The Otay Ranch Mustangs do appear to have what could be a very promising — and very rewarding — end to the 2011 high school cross country season after engineering an 11th place combined finish at this year’s Clovis Invitational, held Oct. 8 in the Central Valley.
The meet included a regional draw of teams not only from California, but from as far away as Idaho.
Carina Gillespie posted a meteoric seventh-place finish among all female runners at the event with a time of 18:19.
The Mustangs finished 11th in the combined field of 136 teams.
The combined girls field comprised 1,431 finishers. Brenda Hernandez was 73rd in 19:16, followed by Juliana Corrao (147th, 19:38), Catie LeDesma (186th, 19:49), Blanca DeLaRocha (199th, 19:54), Marlene Gadea (277th, 20:15) and Andie LeDesma (327th, 20:25).
Steven Martinez (15:38) was the top boys finisher for Otay Ranch by placing 13th overall in the combined field of 1,790 runners. Next up were Zach Velasquez (64th, 16:07), Michael Barker (395th, 17:11), Andres Fernandez (470th, 17:23), Steven Liu (492nd, 17:26), Rodrigo Baza (550th, 17:33) and Anthony McGough (609th, 18:10).
The Mustangs finished 52nd in the combined field of 147 teams.
Sweetwater had the top showcase results among the Metro Conference schools competing in this year’s Southern California Invitational, held Oct. 15 at Guajome Park. The Red Devils’ top finishers included senior Carlos Ponce (fourth among Division I No.1 male runners) and Amparo Gavarain (10th among Division I No. 1 female runners).
Ponce timed 16:21.85 in the 5K boys race while Gavarain timed 21:46.47 in the 5K girls race.
Abinadi Castellanos was fourth for Sweetwater among No. 2 male runners in 16:59.50. George Martinez was third among No. 3 male runners in 16:36.60 while Gerrardo Marquillo (17:12.13) was third and teammate Elias Amador was sixth (17:27.59) among teams' fourth and fifth runners. Also for the Devils, Jose Martinez (17:41.66) was third and Bryan Alvarado (17:56.38) was fifth among team's sixth and seventh runners.
Otay Ranch’s girls team improved to 3-0 in Mesa League dual meets after defeating visiting Olympian, 17-46, on Oct. 14. Catie LeDesma earned medalist honors with a time of 16:12 on the 2.5-mile course.
The Mustangs boys unit improved to 2-1 in Mesa League duals following their 16-47 victory against the Eagles. Velasquez was the top finisher in 16:59 on the 3.1-mile course.
Bonita Vista defeated Mater Dei Catholic on Oct. 14 as Caesar Castillo guided the Barons in the 3.0-mile boys race at Discovery Park with a winning time of 17:05 and Kristen Lamprecht won the 2.25-mile girls race in 15:07.
Jose Suarez was right behind Castillo in the boys race in 17:07. Other top boys varsity times for Bonita Vista included Jacob Sherman (17:12), Alejandro Dominquez (17:27), Kevin Yen (17:57) and Christian Kelley (18:18).
Other top girls times for the Barons included Jennifer Yang (15:14), Clarisa Hernandez (15:24), Claudia Hernandez (15:33), Raelene DeArmas (15:43) and Elena Jurado (15:47).
Eastlake defeated Mater Dei Catholic on Oct. 7 to start the season 2-0 in league dual meets.
In a league dual meet on Oct. 13, Eastlake swept Hilltop in a match-up at the Imperial Beach Pier to extend its perfect dual start to 3-0. Zac Zasueta keyed the EHS boys team to a 26-30 victory by finishing first on the 3.1-mile course in 17:46 while Sarah Garces led the Titan girls team to a 15-50 win with her first-place time of 14:31 over 2.5 miles.
Mesa League Boys Dual Meet Standings
Bonita Vista 3-0
Otay Ranch 2-1
Mater Dei Catholic 0-3
*-Oct. 7 dual result not reported
Mesa League Girls Dual Meet Standings
Otay Ranch 3-0
Bonita Vista 2-1
Mater Dei Catholic 0-3
*-Oct. 7 dual result not reported
South Bay League
Chula Vista’s girls team swept a double dual meet against Southwest and Montgomery Oct. 7 at Rohr Park, winning by identical 15-50 scores. Montgomery defeated Southwest by the same 15-50 margin.
CV’s Mariza Diaz was the top 4K finisher in 16:16. Diaz finished second among Division I senior girls at the Dana Hills Nike Invitational on Sept. 24.
Chula Vista’s boys team also came away with victories against Southwest (15-48) and Montgomery (15-47) while Montgomery slipped past Southwest, 24-32, in the scoring column.
CV’s Juan Perez was the top 5K finisher in 16:55.
In a non-league dual meet on Wednesday (Oct. 19), Hilltop won both ends of a dual match-up against Montgomery at Luckie Waller Park. The Lancer boys prevailed by a score of 25-31 while the HHS girls squad won 22-38.
Montgomery had the top two individuals, however. Alejandro Rosario won the 3.1-mile boys race in 18:39 while Ivette Larios won the 2.5-mile girls race in 17:14.
Hilltop had six of the top eight (and seven of the top 10) place-finishers in the girls dual. Hannah Gallaher (17:16) was second, followed by teammates Emily Riley (17:50) and Natalie Alamo (18:10). Montgomery’s Brandi Sanchez was fifth in 18:16 but was followed by three more Lancers: Liz Lozano (sixth, 18:41), Andrea Garcia (seventh, 18:45) and Andrea Garcia (eighth, 18:47).
Hilltop had totaled six of the top nine place-finishers in the boys meet. Jason Anthony (18:50) and Jordan Griffin (18:59) were second and third, respectively, for the Lancers. Montgomery’s Eduardo Macias was fourth in 19:00. Hilltop’s Ethan Chavira was fifth in 19:02, Montgomery’s Andres Felix was sixth in 19:46. Finishing seventh, eighth and ninth, in order, for the Lancers were Andrew Villasenor (19:55), Ryan Lathan (19:57) and Connor Johnson (19:59).
In a non-league dual meet on Oct. 14, Mater Dei and Montgomery earned split decisions. Mater Dei won the girls match-up 15-50 while the Montgomery boys prevailed 16-39 at Discovery Park.
Montgomery’s Rosario won the3.0-mile boys race in 19:03 while Montgomery’s Kristine Jiao captured the top time in the 2.25-mile girls race in 16:00.