(Updated on Wednesday, March 3, to include cross-country results from Tuesday, March 2.)
SEELEY — Calexico High School junior Brianna Gallegos and senior Madison Longton powered the Bulldogs’ girls’ cross-country team to an Imperial Valley League dual-meet victory over Central Union High at Sunbeam Lake near Seeley on Saturday, Feb. 27.
Calexico won the girls’ race, 24-31, with Gallegos earning the top spot in the 3.1-mile run with a time of 22 minutes, 11.80 seconds. Longton came in a close second with a time of 22 minutes, 16.98 seconds.
“I was very confident throughout the race. It was a really competitive race in the beginning,” Gallegos said. “I really enjoyed being able to run with my teammates and get better than our first race.”
The IVL cross country season is being run at Sunbeam Lake Park every Saturday and Tuesday. The only exception is when a team is scheduled to travel to Palo Verde of Blythe on a Tuesday.
“Today we saw a lot of improvement in our squad,” Luis Rodriguez, Calexico’s girls’ cross country coach, said on Saturday. “The kids are getting back that feeling of racing every week.”
Clarissa Gonzales was the top finisher for Central, taking third with a time of 22 minutes, 59.55 seconds.
The results from the girls’ race were:
Brianna Gallegos, junior, Calexico (22:11.80)
Madison Longton, senior, Calexico (22:16.98)
Clarissa Gonzales, senior, Central (22:59.55)
Andrea Garcia, junior, Calexico (23:09.75)
Kayla Mesa, junior, Central (25:30.92)
Leslie Linarez, sophomore, Central (25:35.92)
Jocelyn Olague, freshman, Central (26:26.42)
Sarha Ojeda, junior, Calexico (28:09.00)
Rebeca Gonzales, freshman, Calexico (28:18.01)
Myla Mora, freshman, Central (28:20.23)
Estrella Estrada, sophomore, Central (33:30.15)
On Tuesday, March 2, at Sunbeam Lake, the Bulldogs’ girls’ team lost a close race against Imperial, falling 28-29. Tigers’ senior Natalie Lopez (21:10.55) finished as the top runner.
The Central Union boys’ squad had four of the top-five finishers on Saturday, Feb. 26, and defeated Calexico, 20-36, in their IVL dual-meet at Sunbeam Lake Park.
For the Spartans, it was senior Michael Zuniga (17:27.93) finishing in first place, followed by teammate, senior Pedro Carrion (17:35.96). Senior Daniel Pinela (17:48.61) was the Bulldogs’ top runner in third place, followed by Central senior Edgar Mendez (19:07.17) in fourth and Spartans’ sophomore Daniel Zavala in fifth (19:59.42).
The boys’ results were:
Michael Zuniga, senior, Central (17:27.93)
Pedro Carrion, senior, Central (17:35.96)
Daniel Pinela, senior, Calexico (17:48.91)
Damian Torres, senior, Calexico (20:24.56)
Luis Jimenez, freshman, Calexico (20:36.58)
Hector Lopez, junior, Central (21:13.13)
Jacob DeSantiago, senior, Calexico (21:20.47)
William Wright, sophomore, Central (22:18.40)
Angel Chavez, senior, Calexico (23:44.70)
Francisco Vargas, sophomore, Central (28:28.59)
The Bulldogs’ boys’ squad rebounded on Tuesday, March 2, beating Imperial, 23-32, in their IVL matchup. Imperial’s Aidan Vargas (17:52.66) came in first place, edging Calexico’s Jesse Hernandez (17:56.92) by four seconds.
The other boys’ dual meet from Tuesday, March 2, saw Southwest get a walkover win against Holtville as the Vikings’ failed to field enough runners to record a team score. Holtville senior Alan Jimenez won his third consecutive dual meet with a time of 16 minutes, 00.41 seconds.
The next round of IVL dual meets is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, at Sunbeam Lake as Holtville takes on Brawley at 8 a.m., followed by Palo Verde of Blythe against Calexico at 9 a.m. and Southwest vs. Imperial at 10 a.m.
Southwest Gets Walkover vs. Brawley
Southwest High School’s boys’ and girls’ teams got walkover wins against Brawley as the Wildcats were unable to field enough runners to register a team score in either race.
This is the second consecutive week the Wildcats weren’t able to field enough runners to register a team score.
Eagles’ sophomore Steven Gomez won the boys’ race with a time of 18 minutes, 8.95 seconds. Brawley’s Jaasiel Contreras won the girls’ event with a time of 20 minutes, 38.26 seconds.
Elizabeth Hernandez, freshman, Southwest (30:10.79)
Southwest’s next dual meet comes against Holtville on Tuesday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. at Sunbeam Lake. Brawley has a bye on Tuesday, but will run against the Vikings on Saturday, March 6, at Sunbeam Lake.
Tigers Take a Bite Out of Vikings
After having a bye the first weekend of competition, the Imperial boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams came out strong on Saturday, beating Holtville in both races.
The Tigers won both the boys’ and girls’ races by identical, 23-38, scores.
Vikings’ senior Alan Jimenez continued to set a blistering pace this season, setting a season-best 15 minutes, 52.25 seconds time to win the boys’ race. Imperial took seven of the next eight spots to claim the team victory.
Holtville freshman Lillian Strahm won her second consecutive IVL dual meet, finishing with a time of 20 minutes, 53.23 seconds.