Sep. 21 2019: 14,000 athletes arrived at Norco’s Silverlakes Sports Complex for the 49th annual Woodbridge Invitational. This meet continues to be a favorite among athletes because several of them PR and run the fastest times in the nation. Norte Vista proved to also benefit from the flat course with several athletes getting season best and personal records.
Our team had electrifying performances that had us as coaches excited. We had several athletes make their season debuts in the novice races with Julian Cardona (9), Gerardo Carmona (9), Bryan Hernandez (10), Dulce Aguilera (12), and Nancy Aparicio (12). All of these athletes got their first experience this season and we are all excited to see how much more they improve in the future.
Our freshmen had wonderful performances that make us eager to watch their growth over the next 4 years. Alex Nieto (9) led the freshmen squad scoring in the top 125 out of a field of 400 freshmen athletes, as well as setting a new personal record at 20:02. Emmanuel Reyes (9) had a different flow going through his race and seemed to move effortlessly to a new personal record of 20:42. All 5 girls in their race had an incredible performance as a team with Emily Cardenas (9) leading the charge with an incredible 19:36 5th place finish. The girls team of Cardenas, Ashley Magana (9), Nataly Joya (9), Citlaly Ruiz (9), and Violette Valencia (9) finished 8th out of the 16 scoring teams. These 5 girls have done an amazing job working as a unit and we cannot wait to see them progress in the future.
The sophomores had a great race with Jonathan Martinez (10) leading the boys group and Sofia Hernandez (10) leading the girls pack. Jonathan ran an 18:09, which was a 1:18 improvement from last year. Sofia was another athlete that set a personal record for herself beating her time by 10 seconds at 23:35. She has been putting in a lot of hard work this season and it is starting to show. Anthony Torres-Martinez (10) and Gabriel Mendez (10) have also made tremendous improvements since last year with both getting nearly 2 minutes faster from this time last year.
Our JV team had some great performances with Adrian Marquez leading the boys with a 42 second improvement from last year. Javier Ruiz (11) had a gutsy start where he took a chance to try something new and took out faster than he usually does, which paid off for him running a stronger race overall. Giselle Navarro (11) and Jessica Ramirez (11) showed amazing camaraderie by refusing to let the other fall back or give up in the race. They pushed each other to the finish despite both of them being in pain from their injuries. It is the kind of teamwork that we strive all of our athletes to have on our team.
The varsity races had an exciting performance with Makayla Koshmerl (10) dropping a 19:07 to put herself in the top 25 in the race of mostly Juniors and Seniors. Johari Jauregui (11) made another great improvement, which is great to watch because a sprinter rarely makes their way into cross country. Ernesto Ruiz (10) chased the opportunity to go under 15 min by taking the lead early in the race and fighting to hold that first place position, yet he had an amazing performance of 15:00.6 and a second place finish. Similarly, Ivan Vargas (12) and Mario Arce (12) both were chasing to go under 16 min. While they did not go under the mark, they still had incredible performances with Vargas at 16:01 and Arce 16:06. We hope this keeps the 3 of them hungry to keep pushing themselves in practice to get those marks. Eric Olivo (11) had a similar goal with hoping to go under 17 min. A crazy race it was for him going two even splits for the first 2 miles and dropping an incredible last mile at 5:29 getting him that 16:59 that he set out for himself.
One of the greatest highlights of the meet was Osiel Mendoza (12) in the varsity race. Osiel had started his career 4 years ago with an incredible performance in the 18:30s. It has been difficult for him all these years to get back to that time. This young man has put in countless miles and pushed himself to his limits for so long and at Woodbridge he finally got that PR. He could not believe that he was crossing the line at that time and once finished he bursted into tears of joy. It was one of those rare moments for us as coaches to see one of our athletes to continue to persevere and find a passion for the sport in more ways than their own personal success. Osiel is a stand out individual and he found his way again, and we hope this is the start of a rewarding final season for this 4 year senior.