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Titans run past Barons, eye Mustangs next Phillip Brents | Thu, Oct 28 2010 11:51 PM

Eastlake High's girls cross country team, braced by Sarah Garces, Kayla Lawson, Jenna Garces, Ana Gonzalez, Carly Hintz, Alina Corona and Ridley Gatlin, recorded an impressive 21-38 Mesa League dual meet victory against host Bonita Vista on Oct. 15 at Discovery Park. The win made the youthful Titans the prime challenger to undefeated Otay Ranch for the top spot in the Mesa League standings. 

Eastlake and Otay Ranch are scheduled to collide on the course on Friday, Oct. 29, at ORHS. The boys varsity race steps off at 3 p.m., followed by the girls varsity race at 3:30 p.m.

The Titans trailed the Barons midway through the Oct. 15 race but took command after rushing down what runners affectionately call “the hill” — a deceptively demanding steep rise that can literally take the wind out of the best competitor.

Eastlake sewed up the win by placing four runners ahead of Bonita Vista’s second runner.

Sofia Garcia (14:31) earned medalist honors for the Barons on the 2.3-mile course but she was followed by four opposing runners: Sarah Garces (second, 15:02), Gonzalez (third, 15:06), Jenna Garces (fourth, 15:12) and Lawson (fifth, 15:14). The Titans' four-pack spread was just 10 seconds.

Cristina Hernandez was the second BV runner to cross the finish line, placing sixth in 15:16. But she was followed by two more Titans: Gaitlin (seventh, 15:18) and Corona (eighth, 15:22).

Eastlake flooded the finish line with six of the top eight placers, recording an amazing five-person spread of 16 seconds. The Barons' third and fourth runners came in ninth and 10th with identical times of 15:40.

The Titans went 2-3-4-5-7 to capture the meet by 17 points over the host team, which went 1-6-9-10-12. 

In the boys meet (3.1 miles), Bonita Vista placed four of the top five runners to defeat Eastlake 20-37. Shin Agbede (16:23) and Baron teammate Caesar Castillo (17:04) finished ahead of Trent Warren (17:08), the Titans’ top runner (who had been racing in second place until encountering “the hill” the second time).

The Barons finished the dual 1-2-4-5-8 in scoring. Jose Suarez (17:16) and Jason Hardin (17:20) were fourth and fifth, respectively, while Jacob Sherman (17:27) completed the BV victory parade. Eastlake's Zac Zasueta (17:25) and Sean Stanko (17:26) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Overall, the Barons posted six of the top 10 place-finishers. Eric Hernandez was ninth in 17:36 while Matthew Tong was 10th in 17:53 for Eastlake. 

Otay Ranch remained undefeated in Mesa League duals after sweeping Hilltop by scores of 15-49 (boys) and 15-50 (girls) on Oct. 14. Steven Martinez was the top boys finisher in 16:51 on the 3.1-mile course for the Mustangs while Carina Gillespie set a new course record of 15:31 for 2.5 miles. Gillespie's teammate, Catie LeDesma, had set the previous course record at 15:32 in a dual meet against Bonita Vista on Oct. 1. 

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