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

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

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

In sense, she has.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAPPS State Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

District 3-4A Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The district championships that almost never happened produces many storylines

Who advanced?

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

Boys

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

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

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

Class 3A: Tornillo.

Girls

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

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

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

Class 3A: Tornillo.

What’s next

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Franklin and Montwood will advance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

District 1-5A

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

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

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

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

Peterson said racing a different district course was a challenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andress runner Jarrett Ketchmark was third in 17:13.0.

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

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

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

Ortega said he was mentally prepared for this race.

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

District 2-5A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being focused has not been easy during the COVID season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without question, her knee healed just fine.

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

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

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

High School Boys XC Poll: Week 7

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

The system is as follows: In a race of less than 150 runners, first place gets 10 points, second gets 9 points all the way down to and 10th place which gets 1 point. For meets with between 151 to 300 runners, double points will be rewarded meaning 20 points for first, 19 for second all the way down to 1 point for 20th. For every additional 150 runners, another 10 runners will be included in the points.

For those who like raw times, we also list the Top 25 5K/3-mile boys and girls race times and the meets and dates that they occurred.

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

This week’s schedule

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

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

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

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

Top 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Cathedral: The Fighting Irish did not race.

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

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

Dropped out: Eastlake.

On the brink: Riverside, Pebble Hills.

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

Top times (5K/3Mile)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                             

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

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Isreal David, Eastlake, 50 (5)

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

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

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

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

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

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

8, Corey Dubrule, Coronado, 38.

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

10, Michael Mier, Americas, 35.

Dilan Sanchez, San Elizario, 34.

Sergio Leon Cuartas, Eastwood, 34 (2).

Dylan Walker, Burges, 32.

Sam Breceda, Coronado, 32.

Josep Ferret, El Paso High, 32. 

Aaron Saenz, Americas, 31.

Luis Gomez, Cathedral, 30.

Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 30.

Angel Torres, Tornillo, 28.

Bryan Garcia, Tornillo, 27.

Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 27 (1).

Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 26.

Jose Nilo, Austin, 25 (1).

Miguel Avila, Del Valle, 24.

Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 24.  

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 22.

Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 21.

Nick Parra, Eastwood, 21 (1).

Elijah Noble, Cathedral, 20.

Stephen Pitchkolan, Coronado, 20.

Kenneth Lamar Golston, Parkland, 19.

Devon Paez, Eastwood, 19.

Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 19 (1).

David Herrera Burges, 19.

Ivan Hernandez, Horizon, 18.

Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16.

David Gonzalez, Burges, 15.

Matthew Engle, Franklin, 14.  

Bernard Martinez, Cathedral, 13.

Jacob Noble, Cathedral, 13. 

Danovan Estrada, Canutillo, 13.

Joshua Gonzalez, Mt. View, 13.

Diego Flores, Franklin, 12.

Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 12.

Joaquin Chavez, Eastwood, 12.

Julian Maldonado, Burges, 12.

Venancio Claderon, El Dorado, 11.

Rai Lopez, Franklin, 11.

Chris Moreno, San Elizario, 11. 

Anthony Casillas, Eastwood, 11.

 Victor Parra, Eastwood, 10.

Jorge Garcia, Socorro, 10.

Michael Antuna, Hanks, 10.

Octavio Trujillo, Franklin, 9.

Luis Holguin, Burges, 9.

Leo Valenzuela, El Paso High, 9.

Andres Buckley, Franklin, 8.     

Dylan Lorilla, Cathedral, 8.

Andrew Alvarado, Hanks, 7.

Matthew Marshall, Eastwood, 7.

David Ortega, Socorro, 6.

Daniel Romero, Tornillo, 6.

Alan Ceballos, San Elizario, 6.

Aden Hodgson, El Dorado, 6.

Aaron Gomez, Burges, 6.

Diego Garnica, Pebble Hills, 6.

Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 6.

Jesse Morales, Americas, 5.

Carlos Medez, Coronado, 5.

Irvin Vazquez, San Elizario, 5.

David Ramirez, El Paso High, 5.

Jesse Rodriguez, El Paso High, 5.

Jacob Beckett, Eastwood, 5.

Trenton Nelson, Montwood, 5.

William Moreno, Bel Air, 4.

Gage Garcia, Americas, 4.

Bryan Guzman, Tornillo, 4.

Cesar Sandoval, Chapin, 4.

Andres Garcia, Hanks, 4.

Sam Florez, Coronado, 4.

Marcos Garcia, Cathedral, 4.

Angel Recio Martinez, Eastlake, 4.

Kenneth Gomez, Parkland, 4.

Larry Green, Irvin, 4.

Juan Uribe, Socorro, 3.

Austen Percifull, Franklin, 3.

Preston Arnett, Cathedral, 3.

Anthony Soto, Fabens, 3.

Angel Maese, San Elizario, 3.

Joaquin Martinez, Eastwood, 3.

Andre De Santos, El Paso High, 3.

Francisco Reyes, Jefferson, 2.

Roberto Rivas, Franklin, 2.

Mario Elias, Eastlake, 2. 

Yahir Barrios, Horizon, 2.

Omar Rivera, Canutillo, 2.

Moises Vera, Austin, 2.

Gianni Ortega, Eastlake, 2.

Erfren Moncada, Parkland, 2.

Jayden Bustillos, Riverside, 2.

Noah Castorena, Pebble Hills, 2.         

Eric Lopez, Riverside, 1.

Mathew Estrada, Socorro, 1.

Isaac Ortega, Jefferson, 1.

Christopher Torres, El Paso High, 1.

Stefan Alvarez, Americas, 1.

Juan Linares, Horizon, 1.

Matthew Maese, San Elizario, 1.

Joaquin Rascon, Del Valle, 1.

UPDATE: Fate of District Races to be Determined on Thursday

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

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

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

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

Original story

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

The decision is expected to come on Thursday morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How we got here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Racing for Championships

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

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

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

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

Paper champions

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

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

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

Again, these are just projections.

District 1-6A

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

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

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 18:20.41.

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 18:44.19.

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 19:03.19.

5, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 19:50.57.

6, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 19:53.12.

7,  Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 19:55.96.

8, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 19:56.6.

9, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 19:56.83.

10, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 19:58.1.

The top 10 boys would look like this:

1, Israel David, Eastlake, 15:31.2.

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

3, Isaac Mendoza, Eastwood, 15:53.15.

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

5, Aaron Perez, Eastwood, 16:07.8.

6, Jared Laverty, Americas, 16:10.4.

7, Nathan Hernandez, Eastwood, 16:16.85.

8, Victor Anchondo, Eastwood, 16:17.94.

9, Victor Parra, Eastwood, 16:20.38.

10, Andres Gurrola, Eastwood, 16:26.93.

District 1-5A

The top 10 girls would look like this:

1, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:07.0.

2, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:15.2.

3, Annette Guzman, Burges, 20:31.3.

4, Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 21:03.5.

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

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

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

8, Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 21:51.5.

9, Emilee Antimo, Burges, 22:26.

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

The boys would look like this:

1, Joaquin Ortega, Chapin, 16:18.7.

2, Dylan Walker, Burges, 16:38.5.

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

4, David Gonzalez, Burges, 17:08.7.

5, Jarrett Ketchmark, Andress, 17:15.1.

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

7, David Herrera, Burges, 17:28.9.

8, Julian Maldonado, Burges, 17:32.8.

9, Jose Nilo, Austin, 17:34.9.

10, Aaron Gomez, Burges, 17:51.9.

District 2-5A

The girls would look like this:

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

2, Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 21:02.9.

3, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 21:08.0.

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

5, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 21:23.8.

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

7, Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 21:36.0.

8, Natalie Rivera, Hanks, 21:46.9.

9, Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 21:47.9.

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

The boys would look like this:

1, Alejandro Tarin, Hanks, 16:32.73.

2, Gael Alvarado, Hanks, 17:08.4.

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

4, Denovan Estrada, Canutillo, 17:52.8.

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

6, Michael Antuna, Hanks, 18:07.0.

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

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

9, Isai Barajas, Ysleta, 18:38.6.

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

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).