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The boys teams begin the 3.1-mile race at the Imperial Valley League Cross Country Finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Saturday, Nov. 13. Central Union’s boys team took the title while the Imperial girls squad was also crowned champs. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

CROSS COUNTRY: Calexico Girls Take 2nd at IVL Finals

Senior Belen Campos Leads Team With Fourth-Place Finish

SEELEY — Calexico High School seniors Belen Campos and Briana Gallegos finished in the top-six at the Imperial Valley League girls cross country finals and helped the Bulldogs take second overall at Sunbeam Lake Park near here on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Imperial was crowned IVL champs with the top-five Tigers totaling 50 points. Calexico took second with 68, followed by Central Union (74), Brawley Union (92), Southwest (96), Holtville (107) and Palo Verde Valley of Blythe (190).

The overall winner of the girls race was Central Union High senior Azucena Hernandez who completed the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 10.83 seconds. The rest of the top-six runners included Holtville sophomore Lilly Strahm in second (20:43.44), Brawley freshman Jayden Cornejo in third (20:51.56), Campos in fourth (20:56.64), Southwest senior Sidney Garcia in fifth (21:19.84) and Gallegos in sixth (21:20.69).

Calexico High School senior Briana Gallegos, left, tries to catch Southwest senior Sidney Garcia during the home stretch of the Imperial Valley League Finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Saturday, Nov. 13. Garcia was able to hold off Gallegos for the fifth-place finish. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

In the boys race, Central was able to edge out Brawley to win the IVL championship with the Spartans scoring 41 points to Brawley’s 49. Imperial finished third (60), followed by Southwest in fourth (69) and Palo Verde in fifth (122). Calexico and Holtville did not field enough runners to register a final score.

Southwest junior Steven Gomez was crowned IVL champion with his time of 16 minutes, 28 seconds for the 3.1-mile course. He was followed by Brawley junior Archie Olvera (16:30.48), Imperial junior Daniel Ortega (17:14.01), Holtville junior Julian Reyna (17:21.99) and Brawley junior Ryan Garcia (17:32.98).

Calexico’s top finisher was sophomore Luis Jimenez who took eighth place with a time of 18 minutes, 7.4 seconds. Calexico senior Edgar Ramos was the only other Bulldog in the race and he finished 25th with a time of 21 minutes, 38.45 seconds.

All cross country teams will move on to compete in the respective CIF-San Diego Section divisional championships set for Saturday, Nov. 20, at Morley Field in San Diego.

With this being the IVL Finals, the top-10 finishers in both the girls and boys races earn the All-IVL designation.

Calexico High School sophomore Luis Jimenez, left, tries to stay ahead of Southwest High senior Grant Becker at the Imperial Valley League Finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Saturday, Nov. 13. Jimenez finished eighth in the event to earn All-IVL honors for a top-10 finish. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

Girls Top-10 results:

Azucena Hernandez, Central senior (20:10.83)

Lilly Strahm, Holtville sophomore (20:43.44)

Jayden Cornejo, Brawley freshman (20:51.56)

Belen Campos, Calexico senior (20:56.64)

Sidney Garcia, Southwest senior (21:19.84)

Briana Gallegos, Calexico senior (21:20.69)

Natalie Lopez, Imperial senior (21:24.86)

Angelique Graham, Imperial junior (21:27.99)

Elyssa Martinez, Imperial senior (21:52.63)

Lilandra Padilla, Brawley junior (21:59.59)

Boys Top-10 results:

Steven Gomez, Southwest junior (16:28.0)

Archie Olvera, Brawley junior (16:30.48)

Daniel Ortega, Imperial junior (17:14.01)

Julian Reyna, Holtville junior (17:21.99)

Ryan Garcia, Brawley junior (17:32.98)

Jiovani Martin, Central sophomore (17:46.23)

Jaden Martin, Central sophomore (17:55.90)

Luis Jimenez, Calexico sophomore (18:07.04)

Grant Becker, Southwest senior (18:11.22)

Dyson Smith, Brawley freshman (18:24.23)

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