventh, 17:28.9), Julian Maldonado (eighth, 17:32.8) and Aaron Gomez (tenth, 17:51.9). Burges is going after its fourth consecutive district championship.    

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish did not race.

9. Hanks: Hanks won first-place in the District 2-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational two weeks ago. Alejandro Tarin was first (17:02.1) and Gael Alvarado was second (17:08.4). The Knights and had two more runners – Michael Antuna (fifth, 18:31.2) and Andres Garcia (eighth, 18:41.3) – in the top 10.

10. El Paso: El Paso finished second in the District 1-5A race of the Pre-District Invitational two weeks ago. Josep Ferret was third for El Paso High finishing the Vista Hills Country Club course in 17:02.3. Teammate David Ramirez was sixth in 17:25.1.

Dropped out: Eastlake.

On the brink: Riverside, Pebble Hills.

Pebble Hills sophomore Omer Ibrahim (in blue) will be in the thick of things at the District 1-6A Championship.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15:15.03 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

2, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 15:15.53 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

3, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:31.2 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

4, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:36.48 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

5, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 15:38.58 (Del Valle, 9/19).

6, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 15:39.22 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

7, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 15:40.33 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

8, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 15:40.73 (Del Valle, 9/19).

9, Jared Laverty, Americas, 15:41.15 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

10, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 15:46.24 (Clint, 10/24).

11, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 15:46.55 (Del Valle, 9/19).

12, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 15:55.35 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

13, Aaron Saenz, Americas, 15:56.91 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

14, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 15:57.58 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

15, Jose Nilo, Austin, 16:01.71 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

16, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:03.00 (Del Valle, 10/24).

17, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 16:03.17 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

18, Michael Mier, Americas, 16:04.08 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

19, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:06.00 (Del Valle, 10/24).

20, Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 16:10.07 (Desert Twilight, 10/2)

21, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 16:22.99 (Del Valle, 9/19).

22, Josep Ferret, El Paso, 16:25.96 (Skyline Park, 10/10).

23, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 16:28.74 (Veterans Park, 10/3)

24, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 16:30.54 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

25, Sam Breceda, Coronado, 16:30.82 (Clint, 10/24).  

                                             

Eastwood and San Elizario are heavy favorites in the District 1-6A race and the District 1-4A championship. Both teams have been working towards return trips to the state championship.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Isreal David, Eastlake, 50 (5)

2, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 45 (4).

3, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 47 (3).

4, Jared Laverty, Americas, 44 (1).

4, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 44 (2).

6, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 41 (2).

7, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 40 (2).

8, Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 38.

9, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 37 (2).

10, Michael Mier, Americas, 35.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 34.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 34 (2).

Dylan Walker, Burges, 32.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 32.

Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 32. 

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 31.

Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 30.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 30.

Angel Torres, Tornillo, 28.

Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 27.

Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 27 (1).

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 26.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 25 (1).

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 24.

Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 24.  

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 22.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 21.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 21 (1).

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 20.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 20.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 19.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 19.

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 19 (1).

David Herrera Burges, 19.

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 18.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 15.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 14.  

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 13.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 13. 

Danovan Estrada, Canutillo, 13.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 13.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 12.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 12.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 12.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 12.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 11.

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 11. 

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 11.

 Victor Parra, Eastwood, 10.

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Michael Antuna, Hanks, 10.

Octavio Trujillo, Franklin, 9.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 9.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 9.

Andres Buckley, Franklin, 8.     

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 8.

Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 7.

Matthew Marshall, Eastwood, 7.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 6.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Aaron Gomez, Burges, 6.

Diego Garnica, Pebble Hills, 6.

Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 6.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 5.

Carlos Medez, Coronado, 5.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 5.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 5.

Jesse Rodriguez, El Paso High, 5.

Jacob Beckett, Eastwood, 5.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 5.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

Bryan Guzman, Tornillo, 4.

Cesar Sandoval, Chapin, 4.

Andres Garcia, Hanks, 4.

Sam Florez, Coronado, 4.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 4.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 4.

Kenneth Gomez, Parkland, 4.

Larry Green, Irvin, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 3.

Anthony Soto, Fabens, 3.

Angel Maese, San Elizario, 3.

Joaquin Martinez, Eastwood, 3.

Andre De Santos, El Paso High, 3.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin, 2.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 2. 

Yahir Barrios, Horizon, 2.

Omar Rivera, Canutillo, 2.

Moises Vera, Austin, 2.

Gianni Ortega, Eastlake, 2.

Erfren Moncada, Parkland, 2.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 2.

Noah Castorena, Pebble Hills, 2.         

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Isaac Ortega, Jefferson, 1.

Christopher Torres, El Paso High, 1.

Stefan Alvarez, Americas, 1.

Juan Linares, Horizon, 1.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 1.

Joaquin Rascon, Del Valle, 1.

High School Girls XC Poll: Week 7

Every Wednesday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top cross country female 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 and 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 151 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 5K/3-mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

This week’s schedule

District 1-4A Championship: 9:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 30 at Vista Hills Country Club. San Elizario, Fabens, Clint, Mt. View, Riverside. The girls will race first followed by the boys.

District 1-6A, 1-5A, 2-5A Championships: Saturday, Oct. 31 at Vista Hills Country Club. 9 to 10:15 a.m. 2-5A girls, followed immediately by boys; 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. 1-5A girls, immediately followed by boys; 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 1-6A girls, immediately followed by boys.

District 3-4A Championship: Noon Saturday, Oct. 31 at Presidio High School. Tornillo, Presidio, Alpine, Kermit and Anthony. Girls followed by boys.

Franklin is going for its third consecutive District 1-6A championship on Saturday.

Top 10

1. Franklin: The Cougars are seeking back-to-back-back district titles and judging from the team’s dominate season – a team championship seems likely. Senior Eva Jess hopes her last cross country district race ends like her first one – with a District 1-6A individual championship. Newcomer Ally Little – running in her first season – has been quite the surprise. The senior, who has played soccer the previous three years, has proved Franklin with a solid 1-2 punch. Seven Franklin athletes – Jess, Little, sophomore Alyssa Laspada, junior Jenna Saunders, Michele Paillard, junior Jordan Torres and Sofia Camacho – have city-best top 10 times.

2. Montwood: The Rams are hoping to advance to Regionals with a solid five runners. Two weeks ago, its top four runners Kassandra Jimenez (19:56.6), Jazmine Miranda (19:58.1), Alexa Rangel (20:04.7) and Natalie Espinosa (20:37.1) – had season best times at Vista Hills Country Club, the district course. It’s going to be tight one for that last spot to regionals.

3. Eastwood: But you can never count the Troopers out, especially with junior Lauren Portillo-Walls, who turned in a city-best 18:04.35 at Vista Hills on Oct. 10. Eastwood has five runners cracking the Top 25 times list including Portillo-Walls, Victoria Ovalles, Salma Licon, Adalia Olmos and Amber Martin. Eastwood’s 2-7 gap is only 20 seconds.  The individually title will come down to Franklin’s Jess and Portillo-Walls which could be the race of the meet.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes won the District 1-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club two weeks ago. Jefferson is the odds-on favorite to repeat at district champions with defending individual Crystal Peterson who has already turned in 20:07.0 on the course. Peterson, Monique Correa (20:15.2), Melody Tsutsumi (21:03.5) and Jelia Lugo (21:51.5) have four of the district’s top 10 times on this course.

5. CoronadoThe T-Birds scored a perfect 15 at the Clint Invitational. Kyra Walker on the two-mile event in 13:46.18. Other Coronado runners to finish in the top 10 were Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, Banah Abdeljaber, Sonya Lee, Carolina Pitchkolan, Daniela Peinado, Gracyn Hunt, Luisa Ramirez and Eva Asfahani. In a strong District 1-6A Walker looks for a top 10 finish and a trip to regionals.

6. CanutilloThe Eagles handily won the District 2-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club two weeks ago so there is no reason why they can’t do it again. Chondra Espino has Canutillo’s best time on the course (21:02.9). Ivy Lara (21:36.0), Natalie Rivera (21:46.9) and Vanessa Preciado (21:47.9) also ran well at Vista Hills and should be favorite.

7. El Paso High: The Tigers placed second at the District 1-5A race of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club two weeks ago. If they can repeat that feat, they will advance to regionals. At the race two weeks ago, Shayla Cohen Jones was fifth, 21:14.7), Alissa Kennedy was sixth (21:20.8), Jezarae Valenzuela was seventh (21:32.6) and Vivian Shaheen was tenth (22:54.2).

8. Tornillo. The Coyotes have not competed in two weeks so they should be well rested for their District 3-4A championship Saturday in Presidio.

9. Bel Air: The Highlanders should be well rested for Saturday’s District 2-5A Championship. With Canutillo, the clear favorite, Bel Air and Hanks will fight it out of last spot to regionals. It’s team has a solid 1-2 punch with Abigail Murillo owning the fourth fastest time in the district on this course (21:10.09) and Sara Armendariz the sixth best (21:28.27).

10. Hanks. Hanks counters with Mia Rivera (fifth on the course, 21:23.8) and Natalie Rivera (eighth, 21:46.9). The fight for final spot to regionals is going to be intense.

Dropped out: Eastlake.

On the brink: Burges, Pebble Hills.

Canutillo senior Chondra Espino is one of the top runners in District 2-5A. Her time of 20:36.59 is the city’s 22nd best.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Lauren Portillo-Walls, Eastwood, 18:04.35 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:16.91 (Haskins Center, 10/3).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 18:39.33 (Haskins Center, 10/3).

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 19:03.19 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

5, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 19:12.42 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

6, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:43.31 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

7, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 19:50.57 (Vista Hills C.C., 10/10).

8, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 19:53.12 (Vista Hills C.C., 10/10).

9, Sofia Camacho, Franklin 19:55.96 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

10, Jordan Torres, Franklin 19:56.30 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

11, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 19:56.6 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

12, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:58.1 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

13, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 20:04.7 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

14, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:07.00 (Vista Hills CC 10/17).

15, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:15.2 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

16, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 20:19.07 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

17, Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 20:23.25 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

18, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 20:26.27 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

19, Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 20:31.75 (Veterans Park, 10/3).

20, Selma Licon, Eastwood 20:35.22 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

21, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 20:36.30 (Del Valle, 9/19).

22, Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 20:36.59 (Veterans Park, 9/26). 

23, Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 20:37.1 (Vista Hills CC, 10/17).

24, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 20:39.25 (Del Valle, 9/19).

25, Amber Martin, Eastwood, 20:40.65 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

Tornillo sophomore Kylene Elias looks to defend her District 4-3A on Saturday.

Power rankings (number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 70 (7).

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 59 (5).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 52.

4, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 49 (4).

5, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 42 (2).

6, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 41.

7, Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 39.

8, Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 36.

9, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 34 (1).

9, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 34.

Mia Rivera, Hanks, 32.

Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 31.

Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 30 (2).

Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 30 (3).

Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 30.

Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 27.

Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 26.

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 26.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 25.

Annette Guzman, Burges, 24.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 24 (1).

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 22.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso High, 21 (1).

Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 21.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 21.

Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 21.

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 20.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 20.

Isabella Medina, Americas, 19.

Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso High, 19.

Janice Olivas, Clint, 19.

Hannah Tellez, Eastwood, 19.

Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 18.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 18.

Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 17 (1).

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 17.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 16 (1).

Andrea Castillo, El Paso, 16.

Sonya Lee, Coronado, 16.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 15.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 15.

Morayma Montes, Austin, 14.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 14.

Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 14.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 14.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 13.

Carolina Pitchkolan, Coronado, 12.

Gracyn Hunt, Coronado, 12.

Alexis Vasquez, Eastwood, 12.

Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 10.

Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View. 10.

Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 10.

Daniela Peinado, Coronado, 10.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 9.

Mia Vargas, Americas, 9.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto, 9.

Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 9.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 8.

Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 8.

Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 8.

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 8.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 7.

Jacqueline Castillo, Clint, 7.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 7.

Jaquelin Gonzalez, Horizon, 7.

Aylin Tepezano, Clint, 7.

Madison Spencer, Hanks, 7.

Amber Martin, Eastwood, 6

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 6.

Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View, 6.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 6.

Monica Hagerich, Eastwood, 6.

Luisa Ramirez, Coronado, 6.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 6.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 5.

Selma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Ximena Jimenez, San Elizario, 5.

Vivian Shaheen, El Paso High, 5.

Mariah Martinez, Loretto, 5.

Itzel Garcia, Americas, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Briana Canales, Eastlake, 4.

Eva Asfahani, Coronado, 4.

Paola Bolanos Hernandez, Parkland, 4.

Emma White, El Paso High, 4.  

Sarah Villaronga, Franklin, 3.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 3.

Claudia Vargas, Parkland, 3.     

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 3.

Osmary Vazquez, San Elizario, 3.

Jasmine Martinez, Eastwood, 2.

Jade Baca, Hanks, 2.

Amanda Sotelo, Franklin, 2.

Amanda Torres, Loretto, 2.

Marcela Hernandez, Riverside, 2.

Sarah Gil, Eastwood, 2.

Bianca Quintero, Chapin, 2.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air, 1.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 1.

Yulianna Anahi Martinez, Parkland, 1.

Christina Duncan, Coronado, 1.

Andrea Baeza, Loretto, 1.

Elliane Marshall, Eastwood, 1.

Camila Luna, Riverside, 1.

Iris Baca, Horizon, 1.

UPDATE: Fate of District Races to be Determined on Thursday

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m., Oct. 29

The El Paso, Socorro and Canutillo ISD’s, the three school districts that suspended athletics for the next two weeks, have allowed their cross country athletes to participate in the District Championships on Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club.

The Saturday schedule is as follows: 9 to 10:15 a.m. 2-5A girls, followed immediately by boys; 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. 1-5A girls, immediately followed by boys; 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 1-6A girls, immediately followed by boys.

District 1-4 race at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Vista Hills Country Club. The girls will race first followed by the boys and the District 4-3A race will be at noon, Saturday in Presidio.

Original story

The fate of hundreds of cross country athletes in District 1-6A, 1-5A and 2-5A are in the hands of their respective District Executive Committees (DEC) who are expected to make a final decision on which two teams and 10 individual runners from each district will advance to the Region 1 Cross Country Championship.

The decision is expected to come on Thursday morning.

The UIL has approved a plan to allow the DECs, with input from the cross country coaches, to determine which teams and individuals should advance to Regionals at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. The regional meet will be Nov. 9 for Class 3A and 5A and Nov. 10 for Class 4A and 6A.

District executive committees are composed of one school administrator from each school in a UIL district. They arrange contest schedules and certify district representatives for the next level of competition. They administer and enforce the rules and settle disputes within a district. They have original jurisdiction over all eligibility questions within the district.

District championships in District 1-4A, 1-5A, 2-5A and 1-6A were scheduled for Friday morning at Vista Hills Country Club.

For District 1-6A – and perhaps District 1-5A – the plan is to take the team and individual results from the Parra Law XC Classic on Oct. 10 and results from the Pre-District Invitational on Oct. 17 to determine which athletes and teams will advance. Both events were at Vista Hills Country Club, the site of the District Championships.

The plan is to compare the average times for both boys and girls from both invitationals to determine which two teams from each district will advance. The top 10 runners with the best times would also advance.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the University Interscholastic League had to modify the 2020 cross country post-season structure.

This year, only two teams and the top ten individuals shall qualify from district to regionals. In the past, the top three teams would advance.

How we got here

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase in El Paso, on Sunday, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego urged the independent school districts in El Paso County to suspend athletics for at least two weeks.

Based on Samaniego’s suggestion, superintendents of the Socorro, El Paso and Canutillo school districts choose to postpone athletics for the next two weeks putting the district cross country championships in limbo.

Superintendents in Fabens, Clint, San Elizario, Anthony and Tornillo decided to continue.

Ysleta Independent School District officials confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that Fall sports would continue operating as scheduled, meaning high school football, volleyball and cross country would resume their regularly scheduled games, matches and meets.

It is still unclear if the YISD schools that comprise District 2-5A – Bel Air, Del Valle, Hanks, Parkland and Ysleta – will race on Friday or not.

Three of the eight schools in the district – El Dorado (SISD), Canutillo (CISD) and Horizon (Clint ISD) – are not YISD schools.

Because Socorro and Canutillo ISDs decided to suspend athletics for two weeks, El Dorado and Canutillo will not participate if the DEC determines District 2-5A should race.

One district coach says there is a 50/50 chance that there will be a race.

Racing for Championships

As of now, District 1-4A and District 4-3A are the only two area districts scheduled to compete.

The District 1-4A race will include San Elizario, Fabens, Clint and Mt. View. Riverside’s regional destiny will depend on Thursday’s DEC decision.

The district championship will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Vista Hills Country Club. The girls will race first followed by the boys.

The District 4-3A race – featuring Tornillo, Presidio, Alpine, Kermit and Anthony – will be at noon, Saturday in Presidio.

Paper champions

Although not the most ideal way to determine who advances to regionals, combining the times from the Parra and Pre-district invitationals appears to be the most logical.

Based on the numbers, the advancing schools would be Franklin and either the Montwood or Eastwood girls and the Eastwood and Americas boys.

In District 1-5A, Jefferson and El Paso High girls and the Burges and El Paso High boys would advance and if District 2-5A decides not to race on Friday it would be Canutillo and Bel Air or  Hanks for the girls and Hanks and Del Valle or Bel Air for the boys.

Again, these are just projections.

District 1-6A

When combining the overall times, the top 10 girls would look like this:

1, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 18:04.35.

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:20.41.

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 18:44.19.

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 19:03.19.

5, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 19:50.57.

6, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 19:53.12.

7,  Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 19:55.96.

8, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 19:56.6.

9, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:56.83.

10, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:58.1.

The top 10 boys would look like this:

1, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:31.2.

2, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 15:42.04.

3, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 15:53.15.

4, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 15:55.0.

5, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 16:07.8.

6, Jared Laverty, Americas, 16:10.4.

7, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:16.85.

8, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16:17.94.

9, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 16:20.38.

10, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 16:26.93.

District 1-5A

The top 10 girls would look like this:

1, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:07.0.

2, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:15.2.

3, Annette Guzman, Burges, 20:31.3.

4, Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 21:03.5.

5, Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso High, 21:14.7.

6, Alissa Kennedy, El Paso High, 21:20.8.

7, Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso High, 21:32.6.

8, Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 21:51.5.

9, Emilee Antimo, Burges, 22:26.

10, Vivian Shaheen, El Paso High, 22:54.2.

The boys would look like this:

1, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 16:18.7.

2, Dylan Walker, Burges, 16:38.5.

3, Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 17:02.3.

4, David Gonzalez, Burges, 17:08.7.

5, Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 17:15.1.

6, David Ramirez, El Paso High, 17:25.1.

7, David Herrera, Burges, 17:28.9.

8, Julian Maldonado, Burges, 17:32.8.

9, Jose Nilo, Austin, 17:34.9.

10, Aaron Gomez, Burges, 17:51.9.

District 2-5A

The girls would look like this:

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 20:27.5.

2, Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 21:02.9.

3, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 21:08.0.

4, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 21:10.09.

5, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 21:23.8.

6, Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 21:28.27.

7, Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 21:36.0.

8, Natalie Rivera, Hanks, 21:46.9.

9, Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 21:47.9.

10, Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 22:12.9.

The boys would look like this:

1, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:32.73.

2, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 17:08.4.

3, William Romero, Bel Air, 17:41.96.

4, Denovan Estrada, Canutillo, 17:52.8.

5, Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 17:56.9.

6, Michael Antuna, Hanks, 18:07.0.

7, Hector Garcia, Bel Air, 18:08.14.

8, Bryan Gunter, Bel Air, 18:34.98.

9, Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 18:38.6.

10, Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 18:39.7.