High School Boys XC Poll: Week 6

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

Montwood Invitational – CANCELLED.

Bowie Invitational: Oct. 24, 8 a.m., Veterans Park. Bowie, Irvin, Burges, Austin, Hanks, Canutillo, Anthony, Chapin.

Del Valle Invitational: Oct. 24, 8 a.m., Del Valle High School.  Del Valle, Valle Verde, YWLA, Americas, Jefferson, Eastwood, Horizon, Parkland.

Clint ISD Invitational: Oct. 24, 8 a.m., Clint High School. Clint, Eastlake, Mt. View, Riverside, Ysleta.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers did not race a full team at the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club. Eastwood did have two runners in the top five – Aaron Perez (third, 16:07.8) Nathan Hernandez (fifth, 16:24.7). The team is scheduled to race at the Del Valle Invitational on Saturday.

2. Americas:  The Trailblazers had four runners finish in the top 7 to win the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club. Jared Laverty was fourth in 16:10.4 followed by Michael Mier (sixth, 16:27.9), Aaron Saenz (seventh, 17:30.1) and Stefan Alvarez (tenth, 17:42.6).  Americas will rest in preparation of next Friday’s District 1-6A Championship at Vista Hills Country Club.

3. Coronado: The T-Birds did not race last week nor will the race on Saturday as the Montwood Invitational is cancelled.

4. San Elizario: The Eagles won the District 1-4A division of the Pre-District Invitational, scoring 18 points.  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). The team is resting this weekend.

5. Tornillo: The Coyotes took a week off and will not race again until the District 1-3A Championship on Thursday in Presidio.

6. Franklin: Franklin was second in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational with 59 points. Octavio Trujillo was the top runner for the Cougars, finishing eighth in 17:32.0.  Franklin is resting this weekend.

7. Burges: The Mustangs won the District 1-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational with 31 points. 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 will rest this weekend.    

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish did not race.

9. Hanks: Hanks moves up one after its first-place finish in the District 2-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational. The Knights had a 1-2 finish with Alejandro Tarin (17:02.1) and Gael Alvarado (17:08.4) 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: The Tigers make its 2020 debut after finishing second in the District 2-5A race of the Pre-District Invitational. 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.

Hank’s Michael Antuna was fifth (18:31.2) in the District 2-5A race at the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club. His teammates Alejandro Tarin (17:02.1) and Gael Alvarado (17:08.4) – finished first and second.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:15.42 (Del Valle, 9/19).

19, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 16:16.6 (SAC, 10/9).

20, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:17.57 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:32.73 (Vista Hills, CC, 10/10).

Franklin’s Octavio Trujillo finished eighth in 17:32.0 in the Class 6A race of the Pre-District Invitational last Saturday.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, David, Eastlake, 50 (5).

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

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

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

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

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

7, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 37 (2).

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

9, Michael Mier, Americas, 35.

10, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 34.

10, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 34 (2).

Dylan Walker, Burges, 32.

Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 32. 

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 31.

Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 30.

Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 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.  

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 23.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 22.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 21.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 20.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 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.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 13.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 13.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 12.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 12.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 12.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 11.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 11.

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 11.  

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 10.

Devon Paez, 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.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 6.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Aaron Gomez, Burges, 6

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 6.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 5.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 5.

Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 5.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 5.

Jesse Rodriguez, El Paso High, 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.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 4.

Larry Green, Irvin, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 3.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 3.

Anthony Soto, Fabens, 3.

Angel Maese, San Elizario, 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.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 2.

Noah Castorena, Pebble Hills, 2.         

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 1.

Isaac Ortega, Jefferson, 1.

Christopher Torres, El Paso High, 1.

Stefan Alvarez, Americas, 1.

Juan Linares, Horizon, 1.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 1.

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 5

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

Pre-district Invitational: Oct. 17 at Vista Hills Country Club. Schedule is as follows: 8 a.m. 1-5A girls, followed by boys; 9:30 a.m. 2-5A girls, followed by boys; 11 a.m. 1-4A girls, followed by boys; 12:30 p.m. 1-6A girls, followed by boys.

All eyes will be at the Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday for the Pre-District Invitational. Most of the teams will race the district course.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers won the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club, one place short of a perfect score. Eastwood took seven of the top 10 spots including invitational winner senior Sergio Leon Cuartas (15:42.04), Isaac Mendoza (second, 15:53.15), Nathan Hernandez (fourth, 16:16.85), Victor Anchondo (fifth, 16:17.94), Victor Parra (sixth, 16:20.38), Andres Gurrola (seventh 16:26.93) and Devon Paez (ninth, 16:34.51). Eastwood’s 1-5 split was 38 seconds and its top five average was 16:06. Eastwood will not run a full team at the Pre-district Invitational.

2. Americas:  Americas boys won its own invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex with 30 points. The team was led by junior Carmelo Corral who was second in 16:13.7. Other top 10 finishers for the Trailblazers were Michael Mier (fourth, 16:17.9), Jared Laverty (fifth, 16:30.1) and Aaron Saenz (seventh, 17:14.3).The team will compete at in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club.

3. Coronado: The T-Birds finished second at the Americas Invitational Friday at the Socorro Activities Center with 42 points. Coronado sophomore Luis Pastor was one of four T-Birds to finish in the top 10. He was third in 16:16.6, Corey Dubrule was sixth in 17:06.6, Sam Breceda was ninth in 17:46.6 and Stephen Pitchkolan was tenth.

4. San Elizario: The Eagles finished second at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club. San Elizario, who was without Edwin Gomez, second with 76 points. Senior Dilan Sanchez was third in 16:1138). San Elizario’s team average was 17:11. The team will race in the Class 4A division of the Pre-District Invitational Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club.

5. Tornillo: The Coyotes move up one spot after its third-place finish at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club with 82 points. Tornillo had runners finish in 10+13+16+21+22. Angel Torres was tenth in 16:37.60. The team average was 17.80 and its 1-5 split was 1:25. Tornillo is taking the weekend off.

6. Franklin: Franklin moves down a spot after its fourth-place finish the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club, one point higher than Tornillo. The Cougars runners were 12+14+15+19+23. Its top runner was senior Andres Buckley who was 12th in 16:47.31. Franklin will compete in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday.

7. Burges: The Mustangs won Clint ISD Invitational at Horizon High School with 24 points. The Mustangs placed six runners in the top 10 headed by Dylan Walker (second, 17:12.02) followed by David Gonzalez (fourth, 18:07.74), David Herrera (fifth, 18:08.27), Aaron Gomez, (sixth, 18:12.24), Luis Holguin (seventh, 18:13.55) and Julian Maldonado (tenth, 18:42.05). Burges will race in the Class 5A race of the Pre-District Invitational Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday.    

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish won its own invitational with 20 points.Cathedral had seven runners in the top 10 led by Luis Gomez (second, 17:25.1), Bernard Martinez (third, 17:27.9), Elija Noble (fourth, 17:28.5), Jacob Noble (fifth, 17:37.9), Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral (sixth, 18:11.5), Preston Arnett (eighth, 19:05.6) and Marcos Garcia (ninth, 19:05.9). Cathedral take th weekend off.

9. Eastlake: The Falcons finished third with 63 points at the Americas Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.  Junior Israel David won the event in 15:48.8. Eastlake will race in the Class 6A race of the Pre-District Invitational Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday.

10. Hanks: Hanks finished fifth with 133 points at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club. Sophomore Alejandro Tarin was eighth in 16:32.73. The team will race in the Class 5A race of the Pre-District Invitational Saturday at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Riverside, El Paso, Pebble Hills, Bel Air.

Coronado sophomore Luis Pastor ran a personal best 16:16.6 last Friday at the SAC, good enough for 19th in the city.

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

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

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

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

7, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:40.62 (La Isla Park, 9/19).

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, 15:46.55 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:15.42 (Del Valle, 9/19).

19, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 16:16.6 (SAC, 10/9).

20, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:17.57 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:32.73 (Vista Hills, CC, 10/10).

San Elizario senior Dilan Sanchez owns the city’s sixth fastest time, a 15:40.33 at Desert Twilight.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

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

2, David, Eastlake, 40 (4).

3, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 37 (2).

3, Jared Laverty, Americas, 37 (1).

5, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 36 (2).

6, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 35 (3).

7, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 34 (2).

8, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 31 (2).

9, Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 30.

9, Michael Mier, Americas, 30.

9, Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 30.

Angel Torres, Tornillo, 28.

Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 27.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 27.

Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 27 (1).

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 26.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 25.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 24.

Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 24. 

Jose Nilo, Austin, 23 (1).

Dylan Walker, Burges, 23

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 23.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 22

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 20.

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 18.

Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 18.  

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 17.

Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 17

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16.

David Herrera Burges, 15.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 15.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 14.  

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 13.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 13.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 13.  

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 13.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 12.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 11.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 11.

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 10 (1).

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 10.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 10.

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Octavio Trujillo, Franklin, 9.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 9.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 9.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 9.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 9.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 9.

Andres Buckley, Franklin, 8.     

David Gonzalez, Burges, 8.

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 8.

Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 7.

Danovan Estrada, Canutillo, 5.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 6.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 5.

Aaron Gomez, Burges, 5.

Jesse Rodriguez, El Paso High, 5.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 4.  

Michael Antuna, Hanks, 4.

Bryan Guzman, Tornillo, 4.

Cesar Sandoval, Chapin, 4.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 4.

Larry Green, Irvin, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 3. 

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 3.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 3.

Anthony Soto, Fabens, 3.

Andre De Santos, El Paso High, 3.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin, 2.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 2. 

Yahir Barrios, Horizon, 2. 

Moises Vera, Austin, 2.

Noah Castorena, Pebble Hills, 2.         

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 1.

Isaac Ortega, Jefferson, 1.

Andres Garcia, Hanks, 1.

Christopher Torres, El Paso High, 1.

Monday Cool Down: Eastwood’s Lauren Walls-Portillo establishes personal best in biggest win of her high school career – so far

Eastwood junior Lauren Walls-Portillo Walls-Portillo turned in a personal best 18:04.35, to win the inaugural Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

Eastwood junior Lauren Walls-Portillo could not hear her mother Stacy Walls’ words of encouragement at Saturday’s Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

But she felt them.

As her daughter was finishing the final half mile of the 3.1-mile course, Wall’s implored to her daughter, “don’t lose this opportunity.”

The “opportunity” in question was not losing a slim lead over Franklin senior Eva Jess, who in her four-year career has never lost in El Paso.

Walls-Portillo turned in a personal best 18:04.35, to win the inaugural Parra Law XC Classic – her biggest win of her high school career.

“She told me she said that, but I was so focused on what I was doing, I couldn’t hear her,” Walls-Portillo said with a laugh. “I thought that was amazing, even if I didn’t hear her.”

Jess, who verbally committed to the University of Texas last week, was second in 18:20.41.

“Eva has been a person that I have looked up to for so long because we started at a young age together,” Walls-Portillo said. “She has been so amazing all these years. She has driven me to work so much harder. In my mind, it wasn’t that I beat her. In my mind, it was that I worked hard enough to get to her level which was really good for me.”

Walls-Portillo came into Saturday’s race feeling at the top of her game.

“Honestly, I felt great the entire race, but it wasn’t until the start of the second lap is when I felt ‘oh my gosh, this could really happen,’” she said. “I felt so good and I felt I had a lot of energy to kick, that’s when I started to think ‘Ok, I got this, I’m going to be OK.’”

The Cougars won the team championship with 21 points, followed by Eastwood (59), Montwood (64), Class 3A Tornillo (124), Bel Air (130) and Hanks (157).

Franklin placed six runners in the top 8 including Jess, Ally Little (third, 18:44.19), Alyssa Laspada (fourth, 19:03.19), Michele Paillard (fifth, 19:50.57), Sofia Camacho (seventh, 19:55.96) and Jenna Saunders (eighth, 19:56.83).

Montwood had three in the top 10 – Karyme Garcia (sixth, 19:53.12), Alexa Rangel (ninth, 20:08.85) and Jazmine Miranda (tenth, 20:09.54).

Two weeks ago Walls-Portillo was 10th in the girl’s Sweepstakes Division finishing in 18:14.62 at the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival in Arizona.

“We didn’t know any of the teams there so there wasn’t anyone we had to specifically beat so our coach said run smart and you’ll run good,” she said. “I performed really well because I had no pressure to beat anyone because I didn’t know any of the girls there. I ran my best and so did my team. I watched them run as fast as I have ever seen them run because we finally got the chance to run an out of town and race.”

Walls-Portillo’s 18:04.35 on Saturday was 10 seconds faster than what see ran in Arizona.

“Eva pushed me hard, she pushed me to my limit,” she said. “I knew Eva was not going to let me go. I knew she was going to strive and push me the entire race. I could not have hit that 18:04 if it wasn’t for her. She is such a strong runner, so being up there with her gave me that extra push that I needed. Being up there with her gave me an adrenaline rush for the finish.”

The Eastwood boys were just as impressive as Franklin’s girls – winning the team championship one spot short of another perfect score.

San Elizario, who was without Edwin Gomez, was second with 76 points, Tornillo third (82), Franklin fourth (83), Hanks fifth (133) and Bel Air sixth (137).

Eastwood took seven of the top 10 spots including invitational winner senior Sergio Leon Cuartas (15:42.04). San Elizario’s Dilan Sanchez (third, 16:1138) was the only non-Eastwood athlete in the top seven.

Sergio Leon Cuartas.

Eastwood runners in the top 10 were Isaac Mendoza (second, 15:53.15), Nathan Hernandez (fourth, 16:16.85), Victor Anchondo (fifth, 16:17.94), Victor Parra (sixth, 16:20.38), Andres Gurrola (seventh 16:26.93) and Devon Paez (ninth, 16:34.51).

Hanks’s Alejandro Tarin was eighth in 16:32.73 and Tornillo’s Angel Torres was tenth 16:37.60.

Leon Cuartas has developed into a team leader for the Troopers. Two weeks ago, he led a group of five runners in the top 14 to win the Sweepstakes Division of the 13th annual Desert Twilight XC Festival in San Tan Valley, Ariz. with 53 points. Leon Cuartas who was third in 15:15.53.

“Working hard and trusting in my coach and in my team has made a major difference in my development,” Leon Cuartas said. “Every time I race, I race for my team. I really want to do well for them. We all run better knowing that we are doing it for each other. It’s all about the team-first mentality. It’s about running for your team, that’s what separates us from other people. We all know our role and we accept it. It all comes down to that team mentality.”

Americas Invitational (SAC)

Eastlake junior Israel David returned to racing on Friday morning with his fourth individual championship at the Americas Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.

Israel David.

David, who is unbeaten and unchallenged this fall, won the race in 15:48.8.

The Americas boys continued its surge winning the team championship with 30 points. The team was led by junior Carmelo Corral who was second in 16:13.7. Other top 10 finishers for the Trailblazers were Michael Mier (fourth, 16:17.9), Jared Laverty (fifth, 16:30.1) and Aaron Saenz (seventh, 17:14.3).

Coronado was second with 42 points followed by Eastlake (63), Del Valle (132), Socorro (149) and Ysleta (155).

Coronado sophomore Luis Pastor was one of four T-Birds to finish in the top 10. He was third in 16:16.6, Corey Dubrule was sixth in 17:06.6, Sam Breceda was ninth in 17:46.6 and Stephen Pitchkolan was tenth.

Del Valle’s Miguel Avila was eighth in 17:38.2.

Coronado sophomore Kyra Walker won her second meet of the season racing to a 21:56.9. Eastlake’s Megan Kirtley was second in 22:11.0 and Americas’ Isabella Medina was third in 22:17.5.

Eastlake’s Giselle Rubio crossed the finish line in 22:59.2, good for the seventh spot. Her late push provided vital points as the Falcons took the team championship with 58 points, two better than Amercas. Socorro was third with 75 followed by Del Valle (77), Ysleta, (173), and Young Women’s Leadership Academy (184).

Coronado did not run a full team but still managed to have three top 10 runners – Walker, Alexa Lawrence (sixth, 22:59.0) and Sonya Lee (ninth, 23:11.6).

Other top 10 runners were Samantha Ramirez, Socorro (fourth, 22:36.7),  Mia Vargas, Americas (fifth, 22:57.4),  Ana Rojas, Socorro (eighth, 23:10.6) and Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle (tenth, 23:21.3).

Cathedral/Harmony Invitational (Veterans Park)                                              

Parkland senior Angie Lujan-Marrufo won her fifth consecutive race winning in 20:36.2.

Jefferson won the team title with 20 points, placing runners in the second through sixth spots – Monique Correa (second, 21:01.5), Crystal Peterson (third, 21:35.7), Melody Tsutsumi (fourth, 21:55.5),  Jelia Lugo (fifth, 23:30.6) and Irma Munoz (sixth, Jefferson, 23:55.3).

Angie Lujan-Marrufo.

Parkland had four in the top 10 including Lujan-Marrufo, Paola Bolanos Hernandez (seventh, 25:25.1), Claudia Vargas (eighth, 25:54.1) and Yulianna Anahi Martinez (tenth, 27:21.7).

Chapin’s Bianca Quintero was ninth in 26:28.7.

Parkland scored 37 points and took second place.

Chapin senior Joaquin Ortega won his third championship of the season finishing the race in 16:41.3 while Cathedral won the team title with 20 points.

The Irish had seven runners in the top 10 led by Luis Gomez (second, 17:25.1), Bernard Martinez (third, 17:27.9), Elija Noble (fourth, 17:28.5), Jacob Noble (fifth, 17:37.9), Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral (sixth, 18:11.5), Preston Arnett (eighth, 19:05.6) and Marcos Garcia (ninth, 19:05.9).

Chapin’s Cesar Sandoval was seventh in 18:36.3 and Jefferson’s Isaac Ortega was tenth in 19:17.3.

Bowie was second with 87 points and Parkland was third with 99 points.  

Clint ISD Invitational (Horizon High School)

Horizon, El Dorado, Clint, Riverside, Fabens, Burges and Canutillo participated. However, results were not reported.

Austin Invitational (Skyline Park)

Austin, El Dorado, Irvin, Andress, Valle Verde and Loretto participated. However, results were not reported.

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 4

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:

Americas Invitational: 8 a.m., Oct. 9 at the Socorro Activities Center. Americas, Socorro, Eastlake, Ysleta, Del Valle, YWLA, Coronado.

Cathedral/Harmony Invitational: 8 a.m. Oct. 10 at Veterans Park. Harmony, Cathedral, Chapin, Parkland, Anthony, Bowie, Jefferson.

Horizon Invitational: 8 a.m., Oct. 10 at Horizon High School. Horizon, El Dorado, Clint, Riverside, Fabens, Burges, Canutillo.

Austin/El Paso Invitational: 8 a.m. Oct. 10 at Skyline Park. Austin, El Dorado, Irvin, Andress, Valle Verde, Loretto, El Paso High.

Parra Law XC Classic: 8 a.m. Oct. 10 at Vista Hills Country Club. Eastwood, Bel Air, Hanks, San Eli, Franklin, Pebble Hills, Mt. View, Tornillo.

The Haskins Recreation Center, the site of the Franklin Invitational, proved to rugged and challenging. On Saturday, several of the city’s best teams will compete at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers won the Sweepstakes Division of the 13th annual Desert Twilight XC Festival in San Tan Valley, Ariz. with 53 points. Eastwood had five runners in the top 14 lead by Sergio Leon Cuartas who was third in 15:15.53. Eastwood had runners take the 11-14 spots including Aaron Perez (11th, 15:51.02), Isaac Mendoza (12th, 15:52.26), Victor Anchondo (13th, 15:55.35) and Victor Parra (14th, 15:57.58). They had a 15:46 team average with only a 42 second split. Eastwood is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A by TxMileSplit. The team will race the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

2. Americas:  Americas junior Jared Laverty won his first varsity meet, leading the Trailblazers to a team championship in 16:02.13. Americas runners took the first four spots and five of the top 8 including Michael Mier (second, 16:06.82), Aaron Saenz (third, 16:08.66), Carmelo Corral (fourth, 16:25.95) and Jesse Morales (eighth, 17:26.45). Americas is ranked No. 5 in Class 6A by TxMileSplit. The Trailblazers scored 18 points. The team will compete at its own invitational on Friday at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.

3. Coronado: The T-Birds won the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle School with 31 points. Coronado took the first three spots and four out of the top 10. Luis Pastor picked up his second varsity win (16:47.00) followed by Corey Dubrule (17:06.18) and Sam Breceda (17:07.90). Stephen Pitchkolan was tenth in 17:49.00. The T-Birds will race the Americas Invitational Friday at the Socorro Activities Center.

4. San Elizario: The Eagles finished fourth in the 16-team field in the Sweepstakes Division of the Desert Twilight XC Festival in San Tan Valley, Ariz. with 162 points. San Elizario had two runners in the top six – Edwin Gomez, (5th, 15:36.48) and Dilan Sanchez (6th, 15:40.33). They finished with a 16:20 team average. The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by TxMileSplit. The team will compete at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

5. Franklin: Franklin finished second at its own meet with 37 points. The Cougars had five runners in the top 10 including Rai Lopez (fifth, 16:43.41), Matthew Engle (sixth, 16:54.70), Andres Buckley (seventh, 17:14.12), Diego Flores (ninth, 17:36.02) and Octavio Trujillo (tenth, 17:41.92).). Franklin will race at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

6. Tornillo: The Coyotes won the Cathedral/Loretto Invitational at Veterans Park with 21 points. Tornillo had four runners in the top 7 – Angel Torres (second, 16:28.74), Bryan Garcia (third, 16:45.10), Daniel Romero (fifth, 17:04.62) and Bryan Guzman (seventh, 17:19.62).Tornillo, which is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by TxMileSplit, will run at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

7. Burges: The Mustangs finished second at the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle School with 51 points. Burges had two runner – Dylan Walker (seventh, 17:26.78), teammate Julian Maldonado (eighth, 17:43.56) – in the top 10. The team is ranked No. 19 by TxMileSplit in Class 5A.  

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish did not race last week. Cathedral will race its own meet at Veterans Park on Saturday. 

9. Eastlake: The Falcons did not compete last week. The team is expected to race at the Americas Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex on Friday.

10. Hanks: Hanks won the team title at the Eastlake Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex with 31 points. Gael Alvarado won the event in 15:43.4 as the Knights placed four runners in the top 10 – Alvarado, Alejandro Tarin (second, 15:45.2), Michael Antuna (seventh, 16:29.2) and Andres Garcia (tenth, 17:42.3).46.21). Hanks will race at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Riverside, El Paso, Pebble Hills, Bel Air.

Eastwood senior Sergio Leon Cuartas was third in the Sweepstakes race at the 13th annual Desert Twilight XC Festival in San Tan Valley, Ariz. His time of 15:15.53 is second best in the city by .50 seconds.

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

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

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

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

7, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:40.62 (La Isla Park, 9/19).

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, 15:46.55 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:15.42 (Del Valle, 9/19).

19, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:17.57 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

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

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

23, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:33.48 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

24, David Herrera, Burges, 16:36.13 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

25, Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 16:36.48 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

Americas junior Jared Laverty put the finishing touches on his first varsity win, leading the Trailblazers to a team championship in 16:02.13.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 32 (2).

2, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 31 (2).

2, Jared Laverty, Americas, 31 (1).

4, Israel David, Eastlake, 30 (3).

5, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 29 (2).

6, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 27.

6, Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 27.

6, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 27 (1).

9, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 26 (1).

10, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 25 (2).

10, Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 25.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 24 (1).

Michael Mier, Americas, 23.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 23.

Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 21.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 21.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 17.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 17.

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 17.

Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 15. 

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 15.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 15.

Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 14.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 14.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 14.  

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 14.

Dylan Walker, Burges, 14.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 13.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 13.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 13.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 12.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 12.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 11.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 11.  

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 11.

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 10 (1).  

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 10.

David Herrera Burges, 9.

Octavio Trujillo, Franklin, 9.

Andres Buckley, Franklin, 8.     

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 8.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 8.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 7.    

Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 7.

Danovan Estrada, Canutillo, 5.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 6.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 5.

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 5.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 5.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 5.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 5.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 4.  

Michael Antuna, Hanks, 4.

Bryan Guzman, Tornillo, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 3. 

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 3.

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 3.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin, 2.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 2. 

Yahir Barrios, Horizon, 2. 

Noah Castorena, Pebble Hills, 2.         

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Anthony Soto, Fabens, 1.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 1.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 1.

Andres Garcia, Hanks, 1.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 1.

Monday Cool Down: Getting to know Parkland’s Angie Lujan-Marrufo

Parkland senior Angie Lujan-Marrufo is off to a fast start this season, winning four straight invitationals.

On Saturday, Angie Lujan-Marrufo ran away with her fourth individual championship of 2020 at the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational.

The Parkland High School senior completed the course at Canutillo Middle School in 19:56.37, well ahead of Coronado teammates Kyra Walker (21:12.59) and Alexa Lawrence (21:26.33).

The T-Birds won the team championship with 45 points, followed by Clint (81), Del Valle (83), Parkland (131) and Riverside (150).

Filling out the top 10 were Annette Guzman, Burges (21:28.37), Janice Olivas, Clint, (21:56.31), Ivy Lara, Canutillo (21:59.18), Natalie Rivera, Canutillo (22:02.78), Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, (22:03.36), Vivian Zapata, Clint (22:05.75) and Emily Antimo, Burges (22:10.40).

Entering week four of the cross-country season, Lujan-Marrufo owns the city’s second best 5K/3-mile time turning in a 19:12.42 at Veterans Park on Sept. 26.

Her success is quite amazing considering it was only two years ago when she began to take distance training seriously.

“I’ve been running cross country since middle school, but it wasn’t until the summer before my sophomore year when I started to train properly,” she said. “I thought cross country was running forever and ever. I really didn’t put much thought into it until then.”

It was the summer of 2018 when she began working out with Sarah Austin, Abriyah Skull, and Janae Ramirez, members of the Wings summer club team.

“I grew a love for distance that summer,” she said. “Running with new people and getting their perspective on distance running helped. They were really devoted to cross country which gave me an appreciation for distance. Training with them, I didn’t want to feel like the slacker of the group, so I put in a little more effort.”

Lujan-Marrufo, who was already a top USATF 800-runner in her age group, began to train properly.

“I started doing the things that I was supposed to be doing,” she said. “I love cross country now. I really love it. Hearing stories about what other girls have accomplished ahead of me made me want to be a part of that history.”

At last year’s District 2-5A Championship Lujan-Marrufo was third in 20:42.54 and ended her junior cross-country season in 53rd place (19:57.30) at the Region 1-5A Championship.

“I never knew I could run as fast I am right now,” she said. “I thought I would be running low 20s or high 19s but now I know what I’m capable of with training and hard work. I want to break 18.”

She knows a sub 18 is within her reach.

“In the past, I relied too much on my talent,” she said. “Even through someone has talent, it’s not a reason why they shouldn’t work harder, and I took that personally.”

Strangely, when track competition was cancelled in the spring due to the coronavirusLujan-Marrufo did not have any hard feelings.

“I didn’t feel bad about it,” she said. “I was actually looking forward to cross country even more. But as time went on, I wasn’t really sure there was going to be a cross-country season, so I wasn’t training at all. I would go on a two-mile run and I would be so tired, I was so out of shape.”

She is looking at the season as an opportunity to showcase the work she has put in the past two years.

“I lost part of my track season my junior year and I knew this would be my last year so I had to give it my all,” she said.

She looks to her mother, Sandra Lujan, for motivation.

“She’s really into my running life,” she said. “She is the one who tells me about my competition and what other people are running. She’s a real cross country and track mom. She always has these dreams of me running in college and going pro. I just want to make her happy and proud.”

Because of COVID-19 protocols, the UIL is not allowing cross country meets to exceed six teams so many of this season’s races are small.

In two weeks, Lujan-Marrufo is scheduled to run the Vista Hills Invitational against a few of the city’s top girl’s teams including No. 2 Montwood and No. 3 Eastwood.

“That’s one meet I’m really preparing for,” she said. “I get to run against Lauren (Eastwood’s Lauren Walls-Portillo). We’re good friends, we ran on the same club team. I remember at district last year she was so far ahead of me. I always imagined being up there with her. My goal for that meet is to stay close and hopefully pass her if I have the right training. We’ll see how it goes.”

For now, Lujan-Marrufo is happy, flashing that gold medal smile after every race.

“I’ve come to learn that no matter where you are in your training, there is always room for improvement, always room to work harder,” she said. “I’m really happy with the times that I’ve been running. Just to see how far I’ve come in these three years has been amazing. I never knew that I could be doing what I am right now.”

The future is bright for Lujan-Marrufo who hopes pandemic conditions improve enough to have a spring track season.

She is keeping her college options open for now.

“I’ve been in contact with a few colleges, mostly with NMSU and Texas State,” she said. “I’m not too sure as to where I want to go. I don’t want to go too far. I’m keeping my options open. I’m just taking it slow and so what happens during track season.”

On the boy’s side of the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational, Coronado took the first three spots and four out of the top 10.

Luis Pastor picked up his second varsity win (16:47.00) followed by Corey Dubrule (17:06.18) and

Sam Breceda (17:07.90). Stephen Pitchkolan was tenth in 17:49.00.

Filling out the top 10 were – Riverside’s Andrew Valdiviezo (fourth, 17:16.0), Del Valle’s Miguel  Avila (fifth, 17:20.65),  Canutillo’s Danovan Estrada (sixth, 17:23.96), Burges’ Dylan  Walker (seventh, 17:26.78), teammate Julian Maldonado (eighth, 17:43.56) and Parkland’s Kenneth Goldstone Lamar (tenth, 17:46.52).

Desert Twilight (San Tan Valley, Ariz.)

The Eastwood boys won the high school Sweepstakes Division of the Desert Twilight XC Festival in San Tan Valley, Ariz. with 53 points and San Elizario was fourth with 162 points.

The Eastwood boys won the high school Sweepstakes Division of the Desert Twilight XC Festival in San Tan Valley, Ariz. with 53 points.

The Troopers had five runners in the top 14 lead by Sergio Leon Cuartas who was third in 15:15.53. Eastwood had runners take the 11-14 spots including Aaron Perez (11th, 15:51.02),           Isaac Mendoza (12th, 15:52.26), Victor Anchondo (13th, 15:55.35) and Victor Parra (14th, 15:57.58)          

San Elizario had two runners in the top six – Edwin Gomez, (5th, 15:36.48) and Dilan Sanchez (6th, 15:40.33).

Bel Air was 15th in the boy’s Championship Division.  William Moreno was the Highlanders top runner, finishing 30th in 17:27.16.      

Eastwood’s Lauren Walls-Portillo was 10th in the girl’s high school Sweepstakes Division finishing in 18:14.62.

The Eastwood girls placed fourth in the high school Championship race with 132 points and Bel Air was 12th with 288 points.

Amber Martin lead the Troopers, placing 13th in 20:40.65 while Bel Air’s Abagail Murillo was 23rd in 21:00.46.           

Franklin Invitational (Haskins Rec Center)

The Franklin girlstook the first seven spots in route to a perfect score (15 points).

Franklin was again led by Eva Jess (first, 18:16.91), who gave her verbal commitment to the University of Texas at Austin on Friday night.

Ally Little was second in 18:39.33, Alyssa Laspada third in 19:14.63, Jenna Saunders was fourth in 19:43.31; Jordan Torres (fifth, 19:56.30), Michele Paillard (sixth,  20:04.58) and Sofia Camacho (seventh, 20:27.05). Amanda Sotelo was ninth for Franklin (21:06.85).

Jefferson’s Crystal Peterson was eighth in 20:45.57 and teammate Monique Correa was 10th in 21:09.61.

The Foxes placed second overall with 62 points followed by Americas with 63.

On the boy’s side, Americas junior Jared Laverty won his first varsity meet, leading the Trailblazers to a team championship in 16:02.13.

Americas junior Jared Laverty won his first varsity race in 16:02.13 to led the Trailblazers to another team championship.

Americas runners took the first four spots and five of the top 8 including Michael Mier (second,  16:06.82), Aaron Saenz (third, 16:08.66), Carmelo Corral (fourth, 16:25.95) and Jesse Morales (eighth, 17:26.45).

The Trailblazers scored 18 points followed by Franklin (37) and Valle Verde (85).

Cougar runners make up the remaining five spots in the top 10 led by Rai Lopez (fifth, 16:43.41), Matthew Engle (sixth, 16:54.70), Andres Buckley (seventh, 17:14.12), Diego Flores (ninth, 17:36.02) and Octavio Trujillo (tenth, 17:41.92).

Cathedral/Loretto Invitational (Veterans Park)

A pair of sophomore runners – Tornillo’s Kylene Elias and Pebble Hills’ Omer Ibrahim – continued their early season success taking individual titles at the Cathedral/Loretto Invitational at Veterans Park.

Elias won in 20:19.07 and lead the Coyotes to a team championship with 32 points. Pebble Hills was second with 36 followed Loretto (55), Young Women’s Leadership (100) and Ysleta, (120).

Including Elias, Tornillo had four runners in the top 10 – Nat Escajeda (seventh, 21:46.43), Olivia Garcia            (eighth, 21:51.64) and Brianna Ibarra (tenth, 22:16.78).

Carolina Zarrabal (second, 20:23.25) and Natalie Franco (sixth, 21:42.67), led Pebble Hills.

Other top 10 runners were three Eastwood athletes – Victoria Ovalles (third, 20:31.75), Hannah Tellez (fifth, 21:40.42) and Monica Hagerich (ninth, 22:00.66).

Loretto senior Britney Martinez was fourth in 21:37.76.

Ibrahim won his second invitational this season turning in a 15:39.22.

The Tornillo boys won the team title with 21 points. Pebble Hills was second with 34 points and Ysleta was third with 75.

The Coyotes had four runners in the top 7 – Angel Torres (second, 16:28.74), Bryan Garcia (third, 16:45.10), Daniel Romero (fifth, 17:04.62) and Bryan Guzman (seventh, 17:19.62).

Other top 10 runners were Andress’ Jarrett Ketchmark (fourth, 16:53.88), Eastwood’s Joaquin Chavez (sixth, 17:17.31) and Anthony Casillas (eighth, 17:27.82), Pebble Hills’ Noah Castorena (ninth, 17:35.96) and Anthony Soto from Fabens (tenth, 17:37.36).

Eastlake Invitational (SAC)

Please bear with us on this one. The results were difficult to obtain and are still not confirmed. There also seems to be issues with timing and placement.

From what we were able to gather, the two individual winners were Horizon’s Andrea Villagomez (19:08:50.0) and Hanks’ Gael Alvarado (15:43.4).

Horizon’s Andrea Villagomez won the Eastlake Invitational in 19:08:50.0.

It appears the El Paso High girls won the team event with 20 points followed by Hanks (37) and Horizon (61).

El Paso High placed four girls in the top 10 – Alissa Kennedy (third, 19:55.4), Jezarae Valenzuela (fourth, 19:59.9), Shayla Cohen Jones (fifth, 20:02.8) and Vivian Shaheen (tenth, 22:15.1).    

The Knights had three in the top 10 including runner-up Mia Rivera (19:40:00.0), Madison Spencer (seventh, 20:47.0) and Jade Baca (ninth, 21:19.3).

Rounding out the top 10 were Austin’s Mora Montes (sixth, no time reported) and Horizon’s Jaquelin Gonzalez (eight, 21:17.6).

On the boy’s side, Hanks won the team title with 31 points followed by El Paso High with 39 and Horizon with 52.

The Knights place four in the top 10 – Alvarado, Alejandro Tarin (second, 15:45.2), Michael Antuna (seventh, 16:29.2) and Andres Garcia (tenth, 17:42.3).

El Paso High’s top runners were Josep Ferret (third, 15:48.4), David Ramirez (fourth, 16:04.4) and Leo Valenzuela (eighth, 17:00.8).

Rounding out the top 10 are Austin’s Jose Nilo (fifth, no time reported), and two Horizon runners Ivan Hernandez (sixth, 16:19.8) and Yahir Barrios (ninth, 17:20.1).

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 3

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:

Desert Twilight: 9:25 p.m. Oct. 2 in Queen Creek, Ariz. Eastwood, Bel Air, San Elizario.

Eastlake Invitational: 8 a.m., Oct. 3 at the Socorro Student Activities Complex. Eastlake, Socorro, Horizon, Hanks, El Paso, Austin.

Franklin Invitational: 8 a.m. Oct. 3 at the Haskins Recreation Center. Franklin, Mt. View, Valle Verde, Montwood, El Dorado, Americas, Jefferson, Pebble Hills.

Cathedral/Loretto Invitational: 8 a.m. Oct. 3 at Veterans Park. Cathedral, Fabens, Andress, Bowie, YWLA, Ysleta, Tornillo, Eastwood.

Canutillo/Anthony Invitational: 8 a.m. Oct. 3 at Canutillo Middle School. Canutillo, Anthony, Riverside, Burges, Clint, Parkland, Del Valle, Coronado.

Franklin won its first team championship of the season last week at Mt. View High School. The Cougars will race at its own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers rested its top five runners and still won the Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational at Tornillo High School with 28 points. Eastwood placed its five scoring runners in the top 10 led by Victor Anchondo (third, 16:48.55), Nick Parra (fourth, 16:49.19), Devon Paez (fifth, 16:52.33), Andres Gurrola (sixth, 16:57.09) and Joaquin Chavez (17:51.07). The team will race in the Sweepstakes Division of the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet in Queen Creek, Ariz. on Friday night.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers won the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at SISD’s Student Activities Complex with 23 points.  Americas placed runners in the first four spots led by Carmelo Corral who picked up his second straight meet victory in 17:13.37. Jared Laverty was second in 17:44.75, Michael Mier was third in 17:50.77 and Aaron Saenz was fourth (18:18.00). The team will compete in the Franklin Invitational at the Haskins Recreation Center.

3. Coronado: The T-Birds who placed three runners in the 2-3-5-6 spots to win the team championship at their own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center with 29 points.  Luis Pastor was second in 16:41.71 followed by teammates Corey Dubrule (third, 16:52.53), Sam Breceda (fifth, 17:04.59) and Stephen Pitchkolan (sixth, 17:31.10). Coronado will race at Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle School on Saturday.

4. San Elizario: Senior Edwin Gomez won his first race of the season at Tornillo High School completing the desert course in 16:26.23 to lead the Eagles to a second-place finish behind Eastwood at Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational. Two of Gomez’s teammates – senior Dilan Sanchez (second, 16:42.51) and sophomore Chris Moreno (seventh, 17:24.61) – finished in the top 10. San Elizario will travel to Queen Creek, Ariz. to race at the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet on Friday night.

5. Franklin: After a slow start to the season, the Cougars took care of business at the Clint ISD Invitational at Mt. View High School winning the event with 25 points. The Cougars place five in the top 10 led by Octavio Trujillo (20:15.62) and Diego Flores (20:29.03) who finished third and fourth. Three other Franklin runners finished 6-8 – Rai Lopez (21:18.53), Matthew Engle (21:40.94) and Austen Percifull (21:46.42). Franklin will race at its own invitational at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday.

6. Tornillo: The Coyotes, placed two runners – sophomore Angel Torres (eighth, 17:27.96) and junior Bryan Garcia (ninth, 17:30.50) – in the top 10 to finish third with 69 points at the Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational. Tornillo will run at the Cathedral/Loretto Invitational at Veterans Park

7. Burges: The Mustangs won the Parkland/Hanks Invitational at Northeast Regional Park scoring 32 points. David Herrera was third in 16:36.13 to pace Burges who had four runners in the top 10 – Dylan Walker (eighth, 16:53.31), Julian Maldonado (ninth, 16:56.77) and David Gonzalez (tenth, 17:15.18). The Mustangs stop will be Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle School on Saturday.

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish ran to a second-place finish at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at the SAC. Cathedral scored 39 points with four runners in the top 10 – Luis Gomez (fifth,  18:21.49) Elijah  Noble (sixth, 19:29.13), Bernard Martinez (seventh, 19:53.52) and Jacob  Noble (ninth, 20:09.25).  Cathedral will race its own meet at Veterans Park on Saturday. 

9. Eastlake: Junior Isreal David ran his win streak to three taking the gold at the Coronado Invitational at the Haskins Recreation Center (15:40.96) and leading his team to the runner-up position behind Coronado. Mario Elias was ninth in 18:11.52 and Angel Recio Martinez was tenth in 18:19.48. The Falcons will compete at their own invitational Saturday at Socorro Student Activities Complex.

10. Hanks: The Knights finished second at the Parkland/Hanks Invitational at Northeast Regional Park, scoring 40 points, eight behind Burges. Top runners for the Knights were Andrew Alvarado (fourth, 16:36.48) and Alejandro Tarin (sixth, 16:46.21). Hanks will race at the Eastlake Invitational Saturday at Socorro Student Activities Complex.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Riverside, El Paso, Pebble Hills, Bel Air.

Austin senior Jose Nilo owns the city’s 10th fastest time this season, turning in a 16:01.71 at Veterans Park on Sept. 19.

Top times (5K/3Miile)

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

2, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 15:29.43 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

4, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:40.62 (La Isla Park, 9/19).

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

6, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:41.04 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

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

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

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

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

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

13, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 16:10.22 (Del Valle, 9/19).

14, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:15.42 (Del Valle, 9/19).

15, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 16:16.49 (Del Valle, 9/19).

16, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:17.57 (Del Valle, 9/19).

17, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16:22.04 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

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

20, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:33.48 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

21, David Herrera, Burges, 16:36.13 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

22, Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 16:36.48 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

23, Denovan Estrada, Canutillo, 16:38.88 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

24, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 16:41.71 (Haskins Rec. Center, 9/26).

25, Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 16:45.92 (Northeast Regional Park, 9/26).

Bryan Garcia has led a strong Tornillo team this season. The Coyotes are the top ranked Class 3A team in the state.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Israel David, Eastlake, 30 (3).

2, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 25 (2).

2, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 25 (2).

4, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 21 (1).

4, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 21 (1).

4, Jared Laverty, Americas, 21.

4, Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 21.

8, Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 19.

8, Luis Pastor, Coronado, 19 (1).

8, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 19 (1).

Angel Torres, Tornillo, 18

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 17.

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 17.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16 (1).

Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 16.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 15.

Michael Mier, Americas, 14.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 13.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 13.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 13.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 13.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 12.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 11.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 11. 

Dylan Walker, Burges, 10.

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 10.

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 10.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 10.            

David Herrera Burges, 9.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 9.  

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 8.

Octavio Trujillo, Franklin, 8.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 8.

Jose Nilo , Austin, 7.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 7.    

Josep Ferret, El Paso, 7. 

David Ramirez, El Paso, 7.

Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 7.

Denovan Estrada, Canutillo, 7.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 5.

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 5.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 5.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 5.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 5.

Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 5.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 5

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

Andres Buckley, Franklin, 4.     

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 4.   

Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 3. 

Jesse Morales, Americas, 2.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin, 2.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 2.             

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 1

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 1.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 1.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for full results – https://tx.milesplit.com/meets/395667-san-elizario-tornillo-invitational/results/702563/formatted#.X2_gM2hKjIU.

Other highlights and results from across the city:

Dale Reinhardt Invitational (SAC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for complete results -https://www.runnercard.com/e/runner.Main?meet=1003207

Coronado Invitational (Haskins Recreation Center)

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for complete results – http://www.elpasoathletics.com/2020/09/21/coronado-cc-inv-2020/

Clint ISD Invitational (Mt. View High School)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for complete results – https://www.runnercard.com/runner/data/19643/1003201/result/MVHS%20XC%20Results%204-26-20.pdf

Parkland/Hanks Invitational (Northeast Regional Park)

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

Chapin’s Joaquin Ortega.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burges’ Emilee Antimo was eighth in 21:39.54.

Click here for complete results – https://www.runnercard.com/e/runner.Main?meet=1003208

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 2

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:

Dale Reinhardt Invitational: 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25 at Socorro’s Activities Complex. Socorro, Montwood, Americas, Cathedral, Austin, Irvin.

Coronado Invitational: 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Don Haskins Recreation Center. Coronado, Eastlake, El Paso, Bowie, Anthony, Andress.

Clint ISD Invitational: 8 a.m., Sept. 26 at Mt. View High School. Clint, Mt. View, Pebble Hills, Valle Verde, El Dorado, Horizon, Franklin.

Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational: 8 a.m., Sept.  26 at Tornillo High School. Tornillo, San Eli, Del Valle, Eastwood, Ysleta, Bel Air.

Hanks Invitational: 8 a.m. Sept. 26 at NE Regional Park. Hanks, Parkland, Riverside, YWLA, Chapin, Burges, Jefferson, Canutillo.

In the first two weeks of the 2020 season, Eastwood has been as dominate as ever winning both local invitationals with ease.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The Troopers came two points short of a perfect score to win the Del Valle Invitational. Eastwood had four runners in the top 5 and eight in the top 10 for a season low 17 points. Eastwood swept the top three spots with first-place finisher senior Sergio Leon Cuartas, (15:29.43), runner up senior Nathan Hernandez (15:38.58) and third place runner junior Isaac Mendoza, (15:40.73). Senior Aaron Perez was fifth in 15:46.55, senior Victor Parra was sixth in 16:10.22, junior Devon Paez was ninth in 16:17.57 and junior Victor Anchondo was 10th in 16:22.04. The Troopers 1-5 split was 40 seconds. The team will race at the Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational at Tornillo High School on Saturday.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers swept the top three spots at the Irvin Invitational at Veterans Park to score 18 points and the first-place trophy. Junior Carmelo Corral was first in 15:15.03 followed by juniors Jared Laverty (15:41.15) and Aaron Saenz (15:56.91). Corral won his first varsity race and set the season’s city best time. In all, six Americas runners placed in the top 10 including seniors Michael Mier (fifth, 16:04.08) and Gage Garcia (seventh, 16:33.48) and junior Jesse Morales (ninth, 17:12.49). The team will compete in the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at SISD’s Student Activities Complex.

3. Coronado: The T-Birds came out strong to start the 2020 with an impressive 32-point performance to win the El Dorado Invitational at SISD’s Student Activities Complex. Coronado placed four runners in the top 5 including race winner sophomore Luis Pastor (17:20.20), senior Corey Dubrule (third, 18:02.50), sophomore Sam Breceda (fourth, 18:22.80) and junior Stephen Pitchkolan (fifth, 18:36.00). Coronado will race at its own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

4. San Elizario: The Eagles move up one spot after its second-place finish at the Del Valle Invitational with 51 points. Seniors Edwin Gomez finished fourth in 15:41.0 and Dilan Sanchez was eighth in 16:16.49. Sophomore Chris Moreno was 12th in 16:56.60. The team will race at the Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational at Tornillo High School on Saturday.

5. Franklin: Last week the Cougars tight pack was in the high 20s. At the El Dorado Invitational at the SAC, the pack moved up to the single digits. Franklin placed four runners in the 6-9 spots and finished second to Coronado with 41 points. The team also moved up four spots in the poll. Freshman Matthew Engle was sixth in 18:41.90, senior Andres Buckley was seventh in 18:51.10, sophomore Diego Flores was eighth in 18:59.50 and sophomore Roberto Rivas was ninth in 19:09.40. Franklin will race the Clint ISD Invitational at Mt. View High School on Saturday.

6. Tornillo: The Coyotes move up one spot after winning La Isla Invitational in Fabens with 50 points. Tornillo, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A in the state, had two runners in the top 5 – Bryan Garcia (second, 16:48.31) and Angel Torres (fifth, 17:18.97). The team will race in its own invitational on Saturday.

7. Burges: The Mustangs made its 2020 debut with a second-place finish at La Isla Invitational in Fabens, two points behind Tornillo. Burges had four runners – seniors Dylan Walker (fourth, 17:11.88) and Luis Holguin (sixth, 17:20.81) and juniors Julian Maldonado (eighth, 17:28.69) and David Herrera (tenth, 17:29.34) – in the top 10. The team will compete at the Hanks Invitational at the Northeast Regional Park.

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish drop three spots after placing third at the Fabens Invitational at La Isla Church. Cathedral had two in the top 10 – senior Luis Gomez (third, 17:07.09) and sophomore Elijah Noble (ninth, 17:29.00). The team is racing the Dale Reinhardt Invitational on Friday at the SAC.

9. Eastlake: The Falcons suffered the biggest drop of the week, down five spots after finishing fourth at the La Isla Invitational in Fabens.  Junior Israel David won his second straight race finishing in 15:40.62. David’s scoring teammates finished tight in 15-16-18 and 20. Eastlake will race at the Coronado Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

10. Hanks: Life without two Division 1 athletes Michael Abeyta (Oregon) and Rodger Rivera (Texas) will take a little getting used to for the Knights who make their 2020 debut in the Top 10. Hanks will count heavily on junior Gael Alvarado and sophomore Alejandro Tarin. Hanks finished a respectable third with 98 points at the always difficult Del Valle Invitational. Tarin was 14th in 17:13.65 and Alvarado finished 15th in 17:14.53. Hanks will race at its own invitational at the always fast Northeast Regional Park.

 Dropped out: Socorro, Riverside.

On the brink: Riverside, Pebble Hills, Bel Air.

Americas junior Carmelo Corral won his first varsity race and set the season’s city best time at Veterans Park. Corral ran a 15:15.03.

Top times (5K/3Miile)

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

2, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 15:29.43 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

4, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:40.62 (La Isla Park, 9/19).

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

6, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 15:41.04 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

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

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

10, Aziel Heredia, Austin, 16:01.71 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

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

12, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 16:10.22 (Del Valle, 9/19).

13, Nick Parra, Eastwood, 16:15.42 (Del Valle, 9/19).

14, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 16:16.25 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

15, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 16:16.49 (Del Valle, 9/19).

16, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 16:17.57 (Del Valle, 9/19).

17, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16:22.04 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

19, Gage Garcia, Americas, 16:33.48 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

20, Denovan Estrada, Canutillo, 16:38.88 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

21, Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 16:48.31 (La Isla, 9/19).

22, Chris Moreno, San Elizario 16:56.60 (Del Valle, 9/19).

23, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 16:56.63 (Del Valle, 9/19).

24, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 17:01.88 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

25, Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 17:04.09 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

The third week of the 2020 season begins on Friday at SISD’s Student Activities Complex with the Dale Reinhardt Invitational. Week two saw vast improvements in individual times.

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Israel  David,  Eastlake, 20 (2).

2, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 17.

2, Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 17.

2, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 17.

5, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16 (1).

6, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 15 (1).

6, Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 15.

6, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 15.

6, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 15 (1).

10, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 13.

Jared Laverty, Americas, 12.

Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 11.

Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 11.

Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 10 (1).

Luis Pastor, Coronado, 10 (1).

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 8.

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 8.

Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 8.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 8.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 7.

Aziel Heredia, Austin, 7.

Dylan Walker, Burges, 7.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 7.               

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Michael Mier, Americas, 6.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 6.                 

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 5.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 5.

Victor Parra, Eastwood, 5.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 5.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 5.           

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 4.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 4.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

David Ramirez, El Paso, 4.

Andres Buckley, Franklin,  4.          

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 3.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 3.

Denovan Estrada, Canutillo, 3.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 3.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 3.            

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 2.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 2.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin. 2             

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 2.

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 1.

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 1.

David Herrera Burges, 1.

High School Boys Cross Country Poll: Week 1

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:

El Dorado Invitational: 8 a.m., Sept. 19 at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex. El Dorado, Montwood, Socorro, Pebble Hills, Coronado, Franklin, Mt. View, Anthony.

Fabens Invitational: 8 a.m., Sept. 19 at La Isla Church in Fabens. Fabens, Eastlake, El Paso, Tornillo, Burges, Clint, Valle Verde, Cathedral, Loretto.

Irvin Invitational: 8:30 a.m., Sept. 19at Veterans Park. Irvin, Americas, Bowie, Austin, Chapin, Canutillo, Parkland.

Del Valle Invitational 8a.m., Sept 19 at Del Valle High School. Del Valle, Hanks, Eastwood, Riverside, YWLA, Ysleta, Bel Air, San Eli.

Top 10

1. Eastwood: The two-time defending Class 5A UIL state champion returned to the 6A ranks on Saturday with a convincing 24-point performance at the Pebble Hills Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex. Six of Eastwood’s runners finished in the top 11 including four in the top five – Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, (2nd, 16:45.41), Nathan Hernandez, (3rd, 16:46.09), Aaron Perez, (4th, 16:48.18) and Sergio Leon Cuartas (5th, 16:50.21). Victor Anchondo, was 10th in 17:26.34 and Victor Parra was 11th in 17:31.00. The team will race at Del Valle on Saturday.

2. Americas: The Trailblazers came into Saturday’s Pebble Hills Invitational with high expectations after a preseason No. 4 state ranking. Americas is coming off its second consecutive Class 6A UIL state appearance with a bulk of its team returning. On Saturday, Americas had two runners – juniors Carmelo Corral, (6th, 16:53.24) and Jared Laverty (8th, 16:59.52) – finish in the top 10. The team scored 74 points, good for second place. The team will race at the Irvin Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

3. Coronado: Like most of the top teams, the T-Birds lost its 1-2 punch in Nick Gonzalez and Alan Alba. The team will look to senior Corey Dubrule and junior Stephan Pitchkolan to lead the team. They will make their season debut at the El Dorado Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex.

4. Eastlake: The Falcons have the city’s top runner in junior Israel David who is no longer in the shadows of Hanks grad Michael Abeyta or Coronado’s Nick Gonzalez. David became the first Eastlake runner to win an individual title in an El Paso race, earning the gold at the Pebble Hills Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Center in 16:17.18. The team earned a third-place spot with 108 points. They will race at the Isla Invitational in Fabens.

5. San Elizario: The Eagles, the No. 1 ranked Class 4A team in Texas, struggled just a bit at Saturday’s Pebble Hills Invitational finishing a distant fourth with 114 points. Senior Edwin Gomez was the top runner finishing 7th in 16:58.69 and senior Dilan Sanchez was 12th in 17:31.96. San Elizario hopes to improve when they race at Del Valle on Saturday.

6. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish appear to be back as a major player in the city. The team scored an impressive 32 points to earn the title at the Andress Invitational at Skyline Park. Cathedral had  six runners in the top 10 including  Luis Gomez (4th, 17:04.09), Elijah Noble (fifth, 17:35.18), Jacob Noble (6th, 17:35.58), Dylan Lorilla, (8th, 18:00.60),  Marcos Garcia (9th, 18:09.39) and Bernard Martinez (10th, 18:16.94). They will compete in the La Isla Invitational in Fabens on Saturday.

7. Tornillo: The Coyotes, ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A in the state, had two runners finish in the top three at the Andress Invitational at Skyline Park. Angel Torres was second in 17:01.88 and Bryan Garcia was third in 17:03.25). The team will compete in the La Isla Invitational in Fabens on Saturday.

8. Socorro: The Bulldogswon the Riverside Invitational with 44 points at Blackie Chesher Park. Socorro placed three runners in the top 10 including Jorge Garcia, (2nd, 17:38.90), David Ortega (5th, 18:37.13) and Juan Uribe (8th, 19:00.41). Socorro will race at the El Dorado Invitational at the SAC on Saturday.

9. Franklin: The Cougars pack was tight atSaturday’s Pebble Hills Invitational with its top five finishing within 10 spots of each other. The team just needs to move up in placement in order to be successful.

10. Riverside: The Rangers has shown vast improvement and finished two points behind Socorro at the Blackie Chesher Park. Two Riverside runners finished in the top 10 – Andrew Valdiviezo who won the meet in 17:15.36 and Eric Lopez who placed 10th in 19:13.92. Riverside will race at Del Valle on Saturday

 Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Bel Air, Del Valle.

Top times (5K/3Miile)

1, Israel  David,  Eastlake, 16:17.18 (SAC, 9/12).

2, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 16:36.25 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

3, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 16:45.41 (SAC, 9/12).

4, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:46.09 (SAC, 9/12).

5, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 16:48.18 (SAC, 9/12).

6, Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 16:50.21 (SAC, 9/12).

7, Carmelo Corral, Americas, 16:53.24 (SAC, 9/12).

8, Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 16:58.69 (SAC, 9/12).

9, Jared Laverty, Americas, 16:59.52 (SAC, 9/12).

10, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 17:01.88 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

11, Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 17:03.25 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

12, Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 17:04.09 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

13, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 17:15.36 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

14, Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 17:25.47 (SAC, 9/12).

15, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 17:26.34 (SAC, 9/12).

16, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 17:31.00 (SAC, 9/12).

17, Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 17:31.96 (SAC, 9/12).

18, Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 17:35.18 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

19, Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 17:35.58 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

20, Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 17:38.90 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

21, Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 17:49.53 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

22, Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 17:51.77 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

23, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 17:53.15 (SAC, 9/12).

24, Nicholas Parra, Eastwood, 17:54.21 (SAC, 9/12).

25, Devon Paez, Eastwood, 18:18.28 (SAC, 9/12).

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Israel  David,  Eastlake, 10 (1).

1, Andrew Valdiviezo, Riverside, 10 (1).

1, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 10 (1).

4, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 9.

4, Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 9.

4, Angel Torres, Tornillo, 9.

7, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 8.

7, Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 8.

7, Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 8.

10, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 7.

10, Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 7.

10, Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 7.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 6.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 6.

Carmelo Corral, Americas, 5.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 5.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 5.

Edwin Gomez, San Elizario, 4.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 4.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Jared Laverty, Americas, 3.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 3.

Omer Ibrahim, Pebble Hills, 2.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 2.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 1.

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 1.

Eva Jess, Eastwood Boys seek NXN titles

What: Nike Cross Nationals (NXN).

Who: Eastwood boys – seniors Juan Olmos and Elias Perez, juniors Sergio Cuartas, Nathan Hernandez and Victor Parra and sophomores Victor Anchondo and Andres Gurrola and Franklin’s Eva Jess.

When: Boys race begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and the girl’s race begins at 12:35 p.m.

Where: Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.

Watch it here: https://cdn.runnerspace.com/nxnlive.html

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Eastwood received one of four at-large bids to compete at the Nike Cross Nationals on Saturday.

When the Eastwood Running Club toed the line to start the 2018 Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon, it was a decade of work and dedication and perseverance in the making.

At the time, it felt as if the journey was over – they finally made it to the national state.

“The dream was always to get there, and once we did, it almost felt the finish line was Nike South and not NXN,” Eastwood coach Mike McLain said. “This year it feels more like business. Yes, we are going to enjoy it, but it’s a little more about business this time.”

NXN is the pinnacle of high school cross country in the United States. The top two teams in eight regional championships and the top five placing individuals not on an automatically-placing team receive automatic bids to NXN.

The race is at 11 a.m. Saturday at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland.

Eastwood finished third (137 points) at Nike South but Nike Cross Nationals selection committee selected them as one of four at-large boy’s teams to compete in the 22-team field.

Southlake Carroll (85 points) and The Woodlands (126) received automatic bids for placing first and second.

Franklin junior Eva Jess automatically qualified by placing third at Nike South racing to a 17:54.34.

“This is going to be great experience,” Jess said. “I’m really excited to go. I’m going to get a lot of cool stuff and I get to race against the best in the nation.”

Jess, who finished second at the UIL State Cross Country Championship in Class 6A, is the first girl’s runner from El Paso to qualify for Nike Nationals.

“I’m happy just to make it there,” she said. “I know these are the best girls in the nation so I’m just really happy to make it. I’m going to do my best and see what happens.”

Last week Jess finished 13th out of 195 runners at the Foot Locker South Regional in North Carolina and missed qualifying for the Foot Locker nationals by three spots. She did run a personal best of 17:49 in that meet.

“This was my first year running the NXN regionals so it’s awesome making it to nationals on my first try,” she said. “I never really thought about NXN. I was always focused on state.”

Franklin-Jess
Franklin junior Eva Jess automatically qualified by placing third at Nike South racing to a 17:54.34. She is the first female from El Paso to race at NXN.

The girl’s championship race is at 12:35 p.m.

The Eastwood boys – seniors Juan Olmos and Elias Perez, juniors Sergio Cuartas, Nathan Hernandez and Victor Parra and sophomores Victor Anchondo and Andres Gurrola – are making its second consecutive trip to NXN.

“We just want to do better than last year,” Perez said. “We could have done better, so we want to go up there and show something, especially since we’re going up there as an at-large team, we want to show that it was worth it.”

Eastwood – which defended its Class 5A state championship this year – finished 22nd in a field of 22 teams in its first national championship.

Perez said he is hoping last year’s experience will help them on Saturday.

“Because it is NXN, we’ll still be a little excited, a little starstruck because it’s only our second year,” he said. “But we know it’s a big race and we can’t let it get the best of us.”

He has seen the team progress since his freshman season when the team was fourth at Nike South. His sophomore year, Eastwood was third but did not receive an at-large bid.

In 2018, Eastwood became the first team from El Paso to win Nike South and compete at NXN.

“Last year we were just kind of there having a blast,” he said. “This year, we’re going to have fun but we definitely want to take it more serious and do better than last year and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”

The team had to wait a week before getting the call last Saturday.

EastwoodEliasPerez
Eastwood’s Elias Perez and his team are returning to NXN on Saturday hoping to improve on last year’s performance.

“The team ran well at South but we didn’t know if we would be top two,” Perez said. “Coach was saying it would be close. I told the guys that there was nothing more we could do, we left it all on the course. I had a lot of confidence a week after South that would get an at-large berth.”

McLain said the past two weeks of training have been normal.

“The experience we had last year means everything,” he said. “Last year, before NXN, it didn’t feel like just another week of practice. Practice last week was calm, it felt like regional or state week. We weren’t as uptight as we were last year. We took a more it’s-just-another-race approach. It was just another two weeks of practice for us. We just did what we’ve been doing to make us successful this year, so it did feel more at home for us.”

But this is not just another race.

“These kids will be treated like royalty for four days,” he said. “The atmosphere is so incredible up there. When you show up they give you all this amazing gear, their pictures are up all over the Nike campus, you are like a celebrity with glamour and glitz and Olympians coming up to talk to you and eating with you at every meal.”

The team now has NXN experience with five runners who ran the course last year. Four runners – Olmos, Perez, Cuartas and Hernandez – ran the championship race while Parra was an alternate and race the community race.  Anchondo and Gurrola will be making their NXN debut.

“If you want to keep doing well at NXN, you have to keep working to get back every year,” McLain said. “At first, everything is so new. You are looking around, experiencing things for the first time so it seems more like a vacation than a meet. We want to get to the point where running at NXN is as comfortable as preparing for Woodbridge, or state or Nike South. We’re not at that point yet, but we’re getting there.”