Fri, Sep 27 2013 01:29 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The 18th annual Mustang/East Hills Realty Invitational, held Sept. 13 at Rohr Park, was the first outing of the 2013 high school cross country season for many South County runners. It’s understandable, according to Otay Ranch coach Ian Cumming, that improvement is destined to take place as the season progresses.
“The North County teams that were there were experienced,” Cumming said. “I think at the end of the season that gap will close. The teams down here are going to get better.”
That already seems to be happening.
Olympian was among the high achievers at last Saturday’s Mt. Carmel Invitational at Balboa Park’s Morley Field by placing second in the Division 2 boys freshman race. The high-flying Eagles placed their five scorers in the top 25 percent of the 239-strong race.
David Wilson paced Olympian with a 12th-place individual finish by covering the 2.95-mile course in 18:05. Following his lead were teammates Diego Arriola (19th, 18:25), Jorge Tajada (30th, 19:01), Sergio Renteria (35th, 19:07) and Tanner Claudio (58th, 20:01).
The Eagles also placed fifth as a team in the 226-deep Division 2 boys sophomore race, led by Isaiah Duenas (17th, 17:25), and were sixth in the 178-deep Division 2 girls freshman race, paced on the 2.75-mile course by Betsabe Ornelas (31st, 19:02).
Bonita Vista was fourth in the Division 1 girls sophomore race, led by Izabela Garcia-Arce (17th, 17:23), Yazelyn Vargas (26th, 17:50), Marleen Aranda (36th, 18:31) and Michelle Steele (46th, 18:58) — all finishers in the top 25 percent of the 180-deep race.
Sweetwater’s Erika Gonzalez was the top Metro finisher in the Division 1 girls senior race, finishing fourth in 16:28, to lead the Red Devils to an eighth-place team finish. Gonzalez was 21st overall among the 1,347 female finishers, inclusive of all divisions.
Otay Ranch’s Darla Osuna was the top Metro finisher in the Division 1 girls junior race, posting an eighth-place finish in 16:57, to lead the Mustangs to a seventh-place team finish.
Sweetwater senior Gerardo Marquillo was the top Metro finisher in the Division 1 senior boys race with a time of 16:11 to finish 10th. Eastlake senior Oliver Abundez was next in 25th place in the 194-deep field in 16:37 as the top Mesa League finisher.
Marquillo was 36th overall in the combined boys field of 1,805 runners.
Sweetwater finished fourth in the team standings behind Loyola, Dana Hills and La Costa Canyon. Two SuHi runners managed to post finishes in the top 20 percent of the field: seniors Carlos Bernal (30th, 16:41) and Alexis Diaz de Leon (33rd, 16:46).
Otay Ranch senior Steven Liu was 43rd in 16:55 to place among the top 25 percent of the race’s finishers.
Among other elite place-finishers:
•Mater Dei Catholic’s Salvador Rodriguez placed second in the Division 2 boys sophomore race in 16:29.
•Castle Park’s Liliana Hakim was 11th in the Division 2 girls freshman race in 18:10.
•Sweetwater’s Carlos Aviles-Sullivan finished 13th in 16:40 in the 245-deep Division I boys sophomore race.
•Eastlake’s Celiese Zasueta placed 13th in 17:02 in the 180-deep Division 1 girls sophomore race.
The 2013 South Bay Invitational steps off Friday at Rohr Park. The race schedule features junior varsity girls (3:30 p.m.), frosh/soph boys (4:10 p.m.), varsity girls (4:40 p.m.), varsity boys (5:10 p.m.) and JV boys (5:40 p.m.). The top 35 varsity runners receive medals; the top three teams receive trophies.
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