High School Girls XC Poll: Week 6

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

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

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

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

This week’s schedule

Montwood Invitational: Oct. 24, 8 a.m., Blackie Chesher Park. 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, Tornillo, Mt. View, Riverside, San Eli, Fabens, Ysleta.

Top 10

1. Franklin: The Cougars easily won the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club with 23 points. Senior Eva Jess won the event in 18:26.7 to lead six Franklin runners who finished in the top 10. Ally Little was second (19:07.5), Alyssa Laspada was fifth (20:00.0), Jenna Saunders, seventh (20:31.4), Michele Paillard, eighth (20:31.8) and Jordan Torres, tenth (21:05.4). The team will rest this weekend.

2. Montwood: The Rams had one of its best races for the season, finishing second in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club with 42 points. Its top four runners Kassandra Jimenez (third, 19:56.6), Jazmine Miranda (fourth, 19:58.1), Alexa Rangel (sixth, 20:04.7) and Natalie Espinosa (ninth, 20:37.1) – had season best times. The Montwood Invitational is cancelled.

3. Eastwood: Eastwood ran its JV team and the 6th and 7th varsity runners to finish third in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational. The team is schedule to race at the Del Valle Invitational on Saturday.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes won the District 1-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club placing runners in three of the top four spots and four in the top 8. 1, Crystal Peterson (first, 20:07.0) and Monique Correa (second, 20:15.2) and season-best times. Melody Tsutsumi was fourth (21:03.5) and Jelia Lugo was eighth in 21:51.5. The team is schedule to race at the Del Valle Invitational on Saturday.

5. CoronadoThe T-Birds did race last weekend. The Montwood Invitational has been cancelled.

6. CanutilloThe Eagles won the District 2-5A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club with 50 points, placing four runners in the top 7. Chondra Espino led Canutillo with a second-place finish in 21:02.9. Ivy Lara was fifth (21:36.0), Natalie Rivera was sixth (21:46.9) and Vanessa Preciado was seventh (21:47.9). The team will race at the Bowie Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

7. El Paso High: The Tigers placed second at the District 1-5A race of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club with 39 points. El Paso High’s Shayla Cohen Jones was fifth, 21:14.7), Alissa Kennedy was sixth (21:20.8), Jezarae Valenzuela was seventh (21:32.6) and Vivian Shaheen was tenth (22:54.2).

8. Tornillo. The Coyotes did not race.

9. Bel Air: The Highlanders did not race on Saturday. The Highlanders were scheduled to race at the Montwood Invitational which is cancelled.

10. Eastlake. The Falcons finished fourth in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday. Its top runner was Megan Kirtley who was 15th in  21:29.9.   

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Hanks, Pebble Hills, Burges.

Hanks junior Mia Rivera has come into her own this season. Her 20:36.30 is the city’s 21st fastest time.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bel Air’s Abigail Murillo has been a steady force for the Highlanders this season. She hopes for a top finish at next week’s District 2-5A race and a trip to regionals.

Power rankings (number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 60 (6).

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

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 52.

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

5, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 41.

6, Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 36.

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

7, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 34.

9, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 32.

10, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 31.

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

Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 30 (3).

Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 30.

Kyra Walker, Coronado, 29 (2).

Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 27.

Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 26.

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 26.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 25.

Annette Guzman, Burges, 24.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 24 (1).

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 22.

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

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 21.

Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 21.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 21.

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 20.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 20.

Isabella Medina, Americas, 19.

Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso High, 19.

Janice Olivas, Clint, 19.

Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 18.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 18.

Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 17 (1).

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 17.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 16 (1).

Andrea Castillo, El Paso, 16.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 15.

Morayma Montes, Austin, 14.

Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 14.

Hannah Tellez, Eastwood, 13.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 13.

Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 10.

Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View. 10.

Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 10.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 9.

Mia Vargas, Americas, 9.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto, 9.

Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 9.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 8.

Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 8.

Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 8.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 8.

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 8.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 7.

Jacqueline Castillo, Clint, 7.

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 7.

Jaquelin Gonzalez, Horizon, 7.

Aylin Tepezano, Clint, 7.

Madison Spencer, Hanks, 7.

Amber Martin, Eastwood, 6

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 6.

Madelaine Estrada, Mt. View, 6.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 6.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 6.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 5.

Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 5.

Selma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Ximena Jimenez, San Elizario, 5.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 5.

Vivian Shaheen, El Paso High, 5.

Mariah Martinez, Loretto, 5.

Itzel Garcia, Americas, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Paola Bolanos Hernandez, Parkland, 4.

Emma White, El Paso High, 4.   

Sarah Villaronga, Franklin, 3.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 3.

Claudia Vargas, Parkland, 3.     

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 3.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 3.

Osmary Vazquez, San Elizario, 3.

Eva Asfahani, Coronado, 2.

Jasmine Martinez, Eastwood, 2.

Alexis Vasquez, Eastwood, 2.

Jade Baca, Hanks, 2.

Monica Hagerich, Eastwood, 2.

Amanda Sotelo, Franklin, 2.

Amanda Torres, Loretto, 2.

Sonya Lee, Coronado, 2.

Marcela Hernandez, Riverside, 2.

Bianca Quintero, Chapin, 2.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air, 1.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 1.

Yulianna Anahi Martinez, Parkland, 1.

Christina Duncan, Coronado, 1.

Andrea Baeza, Loretto, 1.

Camila Luna, Riverside, 1.

Iris Baca, Horizon, 1.

High School Girls XC Poll: Week 5

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

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

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

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

This week’s schedule

Pre-district Invitational: Oct. 17 at Vista 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.

The Troopers moved into the second spot after its second place finish at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

Top 10

1. Franklin: The Cougars won the team championship at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club with 21 points. Franklin placed six runners in the top 8 including Eva Jess (second, 18:20.41),  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). The team’s 1-5 split was only 1:35. Franklin will return to Vista Hills Country Club to race in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational on Saturday. That race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.

2. Eastwood: Eastwood placed second at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club and moved ahead of Montwood. The Troopers scored 59 points despite only having one runner – junior Lauren Walls-Portillo – finish in the top 10. Walls-Portillo set a personal and city best 18:04.35. Eastwood – which five scoring runners finished 1+13+14+15+16 – had a 20:12 team average. The Troopers will also return to Vista Hills Country Club to race in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational on Saturday. That race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.

3. Montwood: The Rams dropped one spot after its third place at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club. Montwood scored 64 points, five points higher than Eastwood. 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). The Rams – which had an impressive 1:50 1-5 split will race in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday. That race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes won the Cathedral/Harmony Invitational team title at Veterans Park with 20 points. Jefferson placed 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). The team is scheduled to race in the Class 5A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday. That race is scheduled to start at 8 a.m.

5. CoronadoThe T-Birds did not run a full team at the Americas Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex  but still managed to have three top 10 runners – sophomore Kyra Walker who won the event in 21:56, Alexa Lawrence (sixth, 22:59.0) and Sonya Lee (ninth, 23:11.6). The team is scheduled to race in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday. That race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.

6. CanutilloThe Eagles won the Clint ISD Invitational at Horizon High School with 27 points. The Eagles had four runners – Chondra Espino (third, 21:52.54), Natalie Rivera (fourth, 22:13.12), Ivy Lara (fifth, 22:19.36) and Vanessa Preciado (eighth, 22:38.12) – in the top 8. Canutillo is scheduled to race in the Class 5A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club at 8 a.m. Saturday.

7. El Paso High: The Tigers won the Austin/ElPaso Invitational at Skyline Park scoring 21 points. El Paso had five runners in the top 8 including the top three runners. Jezarae Valenzuela won her first meet of the season with a 21:18.49. Alissa Kennedy was second (21:19.65) and Andrea Castillo was third (21:26.02). Emma White was seventh (23:22.83) and Vivian Shaheen was eighth in 23:23.65. El Paso will race in the Class 5A division of the Pre-District Invitational.

8. Tornillo. The Coyotes finished fourth at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club finishing 12+23+24+28+37 for 124 points. Sophomore Kylene Elias was the top runner finishing in 20:32.17. Tornillo will rest this weekend.

9. Bel Air: The Highlanders move up one after its fifth place at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club. Bel Air runners placed 20+21+27+29+33 for 130 points. Bel Air is scheduled to participate in the Class 5A division of the Pre-District Invitational.

10. Eastlake. The Falcons are back in the top 10 after its team championship at the America’s Invitational run at the Socorro Student Activities Complex. The team scored 58 points. Megan Kirtley was second in 22:11.0 and Giselle Rubio crossed the finish line in 22:59.2, good for the seventh spot, to led Eastlake. The team will race in the Class 6A division of the Pre-District Invitational at Vista Hills Country Club on Saturday. That race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m.

Dropped out: Hanks.

On the brink: Pebble Hills, Burges.

Montwood senior Karyme Garcia ran the season’s eighth fastest time on Saturday, completing the 3.1-mile course at Vista Hills in 19:53.12.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 20:08.85 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

12, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 20:09.54 (Vista Hills CC, 10/10).

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

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

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

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

17, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 20:33.90 (SAC, 9/19).

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

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

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

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

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

23, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:42.30 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

24, Isabella Medina, Americas 20:43.50 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

25, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:45.57 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

This courses have been dusty and hilly this season. This week, the runners will face the grass knolls of Vista Hills Country Club.

Power rankings

(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 50 (5).

2, Eva Jess, Franklin, 49 (4).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 43.

4, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 35.

5, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 33 (2).

6, Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 31.

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

7, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 30 (3).

9, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 29 (2).

10, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 27.

10, Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 27.

Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 25.

Mia Rivera, Hanks, 25.

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 25.

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 24.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 23.

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 23.

Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 22.

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 22.

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 21.

Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 21.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 20.

Isabella Medina, Americas, 19.

Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 18.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 18.

Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 17 (1).

Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 17.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 17.

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 17.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso High, 17 (1).

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 17 (1).

.Annette Guzman, Burges, 16.

Andrea Castillo, El Paso, 16.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 15.

Morayma Montes, Austin, 14.

Hannah Tellez, Eastwood, 13.

Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso High, 13.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 12.

Janice Olivas, Clint, 11.

Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 10.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 10.  

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 9.

Mia Vargas, Americas, 9.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto, 9.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 8.

Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 8.

Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 8.

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 8.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 7.

Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 7.  

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 7.

Melody Tsutsumi, Jefferson, 7.

Jaquelin Gonzalez, Horizon, 7.

Amber Martin, Eastwood, 6

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 6.

Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 6.

Madison Spencer, Hanks, 6.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 6.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 5.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 5.

Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 5.

Selma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 5.

Mariah Martinez, Loretto, 5.

Itzel Garcia, Americas, 4.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Paola Bolanos Hernandez, Parkland, 4.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 4.

Vivian Shaheen, El Paso High, 4.

Emma White, El Paso High, 4.   

Aylin Tepezano, Clint, 3

Sarah Villaronga, Franklin, 3.

Ana Rojas, Socorro, 3.

Claudia Vargas, Parkland, 3.     

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 3.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 3.

Eva Asfahani, Coronado, 2.

Jasmine Martinez, Eastwood, 2.

Alexis Vasquez, Eastwood, 2.

Jade Baca, Hanks, 2.

Monica Hagerich, Eastwood, 2.

Amanda Sotelo, Franklin, 2.

Amanda Torres, Loretto, 2.

Sonya Lee, Coronado, 2.

Bianca Quintero, Chapin, 2.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air, 1.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 1.

Yulianna Anahi Martinez, Parkland, 1.

Christina Duncan, Coronado, 1.

Andrea Baeza, Loretto, 1.

Iris Baca, Horizon, 1.

Kayhla Talavera, Mt. View. 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 Girls XC Poll: Week 4

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

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

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

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

This week’s schedule

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 Country Club. Eastwood, Montwood, Bel Air, Hanks, San Eli, Franklin, Pebble Hills, Mt.View, Tornillo.

The base of the Franklin Mountains served as the most rugged part of the course at the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center last week.

Top 10

1. Franklin: Franklin took the first seven spots in route to a perfect score (15 points) at its own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreational Center. Franklin was again led by Eva Jess (first, 18:16.91), 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). Franklin, which is ranked No. 5 in Class 6A by MileSplitTx,  will race at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

2. Montwood: The Rams rested last week. The team will resume action at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

3. Eastwood: Eastwood placed fourth in the high school Championship Race at the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet on Friday night with 132 points. Amber Martin lead the Troopers, placing 13th in 20:40.65. Junior Lauren Walls-Portillo was 10th in the girl’s high school Sweepstakes Division finishing in 18:14.62. The team will race at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes were second at the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center, scoring 62 points. Crystal Peterson was eighth in 20:45.57 and Monique Correa was 10th in 21:09.61. The team is scheduled to race the Cathedral/Harmony Invitational at Veterans Park.

5. CoronadoThe T-Birds won the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle Sc hool scoring 45 points. Kyra Walker was second (21:12.59) and Alexa Lawrence was third (21:26.33) to pace Coronado. The team will race at the Americas Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex on Friday.

6. CanutilloThe Eagles did not run a full team at its own invitational at Canutillo Middle School but they did have three runners in the top 10 – Ivy Lara, (21:59.18), Natalie Rivera, (22:02.78) and Vanessa Preciado (22:03.36). The Eagles will run at the Horizon Invitational at Horizon High School.

7. El Paso High: The Tigers move up three spots after winning the 2.9-mile Eastlake Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex with 20 points. 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 team will race at the Austin/El Paso Invitational at Skyline Park.

8. Tornillo. The Coyotes continue to improve with each week, winning the Loretto Invitational at Veterans Park. Kylene Elias won in 20:19.07 to lead the Coyotes to a team championship with 32 points. 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). The team will race at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

9. Hanks: The Knights drop two spots after its second-place finish at the Eastlake Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex. Hanks scored 37 points and had three runners 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). The team will be challenged at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

10. Bel Air. The Highlanders drop a spot after challenging themselves at the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet. The team was 12th in the high school Championship Race with 132 points. Abigail Murillo finished Abagail Murillo 23rd in 21:00.46. The team race at the Parra Law XC Classic at Vista Hills Country Club.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Eastlake, Loretto, Pebble Hills.

Franklin senior Ally Little, running in her first cross country season, was second at the Franklin Invitational finishing in 18:39.33, her personal best and good enough for third fastest in the city.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Lauren Portillo-Walls, Eastwood, 18:14.62 (Desert Twilight, 10/2).

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

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

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

5, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 19:14.63 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

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

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

8, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 20:04.58 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

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

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

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

12, Sofia Camacho, Franklin 20:27.05 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

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

14, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 20:33.90. (SAC, 9/19).

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

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

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

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

19, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:42.30 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

20, Isabella Medina, Americas 20:43.50 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

21, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:45.57 (Haskins Rec. Center, 10/3).

22, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 20:50.88 (Del Valle, 9/19).

23, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 20:52.12 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

24, Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 20:56.46 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

25, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 20:57.00 (SAC, 9/19).

Jefferson harriers Crystal Peterson – who was eighth in 20:45.57 at Franklin – and Monique Correa (tenth in 21:09.61) are two of the city’s strongest runners.

Power rankings

(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

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

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 40 (4).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 35.

4, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 30 (3).

5, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 28.

6, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 25.

6, Mia Rivera, Hanks, 25.

8, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 24.

9, Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 23 (1).

10, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 22.

10, Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 22.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 20.

Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 20 (1).

Kyra Walker, Coronado, 19 (1).

Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 18.

Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 18.

Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 17 (1).

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 17.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 16 (1).

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 16.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 16.

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 16.

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 16.

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 15.

Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 14.

Morayma Montes, Austin, 14.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 13.

Hannah Tellez, Eastwood, 13.

Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso, 13.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 13.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 12.

Isabella Medina, Americas, 11.

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 11.

Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 10.

Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 9.

Carolina Zarrabal, Pebble Hills, 9.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 9.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 8.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 8.  

Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 8.

Andrea Castillo, El Paso, 8.

Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 8.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin 7.

Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 7.  

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 7.

Annette Guzman, Burges, 7.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso High, 7.

Amber Martin, Eastwood, 6

Janice Olivas, Clint, 6.

Madison Spencer, Hanks, 6.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 5.

Natalie Franco, Pebble Hills, 5.

Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 5.

Selma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 5.

Itzel Garcia, Americas, 4.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso, 4.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 4.

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 4.

Aylin Tepezano, Clint, 3

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 3.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto, 3.

Mia Vargas, Americas, 3.

Sarah Villaronga, Franklin, 3.

Vanessa Preciado, Canutillo, 3.

Jaquelin Gonzalez, Horizon, 3.

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 3.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 2.

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 2.

Eva Asfahani, Coronado, 2.

Jasmine Martinez, Eastwood, 2.

Alexis Vasquez, Eastwood, 2.

Jade Baca, Hanks, 2.

Monica Hagerich, Eastwood, 2.

Amanda Sotelo, Franklin, 2.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air, 1.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 1.

Christina Duncan, Coronado, 1.

Vivian Shaheen, El Paso High, 1.    

Iris Baca, Horizon, 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 Girls XC Poll: Week 3

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

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

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

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

This weeks’ schedule:

Desert Twilight: 8:45 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. Loretto, 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.

Four local cross country invitationals are in store for this weekend including the Eastlake Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex, the Franklin Invitational at the Haskins Recreation Center, the Cathedral/Loretto Invitational at Veterans Park and the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle School.

Top 10

1. Franklin: As strange as it might sound, the most difficult part of the regular season for the Cougars just might be trying to stay motivated. Week in and week out, Franklin finds itself running unchallenged. For example, at the Clint ISD Invitational at Mt. View High School, the Cougars scored a perfect 15, not only taking the top five spots – but placing seven of its runners in the top 10. Eva Jess won her third straight meet  (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 Sarah Villaronga (eighth, 25:33.84). Franklin will race at its own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

2. Montwood: The Rams won the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at SISD’s Student Activities Complex with 16 points. 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. The Rams will race at the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

3. Eastwood: The Troopers rested its top five runners but still managed to win the Tornillo/San Elizario Invitational at Tornillo High School with 29 points. 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). The team will race at the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet on Friday night.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes remain at No. 4 despite finishing second at the Parkland/Hanks Invitational at the Northeast Regional Park. Jefferson finished 8 points behind upstart Canutillo. Jefferson’s top three runners were Monique Correa (third, 20:42.30), Jelia Lugo (sixth, 21:21.75) and Crystal Peterson (seventh, 21:35.22). The team was without Melody Tsutsumi. The Foxes are scheduled to race at the Franklin Invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center on Saturday.

5. Coronado: The T-Birds won its own invitational at the Don Haskins Recreation Center with 29 points. Top runners were Kyra Walker, who earned her second career varsity championship (20:52.12) 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). The T-Birds will race at the Canutillo/Anthony Invitational at Canutillo Middle School on Saturday.

6. Canutillo. The Eagles make its top 10 debut after their surprising first-place finish at the Parkland/Hanks Invitational at Northeast Regional Park. The team scored 41 points and 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). It was Espino’s first race of the season. The team will race at its own invitational Canutillo Middle School on Saturday.

7. Hanks: The Knights move up two spots after finishing third at their own invitational at Northeast Regional Park with 55 points. Hanks had two runners – Mia Rivera (fourth, 20:57.46) and Madison Spencer (ninth, 21:46.97) – in the top 10. They will race at the Eastlake Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex.

8. Tornillo. Look at them Coyotes! Just a few years ago the girls took a backseat to the boy’s team, but those days are gone. Tornillo is led by the mega-talented sophomore Kylene Elias who is supported by an ever-evolving group of young runners. On Saturday, Elias won her second consecutive race at the San Elizario/Tornillo Invitational at Tornillo High School, racing to a 21:12.56. Olivia Garcia was fifth in 22:17.07. The team will race at the Cathedral/Loretto Invitational at Veterans Park on Saturday.

9. Bel Air. The Highlanders move down three spots after finishing third at Tornillo High. Abigail Murillo finished second behind Elias in 21:47.57 and Sara Armendariz was eighth (22:44.36). The team plans on racing at the 13th annual Desert Twilight Cross Country Meet on Friday night.

10. El Paso High: The Tigers make its top 10 debut after a second-place finish at the Coronado Invitational. El Paso had  four runners placing 4-8 – Shayla Cohen Jones (21:34.19), Alissa Kennedy (21:42.13), Andrea Castillo (21:48.74) and Jezarae Valenzuela (22:00.39) and ended up with 35 points, six shy of Coronado. The team will compete at the Eastlake Invitational at the Socorro Student Activities Complex on Saturday.

Dropped out: Del Valle, Americas.

On the brink: Eastlake, Loretto, Pebble Hills.

Montwood sophomore Jazmine Miranda won her first championship on Saturday, racing to a 21:57.64 at the Dale Reinhardt Invitational at SISD’s Student Activities Complex. She turned in a 21:06.10 two weeks ago, good for 21st best in the city.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Lauren Portillo-Walls, Eastwood, 18:27.56 (Del Valle, 9/19).

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

3, Eva Jess, Franklin, 19:23.00 (SAC, 9/12).

4, Ally Little, Franklin, 20:02.62 (SAC, 9/12).

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

6, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 20:33.90. (SAC, 9/19).

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

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

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

10, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 20:42.30 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

11, Isabella Medina, Americas 20:43.50 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

12, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 20:44.81 (SAC, 9/12).

13, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 20:50.88 (Del Valle, 9/19).

14, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 20:52.03 (SAC, 9/12).

15, Kyra Walker, Coronado, 20:52.12 (Veterans Park, 9/26).

16, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:52.73 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

17, Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 20:56.46 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

18, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 20:57.00 (SAC, 9/19).

19, Amber Martin, Eastwood, 20:57.20 (Del Valle, 9/19)

20, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 20:59.40 (SAC, 9/12).

21, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 21:06.10 (SAC, 9/19).

22, Selma Licon, Eastwood, 21:06.67 (Del Valle, 9/19).

23, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 21:11.44 (La Isla, 9/19).

24, Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 21:13.25 (Haskins Rec Center, 9/26).

25, Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin, 21:16.45 (Veterans Park, 9/19).

Austin’s power duo of Morayma Montes and Elizabeth Hernandez (with glasses) are two of El Paso top 25 runners. Hernandez’s time of 21:16.45 puts her at No. 25 in the city.

Power rankings

(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

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

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 30 (3).

3, Ally Little, Franklin, 26.

4, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 25.

5, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 22.

6, Kylene Elias, Tornillo, 20 (2).

7, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 19 (1).

8, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 19.

9, Megan Kirtley, Eastlake, 18.

10, Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 17 (1).

10, Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 17.

10, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 17

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 16 (1).

Mia Rivera, Hanks, 16.

Monique Correa, Jefferson, 15.

Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 14.

Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 14.

Alissa Kennedy, El Paso, 14.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 13.

Andrea Villagomez, Horizon, 13.

Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 13.

Natalie Rivera, Canutillo, 12.

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 12.

Isabella Medina, Americas, 11.

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 11.

Kyra Walker, Coronado, 10 (1).

Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 10.

Chondra Espino, Canutillo, 9.

Sofia Camacho, Franklin, 9.

Morayma Montes, Austin, 9.

Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 8.

Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 8.  

Alexa Lawrence, Coronado, 8.

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 8.

Trinity Martinez, Eastwood, 8.

Andrea Castillo, El Paso, 8.

Elizabeth Hernandez, Austin 7.

Shayla Cohen Jones, El Paso, 7.

Natalie Espinosa, Montwood, 7.  

Desiree Carrillo, Eastwood, 7.

Hannah Tellez, Eastwood, 7.

Amber Martin, Eastwood, 6

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 6.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 5.

Banah Abdeljaber, Coronado, 5.

Selma Licon, Eastwood, 5.

Wendy Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Amaryllis Rubalcaba, Eastwood, 5.

Itzel Garcia, Americas, 4.

Jezarae Valenzuela, El Paso, 4.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Ivy Lara, Canutillo, 4.

Aylin Tepezano, Clint, 3

Emilee Antimo, Burges, 3.

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 3.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto, 3.

Mia Vargas, Americas, 3.

Sarah Villaronga, Franklin, 3.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 2.

Giselle Rubio, Eastlake, 2.

Brianna Ibarra, Tornillo, 2.

Eva Asfahani, Coronado, 2.

Madison Spencer, Hanks, 2.

Jasmine Martinez, Eastwood, 2.

Alexis Vasquez, Eastwood, 2.

Vivian Zapata, Clint, 2.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air, 1.

Lauren Anderson, Americas, 1.

Christina Duncan, Coronado, 1.

Iris Baca, Horizon, 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 Girls XC Poll: Week 1

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

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

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

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

Top 10

1. Franklin: Franklin’s second year reign as El Paso’s top squad began in grand fashion at the Pebble Hills Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex. The Cougars, who are building off the school’s first Class 6A UIL State Cross Country Championship appearance last year, were solid placing six runners in the top eight positions. Senior Eva Jess, who finished with a silver medal at state, continued her three-year unbeaten El Paso streak winning the event in 19:23.00. New-comer, senior Ally Little, was third in 20:02.62 followed by sophomore Alyssa Laspada (4th, 20:44.81), junior Jenna Saunders (5th, 20:52.03), sophomore Michele Paillard (7th, 20:59.40) and junior Jordan Torres (8th,  21:19.15). The team will return to the SAC on Saturday for the El Dorado Invitational.

2. Montwood: Montwood was impressive at the Pebble Hills Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex, placing three runners in the top 10 including sophomore Kassandra Jimenez (6th, 20:56.34) senior Karyme Garcia (9th, 21:24.03) and sophomore Jazmine Miranda (10th, 21:27.96). The team was second with 57 points with its 4 and 5 runners placing 14th and 18th. The team will return to the SAC on Saturday for the El Dorado Invitational.

3. Eastwood: The Troopers lone top-10 finisher at the Pebble Hills Invitational was junior Lauren Walls-Portillo who was second in 19:40.75.  Eastwood had four other runners in the top 20 to finish with 68 points, good enough for third place. The team will race at Del Valle on Saturday.

4. Jefferson: The Foxes2020 season began with aRiverside Invitational championship at Blackie Chesher Park. Four Jefferson runners finished in the top 10 to score 27 points. Junior Crystal Peterson was second, finishing in 20:52.73 followed by senior Monique Correa (4th, 21:09.51), Jelia Lugo (5th, 22:16.43) and Irma Munoz (8th, 23:51.88).

5. Coronado: The T-Birds will make its season debut at the El Dorado Invitational at the SAC. Coronado is led by sophomore Kyra Walker, a Class 6A state qualifier in 2019.

6. Socorro: Socorro did not run a full team at the Riverside Invitational at Blackie Chesher Park. However, two of its runners – juniors Samantha Ramirez (3rd, 20:56.46) and Yanitza Olivares (10th, 24:06.32) – finished in the top 10. The Bulldogs will race a full team at the El Dorado Invitational at the SAC on Saturday.

7. Bel Air. The Highlanders won the Andress Invitational at Skyline Park with 27 points. Bel Air swept the top three spots and boosted four runners in the top 10. Senior Sara Armendariz won the event in 21:16.46 followed by junior Abigail Murillo (21:28.63) and senior Rosemary Torres (22:01.89). Sophomore Genisis Guereca was 10th in 24:44.78. Bel Air will race at the Del Valle Invitational on Saturday.

8. Del Valle: The Conquistadors placed second at the Riverside Invitational at Blackie Chesher Park with 45 points. Del Valle had three runners – Disany Sandoval, (6th, 23:33.51),  Valeria Loo-King, (7th, 23:42.26) and Jaslyne Ramirez (9th, 24:02.65) – in the top 10, They will run in their own invitational on Saturday.

9. Pebble Hills: The Spartans placed a respectable fourth at the Pebble Hills Invitational at Socorro’s Student Activities Complex, with 157 points. Its top runner, freshman Carolina Gregoria Zarrabal, was 11th in 21:51.2. The team will race the El Dorado Invitational at the SAC.

10. Americas: The Trailblazers had a disappointing 5th place finish at the Pebble Hills Invitational and hope to regroup at the Irvin Invitational at Veterans Park.

Dropped out: None.

On the brink: Tornillo.

Top times (5K/3Mile)

1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 19:23.00 (SAC, 9/12).

2, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 19:40.75 (SAC, 9/12).

3, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 19:55.09 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

4, Ally Little, Franklin, 20:02.62 (SAC, 9/12).

5, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 20:44.81 (SAC, 9/12).

6, Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 20:52.03 (SAC, 9/12).

7, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 20:52.73 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

8, Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 20:56.46 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

9, Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 20:56.34 (SAC, 9/12).

10, Michele Paillard, Franklin, 20:59.40 (SAC, 9/12).

11, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 21:09.51 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

12, Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 21:16.46 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

13, Jordan Torres, Franklin, 21:19.15 (SAC, 9/12).

14, Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 21:24.03 (SAC, 9/12).

15, Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 21:27.96 (SAC, 9/12).

16, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 21:28.63 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

17, Carolina Grego Zarrabal,  Pebble Hills,  21:51.25 (SAC, 9/12).

18, Sofia Camacho, Franklin,  21:52.21 (SAC, 9/12).

19, Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 22:01.89 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

20, Adalia Olmos, Eastwood, 22:05.38 (SAC, 9/12).

21, Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 22:06.33 (Blackie Chesher, 9/12).

22, Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 22:16.43 (Skyline Park, 9/12).

23, Alexa Rangel, Montwood, 22:22.22 (SAC, 9/12).

24, Amanda Sotelo, Franklin, 22:29.97 (SAC, 9/12).

25, Victoria Ovalles, Eastwood, 22:35.41 (SAC, 9/12).

Power rankings
(number in parenthesis indicate meets won)

1, Eva Jess, Franklin, 10 (1)

1, Angelina Lujan-Marrufo, Parkland, 10 (1).

1, Sara Armendariz, Bel Air, 10 (1).

4, Lauren Walls-Portillo, Eastwood, 9.

4, Crystal Peterson, Jefferson, 9.

4, Abigail Murillo, Bel Air, 9.

7, Ally Little, Franklin, 8.

7, Samantha Ramirez, Socorro, 8.

7, Rosemary Torres, Bel Air, 8.

10, Alyssa Laspada, Franklin, 7.

10, Monique Correa, Jefferson, 7.

10, Nat Escajeda, Tornillo, 7.

Jenna Saunders, Franklin, 6.

Jelia Lugo, Jefferson, 6.

Britney Martinez, Loretto, 6.

Kassandra Jimenez, Montwood, 5.

Disany Sandoval, Del Valle, 5.

Olivia Garcia, Tornillo, 5.

Michele Paillard, Franklin, 4.

Valeria Loo-King, Del Valle, 4.

Caryn Hart, Andress, 4.

Jordan Torres, Franklin, 3.

Irma Munoz, Jefferson, 3.

Maria Hobbs, Loretto Academy, 3.

Karyme Garcia, Montwood, 2.

Jaslyne Ramirez, Del Valle, 2.

Brianna Ibarra,  Tornillo, 2.

Jazmine Miranda, Montwood, 1.

Yanitza Olivares, Socorro, 1.

Genisis Guereca, Bel Air , 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.”

 

El Paso area teams to battle at Nike South

Make Plans

What: Nike South Regional. Teams from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi will compete for an opportunity to race for a national championship. The boys from Americas, Eastwood and San Elizario, and the Franklin girls, will compete in the Championship Division.

When: Saturday, Nov. 23. Boys championship at 1 p.m.; Girls championship at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Bear Branch Park in The Woodlands.

At stake: The top two teams in the region receive automatic bids. The top five placing individuals not on an automatically-placing team will advance as individual qualifiers. Individuals and club qualifiers from eight regional championships are invited to NXN on Dec. 7 at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.

EastwoodNXN
The reaction of the 2018 Eastwood cross country team after learning they won Nike South. They were the first team in El Paso history to compete at NXN.

The championship season for 2019 is almost over for many of the nation’s top high school cross country programs.

On Saturday, the best teams in five states will race at the Nike South Regional at Bear Branch Park in The Woodlands.

Teams from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi will compete for an opportunity to race for a national championship – Nike Cross Nationals (NXN).

Three boys teams – Americas, Eastwood and San Elizario – and the Franklin girls, will compete in the Championship Division with a NXN berth at stake.

Many consider NXN, which is Dec. 7 at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon, as the ultimate cross country experience.

“I don’t think anybody who hasn’t experienced NXN can ever imagine what happens at NXN,” said Eastwood coach Mike McLain. “I talked to someone who qualified for the Olympics and this person had never seen NXN. I was describing to him what NXN is, showing him pictures and videos of it. I asked him if it was an experience only someone who made the NCAA Championship would go through and he said, ‘oh no, the NCAA can’t compete with what NXN does.’”

Last year, Eastwood Running Club became the first team from El Paso to win Nike South and advance to NXN.

Eastwood scored 121 points, Southlake Carroll was second with 137 points and Flower Mound was third with 142 points.

And just like in 2018, the path is hauntingly familiar.

Like last year, Eastwood won Region 1, the UIL 5A state championship and now enter Saturday’s meet peaking at the right time.

FranklinGState
The Franklin girls hope to complete a successful 2019 season at Nike South.

“Nike South is always on our schedule, no matter what.” McLain said. “It doesn’t matter if we have a strong season or not, we go there.”

McLain said Nike South is a great way to measure the Eastwood program against the best in Texas.

“In order to compete against Southlake Carroll and The Woodlands, you have to respect them,” he said. “Too often, when a team beats you, coaches will say it’s because you cheat or it’s because you recruit – they make up excuses.

We don’t do that. We go up there and if a team beats us, they beat us because they outworked us. You have to respect them for doing that and that should motivate you to work just as hard as they do.”

This is the ninth year in row that Eastwood will participate in Nike South. It’s best results were a pair of fourth place finishes in 2012 and 2016, a third place finish in 2017 and finally breaking through with a Nike South Championship in 2018.

In a season that started a bit slow for Eastwood, the team put it all together at the UIL Cross Country State Championship at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock two weeks ago.

The Troopers defended its Class 5A UIL State title in convincing fashion scoring 51 points, 59 fewer than state runner-up Grapevine.

Eastwood seniors Juan Olmos (fifth, 15:01.41) and Elias Perez (sixth, 15:03.46) had top 10 finishes. All scoring runners – junior Sergio Cuartas (17th, 15:28.21), junior Nathan Hernandez (20th, 15:31.10) and junior Victor Parra (21st, 15:31.12) – finished in the top 25.

Eastwood’s average time of 15:19.06  – with a 29 second split – was the fastest of all classifications, including Class 6A state champ Southlake Carroll’s 15:22.18.

“In the beginning of the season, we weren’t where we would have liked and  all of us were wondering if we would ever get there,” Perez said. “I knew what we were capable of and I believed in every one of them. The young guys panicked a little and they would ask me if we could make it to NXN again? I told them I believed in them and that we could. After state, we definitely have a shot, and do better than we did last year.”

The team finished 22nd in a field 22 teams in its first national championship.

Rene:DilanSanEli
San Elizario’s Rene Arambula and Dilan Sanchez will compete with their teammates at Nike South.

San Elizario junior Edwin Gomez, who was second in the UIL State Championship Class 4A race, is focusing on Nike South from a more personal level.

“I had an up-and-down cross country season,” he said. “All season, I was running for the team. I’ve been training really hard since the season ended and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get back to Nike Nationals.”

Last year he placed fifth at Nike South in 15:45.38, and was 84th at NXN in 16:05.9.

Gomez, who lead San Elizario to a team silver medal, was the second El Paso area athlete to advance to NXN.  Eastwood alum and current Furman University runner Daniel Bernal was the first in 2015 and 2016.

Bernal was also the first El Paso runner to be recognized as NXN All American when he finished 10th in 2016 in a time of 15:47.3.

AmericasBoys
The Americas boys will compete for the first time as a team at Nike South.

Americas senior Seth Andrade said his team is excited about its first appearance at the NXN South Regional.

“We wanted to place at state but our legs felt a little heavy and things didn’t work out like we wanted,” Andrade said. “We’re hoping Nike South turns out a little better. We are all excited to go out there and kick some butt.”

Americas placed sixth in the Class 6A race.

The opportunity is there for the taking. Four El Paso powerhouses – Franklin’s girls and the boys from Americas, Eastwood and San Elizario – all fighting for the ultimate prize – a trip to NXN.

“What Nike does for these kids is absolutely amazing,” McLain said. “Until you’ve been there, you could never image what it’s like. It’s a lot to take in. Nothing really compares for it. NXN has changed our sport. NXN changed Eastwood cross country.”