On this blog you will find weekly profiles on runners of all levels and ages, top 10 high school cross country boys and girls teams along with the top 25 times. You will be able to find schedules and results for high school cross country and track, the USA Track & Field Border Association meets and the many road races in El Paso.
Friday: Individual qualifiers. Class 6A – Americas senior Mariana Guzman; Montwood junior Karyme Garcia, Coronado senior Nick Gonzalez and freshman Kyra Walker and Franklin senior Fernie Morales, Franklin. Class 5A – Jefferson sophomore Crystal Peterson and junior Melody Tsuitsumi; Lauren Walls, sophomore, Eastwood; Eastlake sophomore Israel David and Angel Contreras, senior, Chapin. Class 4A- Mt. View junior Kayhla Talavera, senior Nicole Estrada and junior Joshua Gonzalez and Karina Gallegos, junior, San Elizario. Class 3A – Freshman, Kylene Elias, Tornillo.
What: UIL State Cross Country Championship.
When: Saturday Nov. 9. All times (CST): Girls Class 3A, 10:50 a.m.; Boys Class 3A, 11:20 a.m.; Girls Class 4A, noon; Boys Class 4A, 12:30 p.m.; Girls Class 5A, 1:10 p.m.; Boys Class 5A, 1:50 p.m.; Girls Class 6A, 2:30 p.m.; Boys Class 6A, 3:10 p.m.
Where: Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
At Stake: State team and individual titles.
The San Elizario Eagles have never been comfortable wearing the “favorites” label.
Sure, the Cotton Valley school has won four Class 4A state cross country championships in the past five years and junior Edwin Gomez has won an individual gold and a silver.
But last year, going after its fifth straight UIL state championship, the Eagles fell 12 points short, finishing third behind Region 1 foes Decatur and Andrews.
“We were not the favorites at regionals, and we will not be the favorites at state,” said Cesar Morales, the coach at San Elizario. “Throughout the year we’ve been ranked fourth or fifth in the state from various organizations so there is going to be less pressure on us.”
The San Elizario Eagles retained the top spot at the Region 1 meet, winning with 64 points to advance to the state meet for the sixth year in a row.
Decatur was second with 68 points, Andrews was third with 92 and Canyon with 121 points.
“Not winning state last year actually helped us,” Morales said. “We are back to being humble, we have our feet back on the ground and we know we had to work even harder. It really brought the team closer.”
At regionals, San Elizario had three runners in the top 10 – Edwin Gomez (second, 14:53.50), Rene Arambula (ninth, 15:55.00) and Dilan Sanchez (tenth, 15:55.60) and five in the top 25 – Irvin Vazquez (19th, 16:19.40) and Alan Ceballos (24th, 16:26.70).
“I told the team before the regional race that it didn’t matter if we won regions or not, the real deal is going to be at the state meet,” Morales said. “We know in 4A, the state champion usually comes out of Region 1. For the past three to four years Region 1 has been battling for first, second or third.”
Morales credits Gomez and Arambula’s maturity and leadership for the team’s success.
“In the past month, Edwin and Rene changed the culture of our team,” Morales said. “It was already good, but they made it so much better. They are working hard to help my fifth, sixth and seventh runners. We were good a month ago, but now we are lot better.”
Morales said there is a 25-second gap between the second and fourth runner with the number five runner closing in.
“We’ve been doing more pack running, team bonding, in a way,” Arambula said. “What me and Edwin are doing is staying a little bit closer with them and then we start to slowly speed up so they could get used to the pace. They stay with us and then push themselves as hard as we do.”
Arambula, a senior, said it would be great to win another state championship and finish in the top 10 individually.
“It would be great for our school to add another state championship and start another streak,” he said. “Every year is special, every team is special, but I really do enjoy training with these guys.”
Gomez said it is no fluke that San Elizario will contend for another state championship.
“Where we are now is because of the work we’ve put in over the summer,” he said. “We have all been working together to get better.”
He said he is doing his part in close the gap.
“When we have our 8-mile runs, I try to stay with the team the first few miles at a 7:15 pace,” he said. “We stay together until we get to the fourth mile and then we pick up the pace, but we try to stay together. Last year, I would go fast at the end in front of everyone. Now I try to stay with them and go back with whoever is in the back and try to pick them up so we can all be together.”
Gomez said he has drawn inspiration from Arambula.
“He is very mature in the way he approaches running,” he said. “Everything I do, he tries to make it better. I have more respect for him than anyone in school. He is one of the top 10 in his class, so he is smart. He tries harder more than one else I’ve seen. He tries to help everyone by telling them to keep pace and to stay focused and don’t think about getting tired.”
An individual medal is not the goal for Gomez this year.
“I really don’t care where I end up, what I do care about is us winning as a team,” he said. “We’re in a really good place right now. We have a chance to win, but everything has to fall into place.”
Twelve points separated San Elizario from another state championship. That’s a couple of runners running five seconds faster over a 3.1-mile course. That’s how close the Eagles came from keeping their state-championship streak alive.
“We know it’s going to be close,” Morales said. “The team that is more focused and mentally prepared is going to win. Any of us can take it, we just have to fight and be prepared for anything.”
On a weekend where El Paso athletes won six medals – four of them gold – at the UIL State Track and Field Championship, five track and field athletes turned in city-best performances.
On the boy’s side, Franklin junior Etiwe Omajuwa won gold in the Class 6A 400-meter run in a city-best time of 46.51, which is also the fifth fastest high school time in the United States.
A pair of Coronado seniors – Grant Levesque and Liam Walsh – accomplished city-best marks, in the pole vault for Levesque (16-feet, 6-inches) and in the 1,600-meter run for Walsh (4:16.47).
Levesque won gold in the Class 6A pole vault and was was 9th in the 110-hurdles in a time of 14.75.
Walsh’s 1,600-meter time was good enough for sixth place in Class 6A. He also finished 4th in the 800-meter run in 1:53.81.
Coronado senior Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy won gold in the Class 6A 800-meter race, finishing in 2:07.40 and Chapin senior Meghan Tualamalii won silver in the Class 5A shot. She threw a season best 41-feet, 4.75 inches.
Other state medalist:
*San Elizario sophomore Edwin Gomez won gold in the Class 4A 800 in 1:56.32. He also earned two bronze medals – in the 3,200 (9:31.46) and in the 1,600 meters in 4:17.57.
*Burges senior Joshua White who earned a bronze medal in the Class 5A 400-meter run. He finished the race in 49.00.
*Hanks junior Michael Abeyta earned a bronze medal in the Class 5A 1600-meter run in 4:16.59. He was fourth in the Class 5A 800-meter in 1:55.10.
*Eastlake sophomore Makeia Ray won bronze in the high jump. She leaped 5-feet, 5-inches.
Other state athlete finishes:
*Parkland junior Donta Hayes who finished 7th in the triple jump in Class 5A. He jumped 45-feet, 8.5 inches.
*Tornillo junior Ofir Ortega finished 8th in the Class 3A 3200-meter run in 10:04.81.
*Burges senior Christian Matamoros placed 7th in the Class 5A high jump with a 6-feet,4-inch leap.
*Parkland sophomore Angelina Lujan-Marrufo was 5th in the Class 5A 800-meter run. She ran a 2:17.04.
*Eastlake senior Aeriel Garcia finished the season 9th in the state in the 1600-meter run. She finished the race in 5:31.15.
TAPPS 6A Championship
Cathedral senior Brandon Seagreaves won the 3200-meter TAPPS state championship in a state-record time of 9:16.25 and the 1,600-meter in 4:29.48.
Leo Gerardo won the 800-meter run for the Irish in 1:58.10.
Cathedral’s 1,600-meter relay team of Leo Gerardo, Juan Pablo Lopez, Githin Johny and Brandon Seagreaves took fifth place in 3:27.39.
Here the top 10 track and field male athletes in each race and field event after the state championship:
Discus: 1, Devean Deal, Pebble Hills, 165-feet, 4-inches; 2, Esteban Pena, Mt. View, 161-1; 3, Daniel Espinoza, Ysleta, 159-05; 4, Johnny Cerros, Franklin 158-0; 5, Misael Oriz, Socorro, 157-4; 6, Andrews Bristol, Franklin, 154-4; 7, David Moreno, Jefferson 153-9; 8, Zachary Cyrus Pomele, Pebble Hills, 150-4; 9, David Moreno, Coronado, 149-2; 10, Enrique Medina, Ysleta, 146-5.
Shot put: 1, David Moreno, Jefferson, 53-5.5; 2, Misael Ortiz, Socorro, 53-1.5; 3, Jonathan Lopez, Montwood, 52-11.5; 4, Garrett Strokes, Burges, 52-11; 5, Arturo Jimenez, Horizon, 51-2; 5, Johnny Cerros, Franklin 48-4; 7, Nick Kim, Americas, 48-3.5; 8, Andrew Bristol, Franklin, 48-00.50; 9, Alex Freeman, Burges, 47-10; 10, Dominque Valera, Coronado, 47-7;
High jump: 1, Caleb Gerber, Pebble Hills, 6-8; 2, Christian Matamoros, Burges, 6-7; 2, Evan Chisolm, Americas, 6-4; 4, Adrian Donacio, Eastlake, 6-2; 4, Ethan Villa, Austin, 6-2; 5, Bryan Suarez, Chapin, 6-0; 5, Alec Villa, Hanks, 6-0; 5, Ozzy Araiza, Ysleta, 6-0; 5, Matthew Flowers, Canutillo, 6-0; 5, Dayton Jamierson, Pebble Hills, 6-0; 5, Ivann Alvarez, Americas, 6-0.
Pole vault: 1, Grant Levesque, Coronado, 16-6; 2, Keith Rodriguez, Eastlake, 14-6; 3, Matthew Sanchez, Coronado, 13-8; 4, Evan Perez, Hanks, 12-6; 4, Armando Villa, Americas, 12-6; 4, Daniel Larios, Coronado, 12-6; 4, Daniel Cardenas, Mt. View, 12-6; 8, Luis Holguin, Burges, 12-0; 8, Austin Lara, Del Valle, 12-0; 8, Angel Escalera, Parkland, 12-0; 8, Peter Fogel, Chapin 12-0.
Fourteen area track and field athletes will compete for state titles at the 2019 UIL Track and Field State Meet at the Mike A. Myers Track Complex in Austin.
Four athletes, Coronado seniors Liam Walsh and Grant Levesque, Hanks junior Michael Abeyta and San Elizario’s Edwin Gomez will compete in multiple events.
In Class 6A, Walsh enters the boy’s 800-meter run with a 1:54.42 in what looks to be one of the tightest races of the meet with five runners within 10th of a second of each other. Walsh will also race in the 1600-meter championship. His qualifying time was 4:21.23.
Walsh finished seventh at state in the 800 last year in a time of 1:55.17.
The 800 is scheduled to begin around 5:25 p.m. Saturday and the 1600 at 8:35 p.m. also on Saturday.
Levesque will attempt to earn a medal in the 110-meter hurdles. His regional time was 14.27. He will also compete in the pole vault where he is the top seed (16-feet, 3 inches).
The pole vault is at noon Saturday and the 110-hurdles is at 5:35 p.m. the same day.
He earned a bronze medal in the pole vault last year with a personal and school record mark of 16 feet, 9 inches.
Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy, a Coronado senior, enters the 800-meter race with a regional time of 2:08.93, tops in the state. Lewisville Flower Mound senior Anastaysia Davis is second with a 2:09.26 and Keller’s Isabel Van Camp comes in with the third fastest regional time of 2:10.44.
She earned a bronze medal in the 800 meters at last year’s state meet. Her time was 2:12.73.
That race will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Franklin junior Omajuwa Etiwe is the top seed in Saturday’s 400-meter run. He ran a 46.95 to win the regional meet. His race is at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
In Class 5A, Abeyta will race in the 800-meter run where he posted a state-best 1:53.54 at regionals and the 1600-meter run. His qualifying time was 4:23.68.
Abeyta won gold in the 800-meter run last year in 1:53.38 and finished second in the 1600 in 4:16.53.
The 800 begins at 5:25 p.m. Friday and the 1600 is at 8:55 p.m. also on Friday.
Parkland sophomore Angelina Lujan-Marrufo will make her UIL championship debut in the 800-meter run. She comes in with a 2:16.80. That race is at 5 p.m. Friday.
Burges senior Joshua White will race for a medal in the 400-meter run. His regional 48.01is second fastest in the state. That race begins at 7:15 p.m. Friday. He was 8th last year with a time of 49.60 seconds.
Eastlake senior Aeriel Garcia will test her talents in the 1600-meter run. Her qualifying time was 5:19.21. The 1600 is at 8:55 p.m. Friday.
Eastlake sophomore Makeia Ray comes into the girl’s high jump competition with the second-best jump in the state, soaring 5-feet, six inches. The high jump begins at 7 a.m. Friday.
Burges senior Christian Matamoros leaped 6-feet, 7-inches at regionals in the high jump, placing him tied for second in the state. The boy’s high jump is at 7 a.m. Friday.
Chapin senior thrower Meghan Tualamalii seeks a medal in the shot put. Her regional mark was 40-feet, 11 inches. The first throw is at 9 a.m. Friday.
Donta Hayes, a junior at Parkland will compete in the triple jump. He leaped to a silver medal at regionals with a 46-feet, 5-inch jump. It begins at 3:45 p.m. Friday.
In Class 4A, San Elizario sophomore Edwin Gomez will race in the 3200-meter run. He ran a 9:54.19 at regionals. He will also race in the 800-meter run where he comes in with a 1:55.70, the state’s fastest time. In addition to that, he will race in the 1600-meter race where his regional time is 4:30.21.
He won state gold in 1,600 (4:23.14) and 3,200 meters (9:38.79) last year.
His races are Saturday starting at 8 a.m. (3200), 5 p.m. (800) and 8:35 p.m. (1600).
In Class 3A Tornillo junior Ofir Ortega made the championship meet as a wild card, meaning his 3200-meter run time of 9:57.24 was the fastest of all the third-place finishers in the four regions. His race will be at 8 a.m. Friday.
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