Calexico High School senior Daniel Pinela won the Bulldogs’ final Imperial Valley League dual meet against Southwest High of El Centro at Sunbeam Lake near Seeley on Tuesday, March 16. Pinela has qualified for the IVL Championship meet scheduled for Saturday, March 20 at Sunbeam Lake. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO
SEELEY — Calexico High School’s Daniel Pinela won a four-man sprint to the finish in the final Imperial Valley League cross country dual meet as the Bulldogs swept Southwest High of El Centro at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Tuesday.
A pack of four runners, two from Southwest and two from Calexico, separated themselves from the field, and it was Pinela who was able to out-kick the other three and win with a time of 17 minutes, 41.59 seconds over the 3.1-mile course.
Southwest’s Steven Gomez (17:45.68) finished in second place, followed closely by the Eagles’ Miguel Ramirez (17:50.43) and Calexico’s Federico Felix (17:57.88). The Bulldogs won the boys’ race, 23-34.
“It was a solid performance by both (boys’ and girls’) squads to close out the season,” said Mariano Velez, Calexico High’s athletic director. “I am so proud of these athletes and coaches for their hard work this season.”
In the girls’ race, Southwest’s Sidney Garcia took the top spot with a time of 20 minutes, 53.01 seconds. However, it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs had the next four finishers and won the dual meet, 24-31.
Elizabeth Hernandez, freshman, Southwest (31:06.57)
In the other final IVL dual-meets on Tuesday, March 16, Imperial High swept Palo Verde of Blythe in both the boys’ and girls’ races, and Central Union got walkover wins against Brawley as the Wildcats didn’t have enough runners to record a team score in either the boys’ or girls’ race.
Imperial junior Natalie Lopez (21:24.23) led the Tigers to a 15-50 win in the girls’ event, while Imperial senior Aidan Vargas (17:49.57) led the Tigers to a walkover win in the boys’ race.
Brawley’s Jaasiel Contreras (21:55.63) continued her dominance in IVL dual meets, but her team only had four runners as Central got the walkover win against the Wildcats. On the boys’ side, the Spartans’ Michael Zuniga (16:53.95) led the way as Central got the walkover win.
The IVL championship meet is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 20 at Sunbeam Lake as the runners with the top 15 times this season will meet in both a girls’ and boys’ race.