The Norte Vista Cross Country team had an early start on Saturday morning, which involved boarding a bus at 5:30 am to Don Knabe Park in Cerritos, California. This was our team’s opportunity to show off our progress, since many of our athletes have been training since June during our 6 am practices. This race was not a disappointment in the slightest and many of our runners did an incredible job showing off the hard work that they have put in throughout the summer..
Freshmen boys ran the first race of the day. Athletes Mark Landa, Alex Nieto, and Emmanuel Reyes made their season debut this race. Mark Landa led the charge, breaking out with 19:54.4, which is an impressive time for a Freshman athlete. Landa is truly going to be someone to watch in thefuture given his performance at the race. Alex Nieto was just behind him at 20:07.1, giving him an opportunity to break the next barrier and build his way up to the top. Emmanuel Reyes wrapped up our freshmen boys place in the race with a time of 21.00, giving an incredible display of the hard work he has put in this summer.
Our freshmen girls were next, including Emily Cardenas, Ashley Magana, Citlaly Ruiz, Violette Valencia and Nataly Joya. Emily, Ashley, and Citlaly dominated in their first cross country race coming in the top 15. Both Emily and Ashley broke the 21 minute barrier that many girls strive to reach. Citlaly was not far behind with a 21:42. Violette had an incredible breakthrough race with a 22:49, demonstrating that the hard work and dedication she has shown during practice has paid off. We look forward to seeing their growth as the rest of the season unfolds..
We also witnessed an immense amount of maturity from our athletes in relation to injuries and performance. Nataly had an unfortunate ankle pain that started to bother her in practice and affected her ability to continue running. She did an incredible job getting out at the start, but the pain showed to be too great and she made a wise decision by electing not to finish the race while she was injured. Although she was unable to finish, it did not stop her from supporting her teammates throughout the day.
The 3rd race of the day was our boy’s varsity, which included all of our juniors and seniors. Seniors Mario Arce and Ivan Vargas led the team by working right next to each other the entire race. Both of the athletes came out with times below 16:20, which push the depth of our team and reveal personal records for the two young men.. Junior Eric Olivo also broke his personal record by finishing third for our team with a time of 17:33. More notable accomplishments came from Juniors Javier Ruiz and Raul Chavez, who have been making incredible improvement by breaking the 21 minute mark by more than 30 seconds.
The girl’s varsity race was also exciting, since it gave our ladies the chance to run with some of the fastest girls in Southern California. Senior Lissett Nieto led the varsity girls with a 20 second personal record for herself. Junior Annhie Rios was right behind her despite having some knee pain this summer and managed to match her personal record in this race. Giselle and Julia both ran incredible times and personal records while working together nearly the entire race. Making her debut today was junior Johari who did an incredible job keeping her head up and starting off with a great time.
The sophomore boy’s race was an exciting race because all of our athletes have made an incredible jump from their previous year. Ernesto dominated the race by winning first place with a 40 second lead on second place. . Although he was by himself, he ran an incredible time of 15:25. Two athletes we have been waiting to see race are Gabriel Mendez and Jonathan Martinez. These two have been working tremendously hard over the summer and it was easy to see something great was on the rise. Both of these young men broke the 18 minute barrier, adding much more depth and a competitive edge to the team. Other notable athletes that broke their personal records are Anthony Torres-Martinez, Carson Menter, Isaac Zuniga, and Miguel Juarez.As a team they came out with a 2nd place team finish among all D2 schools.
The sophomore girls race was the last race of the day, but certainly did not lack excitement. Makayla Koshmerl led the girls race with a 2nd place finish and dove deeper into the mid 19s. Amelia Mercado battled injuries all summer and ran a smart race by not pushing her limits so that she could avoid further injury. . She did an incredible job by coming in the top 15, and we are hoping that we can help her recover so that she’s ready for the remainder of the season.. Daniela Rocha also had an incredible performance and managed to break her personal record by nearly 2 minutes. . Rounding out the scoring team were Angelica Casas Murillo and Sofia Hernandez, who picked up as many spots as they could and ultimately helped the team win first place for D2.
Our next invitational will be Hemet’s Bulldog invite on September 14th, and we are excited to see how well our team will compete in preparation for our first league race.