Americas boys; Franklin girls continue winning ways; Jess and Gonzalez pick up individual honors

NE RegionalBoys
The Americas boys won its fourth meet of the season while the Franklin girls continued its unbeaten streak at the Parkland/Riverside Invitational.

There is something special happening this season with the Americas High School boy’s cross country team.

Coming off the Trailblazers first ever Class 6A UIL State Cross Country appearance as a team, Americas has appeared to have improved, winning all but one meet this fall.

And they are doing it with different parts.

On a wet Saturday morning at the Northeast Regional Park, the team easily won the Parkland/Riverside Invitational with 36 points.

Americas placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 10 with Jacob Ye leading the way with a second-place finish in 15:22.23.

Coronado senior Nick Gonzalez won his fourth race of the season in 15:19.21 3, Fernando Morales from Franklin was third in 15:23.42, Chapin’s Angel Contreras was fourth in 15:29.51 and Franklin’s Daniel Kennedy was fifth in 15:35.20.

“We’re real happy with the first part of the season,” said Kenny Lucero, Americas’ head coach. “The key is to hold it all together till the end of the season. Right now, everybody seems to be getting a little stronger and we’re getting healthier.”

After Coronado’s Alan Alba finished sixth (15:35.77) the pack-running Trailblazers finished in the next four spots – Aaron Saenz seventh in 15:36.45, Hector Sanchez, eighth in 15:36.89, Jared Laverty, ninth in 15:38.00 and Gage Garcia, tenth in 15:44.35.

“We have been working really hard,” Lucero said. “They have a goal; they know what their mission is and they know what they have to do, so I like where we’re at.”

The beauty of this Americas team, which is ranked No. 10 in Class 6A by Texas MilesSplit, is on any given race day, a different runner will step up to lead the team.

“Every race is different and not every guy is going to feel their best and when you have the guys working together as a team and trying to keep it tight, other guys are going to feel a little better and they are going to pick up the slack,” Lucero said. It’s good to have guys who work so hard together who can help each other out in races.”

Americas is gearing up for a solid second half of the season.

“The way our training is designed is for us to get faster as we get closer to championship season,” he said. “We have a couple of big out-of-town meets leading up to championship season. We are expected to get a little faster against better competition at sea level so that will help the kid’s confidence to see where they stand with other teams from the state.”

Coronado’s Gonzalez, Ye from Americas and Morales from Franklin were a tight lead pack from start to finish on this flat asphalt and desert course and ended the race within four seconds of each other.

“I want to keep on going as far as possible and keep putting up good times,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve been getting the first places but I have to focus on getting my times down. Luckily, I think I dropped my time today by 8 seconds.”

Nick_Fernie
Coronado senior Nick Gonzalez and Franklin senior Fernie Morales went toe-toe at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday. Gonzalez won in 15:19.21 and Morales was third in 15:23.42.

He said he is not concerned about peaking too season.

“My body is doing fine,” he said. “I feel like I’m on the climb right now. I feel that each practice that I go through gets easier and easier and each run seems like I’m pushing more and more.”

On the girl’s side, the story of the season is the young Franklin Cougars who continue to simply win.

Junior Eva Jess won her fifth individual championship as did the Cougars who finished 1-4-6-8 and 15 to score 34 points. Americas was second with 61 points and Coronado third with 63.

“In my first few meets I ran really well, the times were well under what I ran in the past,” she said. “This meet I think I ran slower because I caught a cold during the week so it was really hard to breath but other than that, I’m happy with my times and I’m happy with my places, you can’t ask for anything else.”

Jess won the event in 17:51.64.

Americas senior Mariana Guzman was second in 18:27.33 followed by Coronado freshman Kyra Walker who was third in 19:10.54.

Franklin’s top 10 runners include Jess, Alyssa Laspada (fourth, 19:14.39), Jordan Torres (sixth, 19:22.69) and Jenna Saunders (eighth, 19:28.70).

“I’m the oldest this year which is crazy because I’ve always been the youngest on the team,” Jess said. “I’m so proud of them. They are killing it as freshmen; they are killing it as sophomores, we’re going to continue doing great this year.”

Other top 10 runners were Daphne Duran, Americas (fifth, 19:20.73), Sophia Flores, Coronado (seventh, 19:26.24), Abigail Murillo, Bel Air (ninth, 19:29.39) and Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin (tenth, 19:37.63).

NE.EvaJess
Franklin junior Eva Jess won her fifth individual championship at the Northeast Regional Park.

Jess said she does not mind taking the leadership role for Franklin.

“I’m team captain for the girls team this year,” she said. “There’s more pressure but I like that responsibility. I like being able to give the girls some wisdom and help them out during the races and at practice.”

High School Boy’s XC Poll: Week 5

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top boy’s 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 and 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 boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

This week’s schedule:

Parkland /Riverside Invitational:  8 a.m. Sept. 21 at Northeast Regional Park. Riverside, Parkland, VVEC, Bel Air, Coronado, Franklin, Austin, Chapin, Irvin, Eastlake, El Dorado, Americas, Loretto, Andress, Loretto, Harmony, Canutillo, LPI.

 Tornillo/San Eli Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 21 at Tornillo High School. Tornillo, San Eli, Jefferson, Fabens, EPHS, Bowie, Montwood,  Ft Hancock, Cathedral, Mountain View, Clint, Horizon, Eastwood, Hanks, Ysleta, YWLA, Del Valle, LPI, Socorro.

 Woodbridge: 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in Woodbridge, Calif, Eastwood.

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

BoysPack2
We are halfway through the 2019 cross country season! Teams are preparing for districts (Oct. 19), regionals (Oct. 28) and ultimately the UIL State Championship on Nov. 9. On Saturday, the two in-town invitationals are the Parkland/Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park and the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

Top 10

 1, Eastwood:  Eastwood will travel to the 39th Woodbridge (Calif.) Cross Country Classic presented by ASICS America on Saturday. The team will race in the Doug Speck Sweepstakes at 8:55 p.m. Texas schools Coppell and Southlake Carroll and Cedar Park are also entered.

2, Americas:  The Trailblazers continue its early season success with another team championship. Americas runners finished 5-6-7—8 and 9 to win the Franklin Invitational with 35 points. The team’s 1-5 split was an impressive 15 seconds. The team was led by Carmelo Corral (fifth, 17:27.29), Jacob Ye (sixth, 17:27.78), Gage Garcia (seventh, 17:32.30), Aaron Saenz (eighth, 17:40.33) and Michael Mier (ninth, 17:43.07). The team will race at the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park.

3, Coronado: The T-Birds move up two spots after another second-place finish at the Franklin Invitational. Coronado – which scored 55 points – placed its top five runners in 1-2-13-16 and 23. Senior Nick Gonzalez won his third straight race in 16:44.87. Senior Alan Alba was second in 16:49.55. Coronado will run the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

4, Franklin:  The Cougars drop a spot after finishing third at the Franklin Invitational with 67 points. It’s top five finished 10-11-12-15 and 19 with a 43 second top 5 split. Fernie Morales was the lone top 10 runner (17:53.74). Franklin will compete at the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

5, San Elizario: The Eagles won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park by five points over Eastwood’s JV. Junior Edwin Gomez won the event in 16:10.36 followed by senior Rene Arambula (sixth, 16:53.90) and junior Dilan Sanchez (seventh, 16:56.24). San Elizario will race at the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

6, Hanks: The Knights did not run its top two runners and finished fifth at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park. Sophomore Gael Alvarado was the low man for Hanks, finishing the race in his season best 16:46.65, good for third place. The team will compete at the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

7, Chapin: The Huskies placed fourth at the Franklin Invitational with 131 points. Senior Angel Contreras was fourth in 17:08.00. The team will race at the Parkland/Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

8, Montwood: The Rams move up two spots after finishing third at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park. The team finished with 108 points. Junior Trenton Nelson was 11th in 17:01.60 and Ruben Gonzalez was 12th in 17:09.88. Montwood is scheduled to compete at the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

9, Tornillo: Tornillo placed 19th at the Texas MileSplit Invitational hosted by Denton Guyer. Senior Ofir Ortega ran a personal season best 15:50 and finished 21st.  The Coyotes will race at its Invitational on Saturday.

10, Eastlake: The Falcons finished fifth at the Franklin Invitational with 135 points. Israel David was third overall in 16:50.41. The team is scheduled to race at the Parkland/Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

Dropped out: None.
On the verge: Socorro, Burges.

Omer Ibrahim
Pebble Hills freshman Omer Ibrahim ran his first varsity race at last week’s Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park and finished second in 16:39.35, good for 19th fastest in the city.

Top times (3-mile or 5K)

 1, Michael Abeyta Hanks, 15:25.84 (Southlake Carroll, 9/7).

2, Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 15:29.04 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

3, Elias Perez, Eastwood 15:42.30 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

4, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 15:50.00 (Guyer Invitational, 9/14).

5, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 15:51.54 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

6, Christian Parra, Socorro, 15:55.00 (Guyer Invitational, 9/14).

7, Isreal David, Eastlake, 16:04.45 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

8, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16:05.24 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

9, Fernie Morales, Franklin, 16:05.83 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

10, Hector Sanchez, Americas, 16:08.28 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

11, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 16:10.36 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

12, Daniel Kennedy, Franklin, 16:15.25, (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

13, Melo Corral, Americas, 16:20.47 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

14, Nick Gonzalez, Coronado, 16:27.00 (UNM Invitational, 8/31).

15, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:30.91 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

16, Angel Contreras, Chapin, 16:33.21 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

17, Aaron Saenz, Americas, 16:34.31 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

18, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 16:36.61 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

19, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 16:39.35 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

20, Seth Andrade, Americas, 16:41.32 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

21, Jacob Ye, Americas, 16:42.89 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

22, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:43.77 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

23, Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 16:46.00 (Guyer Invitational, 9/14).

24, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 16:46.65 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

25, Alan Alba, Coronado 16:49.55 (Franklin Invitational, 9/14).

Gael Alvarado
Hanks sophomore Gael Alvarado turned in his season-best 16:46.65 and finished third at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational. His time is the 24th fastest in El Paso this season.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 35 (1).

2, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 32 (1).

3, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 30 (2).

3, Nick Gonzalez, Coronado, 30 (3).

5, Alan Alba, Coronado, 26.

6, Isreal David, Eastlake, 24.

7, Hector Sanchez, Americas, 23.

7, Fernie Morales, Franklin, 23 (1).

9, Melo Corral, Americas, 20.

10, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 19.

Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 18 (1).

Elias Perez, Eastwood, 17.

Rene Arambula, San Elizario, 16.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 14.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 14.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 14.

Angel Contreras, Chapin, 13.

Jacob Ye, Americas, 12.

Daniel Kennedy, Franklin, 11.

Alex Sanchez, Horizon, 10.

Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 10 (1).

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 9.

Matthew Avila, El Paso, 9.

Christian Parra, Socorro, 9.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 9.

Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 9.

Steve Porras, Franklin, 9.

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 9.

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 7.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 6

Michael Bernal, Pebble Hills, 6.

Cristian Ibarra, Ysleta, 6.

Dylan Walker, Burges, 6.

Seth Andrade, Americas, 5.

Dylan Espinosa, Bowie, 5.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 5.

Jared Laverty, Americas, 4.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 4.

Joaquin Sanchez, Chapin, 3.

Isaac Becerill, Canutillo, 3.

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 3.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 2.

Evan Rubio, Ysleta, 2.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 2.

Michael Mier, Americas, 2.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 1.

Joshua Gonazalez, Mt. View, 1.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 1.

Abraham Cruz, Eastwood, 1.

Jacob Ontiveros, El Paso High, 1

High School Girl’s XC Poll: Week 5

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.

This week’s schedule:

Parkland /Riverside Invitational:  8 a.m. Sept. 21 at Northeast Regional Park. Riverside, Parkland, VVEC, Bel Air, Coronado, Franklin, Austin, Chapin, Irvin, Eastlake, El Dorado, Americas, Loretto, Andress, Loretto, Harmony, Canutillo, LPI.

 Tornillo/San Eli Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 21 at Tornillo High School. Tornillo, San Eli, Jefferson, Fabens, EPHS, Bowie, Montwood,  Ft Hancock, Cathedral, Mountain View, Clint, Horizon, Eastwood, Hanks, Ysleta, YWLA, Del Valle, LPI, Socorro.

Woodbridge: 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in Woodbridge, Calif, Eastwood.

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

091919.VeteransGirls
This weekend’s cross country schedule includes the Parkland/Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park and the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

Top 10

1, Franklin: The Cougars continue to roll, winning the rugged Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park with its runners grabbing 1-2-6-7 and 12 spots for a commanding 28 points and fourth team title. Junior Eva Jess won her fourth straight individual title in 19:20.59 followed by sophomore Jenna Saunders who was second in 20:35.88. Sophomore Jordan Torres was sixth in 21:36.71 and freshman Alyssa Laspada was seventh in 21:49.56. The Cougars will race at the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

2, Eastwood: The Troopers JV won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday with 46 points. Desiree Carrillo was the top runner for Eastwood placing sixth in 20:23.52 and Sophia Watts was tenth (20:44.37). The Troopers will race at the Woodbridge (Calif.) Cross Country Classic on Saturday.

3, Coronado: The T-Birds were second at the Franklin Invitational with 82 points. Freshman Kyra Walker was third in 21:07.37 and senior Sophia Flores was fourth (21:08.29) to pace Coronado. The T-Birds will compete at the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

4, Americas: The Trailblazers placed third at the Franklin Invitational with 89 points, seven behind second place Coronado. Senior Daphne Duran led the way with a fifth-place finish in 21:35.48. Americas will race the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

5, Socorro: The Bulldogs finished 10th at the MileSplit XC Invitational in Denton. Senior Jazmin Chacon ran a season best (19:22.00), good for 29th place, as did her twin Janeth Chacon (19:43.00). Socorro is scheduled to race at the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

6, Montwood.  The Rams move up a spot after finishing second at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park. Montwood placed two runners in the top 10 with junior Karyme Garcia winning her first varsity meet in 19:40.08.  Sophomore Alexa Rangel was fourth in 20:19.38. Montwood will race the 2-mile Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

7, Eastlake: The Falcons move up two spots after its fourth place finish at the Franklin Invitational. Junior Megan Kirtley paced Eastlake with a tenth-place finish in 22:13.64. Eastlake will compete at the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

8, Jefferson: The Foxes did not run a full varsity at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park. Junior Melody Tsumi continued her strong season with a second-place finish in 19:44.52 and sophomore Crystal Peterson was seventh in 20:26.74. Jefferson is scheduled to race at the Tornillo/San Eli Invitational at Tornillo High School.

9, Bel Air: The Highlanders move up one after scoring 109 points at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park. Sophomore Abagail Murillo was third in 20:16.27. Bel Air will race the Parkland /Riverside Invitational at Northeast Regional Park on Saturday.

10, Burges: The Mustangs struggled at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday. Junior Emilee Antimo had a top 10 finish (ninth, 20:37.40).

Dropped out: None.

On the brink:  Hanks, Clint, Tornillo.

0919.19.Tsumi
Jefferson Junior Melody Tsumi continued her strong season with a second-place finish at Veterans Park in 19:44.52 – a season best for her.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

 1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:05.86 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

2, Mariana Guzman, Americas, 18:48.20 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

3, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 19:05.00 (Denton Guyer, 9/14).

4, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 19:19.01 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

5, Jazmin Chacon, Socorro, 19:22.00 (Denton Guyer, 9/14).

6, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 19:38.39 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

7, Janeth Chacon, Socorro, 19:43.00. (Denton Guyer, 9/14)

8, Melody Tsumi, Jefferson, 19:44.53 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

9, Stephanie Soto, Fabens, 20:00.09 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

10, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 20:02.95 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

11, Sophia Flores, Coronado, 20:03.40 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

12, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 20:06.12 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

13, Eileen Mclain, Eastwood, 20:08.61 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

14, Abagail Murillo, Bel Air, 20:16.27 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

15, Annette Guzman, Burges, 20:18.30 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

16, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 20:19.12 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

17, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 20:19.38 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

18, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 20:21.97 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

19, Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 20:22.10 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

20, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 20:23.38 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

21, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:26.75 (Veterans Park, 9/14).

22, Daphne Duran, Americas, 20:26.80 (UNM Lobo Invitational, 8/31).

23, Destiny Beltran, Horizon, 20:28.02 (La Isla Invitational, 8/31).

24, Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 20:30.39 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

25, Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 20:30.45 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

091919.Lujan-Marrufo
Parkland junior Angelina Lujan-Marrufo ran a personal season-best 20:23.38 at Veterans Park. She ranks in the top 20 in El Paso.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 40 (4).

2, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 35 (1).

3, Melody Tsumi, Jefferson, 31.

4, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 28 (1).

5, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 27.

5, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 27.

7, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 26 (1).

8, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 23.

9, Mariana Guzman, Americas, 20 (1).

9, Sophia Flores, Coronado, 20.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 19. (1)

Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 18.

Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 18.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 14.

Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View, 14.

Destiny Beltran, Horizon, 13.

Eileen McLain, Eastwood, 12.

Annette Guzman, Burges, 12.

Jazmin Chacon, Socorro, 10 (1).

Abagail Murillo, Bel Air, 10.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 9.

Janeth Chacon, Socorro, 8.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso, 8.

Marcela Perches, Coronado, 8.

Oliva Garcia, Tornillo, 7.

Nicole Estrada, Mt. View, 7.

Evonna Walker, Burges, 6.

Daphne Duran, Americas, 6.

Stephanie Soto, Fabens, 6.

Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 5.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 5.

Morayama Montes, Austin, 4.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 4.

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 4.

Grettel Aguilar, Irvin, 4.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 3.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 3.

Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 3.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 2.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 2.

Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 2.

Maryann Padilla, Tornillo, 2.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 1.

Yulissa Ortega, Canutillo, 1.

Abigail Barraza, Americas, 1.

Megan Kirtley, Eastlake,  1.

San Eli’s Gomez, Montwood’s Garcia earn first championships of the season

VeteransBoysPack
The San Elizario boys won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday. San Elizario placed three runners in the top ten.

Since her days of running middle school cross country, Montwood’s Karyme Garcia knew her day of winning a varsity race would eventually come.

She just needed a little patience.

All those years of putting in the miles and the sweat, suffering through the pain of summer training paid off Saturday morning as the Montwood junior won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park.

“I feel pretty accomplished in what I did,” Garcia said. “Good training in the summer and great motivation from my coach is the reason this happened.”

Garcia outkicked Jefferson’s Melody Tsumi in the final 100 meters to take the victory in 19:40.08. Tsumi finished in 19:44.53 and Bel Air’s Abagail Murillo was third in 20:16.27.

Garcia led through most of the race but was challenged by Tsumi throughout, particularly in the final 800 meters.

“I could hear Tsumi’s coaches shouting, ‘she’s tired, she’s tired’ so that motivated me a little bit; I was like, ‘I’m not tired, not at all.’ I was waiting until that last few yards because I knew she didn’t have a strong sprint so I knew I could take her there.”

Karyme
Montwood’s Karyme Garcia won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational in 19:40.08. It is Garcia’s first ever varsity win.

The Eastwood JV won the team race with 46 points, Montwood was second (49) and Bel Air was third (109).

Other top 10 runners were Alexa Rangel, Montwood (fourth, 20:19.38), Angelia Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland (fifth, 20:23.38), Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood (sixth, 20:23.52), Crystal Peterson, Jefferson (seventh, 20:26.75), Morayama Montes, Austin (eighth, 20:31.12), Emilee Antimo, Burges (ninth, 20:31.12) and Sophia Watts, Eastwood (tenth, 20:44.37).

Full girl’s results here – http://www.arrowliveresults.com/LorettoCathedralVarsityGirls3058

Unlike Garcia, San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez is no stranger to winning – except for this season.

Gomez, one of the top Class 4A runners in the state, has had a difficult time with nagging injuries all summer and early into the fall.

He finally picked up his first gold of the season, cruising to an easy win in 16:10.36. Pebble Hills freshman Omer Ibrahim was second in 16:39.35 and Hanks sophomore Gael Alvarado was third (16:46.65).

“I came to the race late and didn’t have time to warmup or stretch,” he said. “The guys were already on the line when I got here and I didn’t have my bib number so I had to get it and put it on right away.”

San Elizario won the team title with 54 points. Eastwood’s JV was second with 59 points and Burges was third with 108.

“We are doing pretty good considering we didn’t practice much in the summer because we had a lot of injured guys,” he said. ‘We’re improving with every race and stepping up to another level.”

Other top top runners were – David Gonzalez, Burges (fourth, 16:52.72), Victor Anchondo, Eastwood (fifth, 16:53.05), Rene Arambula, San Elizario (sixth, 16:53.90), Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario (seventh, 16:56.24), Alex Sanchez, Horizon (eighth, 16:59.33), Dylan Espinoza, Bowie(ninth, 17:00.48) and Abraham Cruz, Eastwood (tenth, 17:00.99).

Edwin
San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez won the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational in 16:10.36. It was his first win of the season.

Cesar Morales, San Elizario’s head coach, said the injuries could be the cause of the team’s early season struggles.

“The fact that we didn’t win (state) last season took us away from the spotlight and taught us a little bit of humility,” he said. “We are working harder. Not being on the top all the time is helping us with the mentality of working harder. Nobody is going to give us anything, we have to work for it all the time.”

After winning four consecutive Class 4A state championship, the Eagles finished third last fall.

“A team win like this will us start to believe in ourselves again,” Morales said. “There was a time in the season where we lost to some very good teams that put a sense of doubt in our heads. We know we are still here and we can still compete.”

Full boy’s results here –  arrowliveresults.com/LorettoCathedralVarsityBoys3056

High School Boy’s XC Poll: Week 4

Every Thursday, El Paso Running will utilize a point system to highlight El Paso’s top boys 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 and 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 boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

This week’s schedule:

Franklin Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park. Franklin, Coronado, Canutillo, Chapin, EPHS, Mt View, Clint, Eastlake, Americas, VVEC, El Dorado, Del Valle.

Loretto/Cathedral Invitational:  8:30 a.m. Sept. 14 at Veterans Park. Cathedral, Austin, Jefferson, Fabens, Bowie, Ft Hancock, Burges, LPI, Eastwood, Hanks, Bel Air, YWLA, Parkland, Socorro, Pebble Hills, Montwood, Andress, San Eli, Horizon, Ysleta, Andress, Loretto, Riverside.

Cobre Invitational: 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at Bataan Memorial Park in Fort Baynard, N.M.  Irvin.

 Guyer Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 14 in Denton. Socorro and Tornillo.

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

091219BoysPack
The Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park and the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park highlight week four of the El Paso cross country season.

Top 10

 1, Eastwood:  The Troopers had four runners in the top 5 to score 19 points and win the Rudy Alvarez Invitational at Del Valle.  Juan Olmos won the 3.19 mile run in 15:59.63 followed by Sergio Leon Cuartas (16:07.38) and Elias Perez (16:15.88). Nathan Hernandez was fifth (16:37.47) and Victor Parra was eight (17:01.81). Eastwood will rest its varsity this weekend as the team prepares for the Woodbridge (Calif.) Cross Country Classic on Sept. 21. Eastwood is ranked No. 1 in Class 5A by Texas MileSplit and No. 15 in the United States by MileSplit USA.

2, Americas:  The Trailblazers had six runners finish in the top 8 for a score of 24 at the 2.5 mile El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Golf Course. Hector Sanchez was second (13:06.91) followed by Jacob Ye (fourth, 13:12.78), Melo Corral (fifth, 13:13.87), Gage Garcia (sixth, 13:16.40), Seth Andrade (seventh, 13:18.56) and Aaron Saenz (eighth, 13:31.75). Americas will race the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park. The Trailblazers are ranked No. 10 in Class 6A by Texas MilesSplit.

3, Franklin:  The Cougars finished second at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational at Del Valle with 61 points. Fernie Morales and Daniel Kennedy continue to have solid seasons with Morales finishing fourth in 16:21.66 and Kennedy ninth in 17:07.50. The Cougars will travel to Del Valle High School for the Rudy Alvarez Invitational on Saturday. Franklin is ranked No. 23 in Class 6A by Texas MileSplit.

4, San Elizario: The Eagles scored 101 points and finished third at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational at Del Valle. Junior Edwin Gomez was sixth in 16:46.07 and senior Rene Arambula was 11th in 17:25.30. The Eagles will race at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.  San Elizario is ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by Texas MileSplit.

5, Coronado: The T-Birds finished second at the 2.5 mile El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Golf Course with 44 points. Senior Nick Gonzalez won for the second straight week in 12:55.03. Alan Alba was third in 13:11.97 and Stephen Pitchkolan was 10th in 13:50.53. Coronado will run the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park on Saturday.

6, Hanks: The Knights – without its top two runners – finished fourth at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational at Del Valle. Hanks was led by Gael Alvarado who finished 10th in 17:20.50. Michael Abeyta won the Elite Division at the Southlake Carroll Invitational in 15:25.84. Hanks, which is ranked No. 4 in Class 5A by Texas MileSplit, will race at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

7, Chapin: The Huskies placed fifth at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational with 147 points. Once again, senior Angel Contreras paced the Huskies with a seventh-place finish in 16:59.50. The team will race at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational on Saturday. Chapin will run the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park on Saturday.

8, Eastlake: The Falcons did not race its varsity last week. They will race at the Franklin Invitational on Saturday.

9, Tornillo: Tornillo placed sixth at the 23-team, 185-runner UT-Tyler Cross Country Classic in Tyler Texas. Senior Ofir Ortega was fourth in 16:15.48. The Coyotes will race at the Texas MileSplit Invitational hosted by Denton Guyer. Texas MileSplit has Tornillo ranked No. 3 in Class 3A.

10, Montwood: The Rams were third at the El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational. The team finished with 78 points.  Trenton Nelson was ninth in 13:45.66   Montwood is scheduled to compete at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park.

Dropped out: Socorro.
On the verge: Cathedral, Ysleta.

091219CoronadoBoys
Coronado seniors Alan Alba and Nick Gonzalez have clocked two of the top 25 times in the city. Gonzalez at No. 11 with a 16:27.00 at the UNM Lobos Invitational and Alba at No. 23 with a 16:51.00, also at the UNM Invitational.

Top times (3-mile or 5K)

 1, Michael Abeyta Hanks, 15:25.84 (Southlake Carroll, 9/7).

2, Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 15:29.04 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

3, Elias Perez, Eastwood 15:42.30 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

4, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 15:51.54 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

5, Isreal David, Eastlake, 16:04.45 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

6, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16:05.24 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

7, Fernie Morales, Franklin, 16:05.83 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

8, Hector Sanchez, Americas, 16:08.28 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

9, Daniel Kennedy, Franklin, 16:15.25, (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

10, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 16:15.48 (Tyler Lee Classic, 9/7).

11, Melo Corral, Americas, 16:20.47 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

12, Nick Gonzalez, Coronado, 16:27.00 (UNM Invitational, 8/31).

13, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 16:30.08. (La Isla Invitational, 8/31).

14, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:30.91 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

15, Angel Contreras, Chapin, 16:33.21 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

16, Aaron Saenz, Americas, 16:34.31 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

17, Christian Parra, Socorro, 16:34.47 (Marcus Invitational, 8/31).

18, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 16:36.61 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

19, Seth Andrade, Americas, 16:41.32 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

20, Jacob Ye, Americas, 16:42.89 (Cleveland Invitational, 8/31).

21, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:43.77 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

22, Jared Laverty, Americas, 16:50.11 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

23, Alan Alba, Coronado 16:51.00 9 (UNM Invitational, 8/31).

24, Steven Porras Franklin, 16:51.92 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

25, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 16:53.73 (Canutillo Invitational 8/31).

091219Eastwood pack
The Eastwood boys are ranked No. 1 in the state among Class 5A schools and No. 15 in the United States according to MileSplit. Here, Elias Perez (193), Nathan Hernandez (189), Juan Olmas (190) and Sergio Leon Cuartes (187) race to the championship at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational at Del Valle.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Ofir Ortega, Tornillo, 35 (1).

2, Michael Abeyta, Hanks, 30 (2).

3, Hector Sanchez, Americas, 23.

4, Fernie Morales, Franklin, 22 (1).

4, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 22.

6, Nick Gonzalez, Coronado, 20 (2).

7, Juan Olmos, Eastwood, 18 (1).

8, Alan Alba, Coronado, 17.

8, Elias Perez, Eastwood, 17.

10, Isreal David, Eastlake, 16.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 15.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 14.

Melo Corral, Americas, 14.

Rene Arambula, San Elizario, 11.

Daniel Kennedy, Franklin, 11.

Rodger Rivera, Hanks, 10 (1).

Gage Garcia, Americas, 10.

Matthew Avila, El Paso, 9.

Christian Parra, Socorro, 9.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 9.

Steve Porras, Franklin, 9.

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 7.

Alex Sanchez, Horizon, 7.

Jacob Martinez, Americas, 7.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 7.

Angel Contreras, Chapin, 6.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 6.

Michael Bernal, Pebble Hills, 6.

Cristian Ibarra, Ysleta, 6.

Dylan Walker, Burges, 6.

Seth Andrade, Americas, 5.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 5.

Jared Laverty, Americas, 4.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 4.

Joaquin Sanchez, Chapin, 3.

Dylan Espinosa, Bowie, 3.

Isaac Becerill, Canutillo, 3.

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 3.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 2.

Evan Rubio, Ysleta, 2.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 2.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 1.

Joshua Gonazalez, Mt. View, 1.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 1.

Jacob Ontiveros, El Paso High, 1

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 1.

High School Girl’s XC Poll: Week 4

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 and 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.

This week’s schedule:

Franklin Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park. Franklin, Coronado, Canutillo, Chapin, EPHS, Mt View, Clint, Eastlake, Americas, VVEC, El Dorado, Del Valle.

Loretto/Cathedral Invitational:  8:30 a.m. Sept. 14 at Veterans Park. Cathedral, Austin, Jefferson, Fabens, Bowie, Ft Hancock, Burges, LPI, Eastwood, Hanks, Bel Air, YWLA, Parkland, Socorro, Pebble Hills, Montwood, Andress, San Eli, Horizon, Ysleta, Andress, Loretto, Riverside.

 Cobre Invitational: 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at Bataan Memorial Park in Fort Baynard, N.M.  Irvin.

 Guyer Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 14 in Denton. Socorro.

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

091119.AscarteGirls
The Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park and the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park highlight the local cross country scene on Saturday.

Top 10

1, Franklin: The Cougars placed five runners in the top 11 for 27 points and the championship of the 3.19 mile Rudy Alvarez Invitational at Del Valle.  Eva Jess won her third invitational of the season in a time of 18:30.05. Franklin’s next scoring runners were Jordan Torres (fifth, 20:53.74), Jenna Saunders (sixth, 20:57.81) Alyssa Laspada (eighth, 21:08.81) and Sofia Camacho (11th, 21:26.24.). The Cougars will run at its own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park on Saturday.

2, Eastwood: The Troopers finished second at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational with 32 points, five behind Franklin. Eastwood had four runners in the top 10 including  Lauren Walls- Portillo (second, 19:56.75), Elieen McLain, (fourth, 20:37.04), Meadow Ortiz (seventh, 21:02.63) and Adalia Olmos, Eastwood (tenth, 21:20.19). Eastwood will rest its varsity this weekend as the team prepares for the Woodbridge (Calif.) Cross Country Classic on Sept. 21.

3, Coronado: The T-Birds won the El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Golf Course with 24 points, placing three runners in the top five spots – Kyra Walker (first, 16:07.12), Sophia Flores (third, 16:19.31) and Marcela Perches (fifth, 16:45.81). Walker, a freshman, won her first individual title on the 2.5 mile course. Coronado will run the rugged Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park.

4, Americas: The Trailblazers placed second at the El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Golf Course with 31 points. Top 10 runners were Mariana Guzman (sixth, 16:48.90), Lauren Anderson (eighth, 16:53.46) and Abigail Barraza (tenth, 16:56.48). Americas will race the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park.

5, Socorro: The Bulldogs challenged themselves at the Southlake Carroll Invitational and finished 29th in the Elite Division. Senior Jazmin Chacon was the top runner, finishing 51st in 20:22.88, good for the 16th fastest time in El Paso this season. Socorro is schedule to race at the Guyer Invitational in Denton.

6, Burges: The Mustangs won the Gadsden Invitational with 54 points. Burges had three runners in the top five including sophomore Annette Guzman (second, 21:00.32), junior Emilee Antimo (fourth, 21:21.57) and senior Evonna Walker (fifth, 21:28.85). Burges will race the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

7, Montwood.  The Rams did not run a full squad at the 2.5. mile El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational. They did place two runners in the top five – Karyme Garcia (second, 16:17.47) and Alexa Rangel (fourth, 16:42.12).  Montwood is scheduled to compete at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park.

8, Jefferson: The Foxes did not run a full varsity at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational, however, Melody Tsumi was third in 20:28.87. Jefferson is scheduled to compete at the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park.

9, Eastlake: The Falcons varsity did not race on Saturday. Expect the varsity to race at the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park on Saturday. Eastlake will race the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center/Park.

10, Bel Air: The Highlanders make its season debut after its third-place finish at the Rudy Alvarez Invitational. Sophomore Abagail Murillo was ninth in 21:09.51. Bel Air will race the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park. Bel Air will race the Loretto/Cathedral Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

Dropped out: Hanks.

On the brink:  Clint, Tornillo.

091119.Karyme Garcia
Montwood’s Karyme Garcia’s 19:38.39 ranks her fifth in El Paso this season. She was second at the El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Golf Course last week.

Top times (3 mile or 5K)

 1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:05.86 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

2, Mariana Guzman, Americas, 18:48.20 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

3, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 19:14.83 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

4, Lauren Walls, Eastwood, 19:19.01 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

5, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 19:38.39 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

6, Melody Tsumi, Jefferson, 19:48.22, (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

7, Stephanie Soto, Fabens, 20:00.09 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

8, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 20:02.95 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

9, Sophia Flores, Coronado, 20:03.40 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

10, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 20:06.12 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

11, Eileen Mclain, Eastwood, 20:08.61 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

12, Annette Guzman, Burges, 20:18.30 (Race to Midnight, SAC, 8/24).

13, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 20:19.12 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

14, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 20:21.97 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

15, Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 20:22.10 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

16, Jazmin Chacon, Socorro, 20:22.88 (Southlake Carroll, 9/7)

17, Daphne Duran, Americas, 20:26.80 (UNM Lobo Invitational, 8/31).

18, Destiny Beltran, Horizon, 20:28.02 (La Isla Invitational, 8/31).

19, Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 20:30.39 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

20, Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 20:30.45 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

21, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 20:33.27 (La Isla Invitational, 8/31).

22, Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 20:34.49 (La Isla Invitational, 8/31).

23, Morayama Montes, Austin, 20:37.41 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

24, Julie Canalas, Montwood, 20:38.12 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

25, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 20:43.91 (Canutillo Invitational, 8/31).

091119PreRace
There is no feeling like the pre-race cross country jitters.

Power rankings
(number parenthesis indicate meets won):

1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 30 (3).

2, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 28 (1).

3, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 25.

4, Melody Tsumi, Jefferson, 22.

5, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 21.

6, Mariana Guzman, Americas, 20 (1).

7, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 18 (1).

7, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 18.

7, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 18.

7, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 18.

 

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 17. (1)

Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 14.

Destiny Beltran, Horizon, 13.

Sophia Flores, Coronado, 13

Eileen McLain, Eastwood, 12.

Annette Guzman, Burges, 12.

Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View, 11.

Jazmin Chacon, Socorro, 10 (1).

Janeth Chacon, Socorro, 8.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso, 8.

Marcela Perches, Coronado, 8.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 7.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 7.

Oliva Garcia, Tornillo, 7.

Nicole Estrada, Mt. View, 7.

Evonna Walker, Burges, 6.

Stephanie Soto, Fabens, 6.

Meadow Ortiz, Eastwood, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 4.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 3.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 3.

Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 3.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 2.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 2.

Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 2.

Maryann Padilla, Tornillo, 2.

Abagail Murillo, Bel Air, 2.

Morayama Montes, Austin, 1.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 1.

Yulissa Ortega, Canutillo, 1.

Abigail Barraza, Americas, 1.

Americas boys continue to impress; Coronado freshman picks up her first victory

A pair of Coronado runners won individual honors while the Americas boys and the Coronado girls won team championships at the inaugural El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Park.

The 2.5 mile Saturday morning run that zig-zagged through the Ascarate nine-hole portion of the golf course, caused a bit of confusion in the girls race.

Americas senior Mariana Guzman led for most of the race until she followed the wrong golf cart which took her off the course for about 20 meters and onto the street before reversing her tracks.

As Guzman veered onto the street, taking another runner with her, Coronado freshman Kyra Walker took the lead at that point, a lead she would never relinquish, to win her first gold medal at the varsity level in 16:07.12.

“The girls ahead of me were following the wrong cart and I almost did the same but my coach caught it, thankfully,” Walker said. “I felt pretty good coming into the race.  It’s exciting to be able to come out win and help my team.”

Girls pack leaders-Ascarate
Coronado’s Kyra Walker won her first varsity individual championship at the El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational Saturday morning. Montwood’s Karyme Garcia was second.

Coronado won the team title with 24 points, placing three runners in the top five spots – Walker at one, Sophia Flores in third (16:19.31) and Marcela Perches in fifth in 16:45.81.

“We’re doing pretty good right now,” Walker said. “We have a solid top three, we just need to work on our four and five to get them higher up. Hopefully we can do that before district so we could get a good place and advance to regionals.”

Montwood’s Karyme Garcia was second in 16:17.47 and teammate Alexa Rangel was fourth in 16:42.12.

As for Guzman, she took the golf cart mishap in stride.

“I was making the turn and when looked up I saw a green cart and an orange cone out there but I didn’t know it was for the parking lot,” she said with a laugh.  “I’m just running my race and then I hear everyone calling me back; I just felt bad for the girl who was following me.”

Considering what Guzman has been through the past two seasons, this little mishap is nothing.

“I had stress fracture in my left leg so I only had the chance to run only one healthy race last year,” she said. “It was so painful that I wanted to stop running. It just took a lot of patience to come back.”

Guzman said she is happy with her season so far.

“I just wanted to give it all I’ve got one last season,” she said. “I love what I do, I love my coaches and my teammates. I’m really just want to run a full season and make my teammates and coaches proud of me. I think I’m going to be able to do it.”

MarianaGuzman
Mariana Guzman

Guzman eventually finished sixth in 16:48.90 to help her team to a second-place finish with 31 points.

Other top 10 finishers were: Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View (seventh, 16:52.00); Lauren Anderson, Americas (eighth, 16:53.46); Nicole Estrada, Mt. View (ninth, 16:53.87) and Abigail Barraza, America (tenth, 16:56.48).

On the boys side, Coronado senior Nick Gonzalez followed up on his UNM Lobo Invitational championship with another, completing the short course in 12:55.03.

“It was good comeback race after Albuquerque,” he said. “Plus, we finally got a chance to race against Americas. It was the first time we’ve had the chance to race Americas this season so I just wanted to see where I stood against their runners.”

The Americas juggernaut place six runners in the top 8 to win team title with 24 points. Coronado was second with 44 followed by Montwood with 78.

For most of the race, Gonzalez and teammate Alan Alba were 1-2 until the final 800 meters when Americas senior Hector Sanchez outkicked Alba to finish second in 13:06.91. Alba was third in 13:11.97.

“Last week, Alan took off in the lead early and I was trying to catch him the entire race,” Gonzalez said. “We started to push each other at the 4K and from there on out it was whoever wanted it more; that’s pretty much what we did in this race.”

Americas took the fourth through eighth spots – Jacob Ye (fourth, 13:12.78), Melo Corral (fifth, 13:13.87), Gage Garcia (sixth, 13:16.40), Seth Andrade (seventh, 13:18.56), Aaron Saenz (eighth, 13:31.75).

AmericasBoys
The Americas boys won the El Dorado/Pebble Hills Invitational at Ascarate Golf Course with 24 points.

Rounding out the top 10 were Montwood’s Trenton Nelson (ninth, 13:45.66) and Coronado’s Stephen Pitchkolan (tenth, 13:50.53).

“I’m really happy with the way this race turned out, even if it was short one,” Gonzalez said. “My goal is to get 15 flat at the end of the season at state.”