SEELEY — Imperial Valley League cross country commenced Saturday, Oct. 9, at Sunbeam Lake in Seeley where seven schools competed for IVL 1 bragging rights.
Imperial scored 60 points in the men’s division, which was enough to beat out Central (38) and Brawley (27). For the women’s division, Palo Verde marked 183; Brawley, 107; Holtville, 104; Central, 89; Southwest, 83; Calexico, 74; and Imperial, 46.
The format for each meet comes down to two races. One for girls’ varsity and then boys’ varsity.
The top three times for the boys was as followed: (Southwest) Steven Gomez 16:46.11, (Brawley) Archie Olivera 16:48.82, and (Holtville) Julian Reyna 17:13.88.
For the ladies, (Southwest) Sidney Garcia 20:05.55, (Central) Azucena Hernandez 20:15.89, and (Holtville) Lilian Strahm 20:23.24 marked the top three spots.
“My team did really well today,” said Imperial head cross country coach, Athena Nuno. “We had a lot of student-athletes who broke personal records today. My girls and guys were really excited when they crossed that line and saw their times. We had a lot of low 20s. Some of them shaved from 30 seconds up to a minute off their time.”
As per coaches, the cooler weather possibly attributed to more student athletes meeting their personal records.
“Daniel Ortega and Natalie Lopez always do well but the one that really stood out for me today was Angelique Graham who recently came off an injury and shaved a minute off her time,” said Nuno.
According to coaches, Graham sustained a hamstring injury and hadn’t been able to run right for nearly three weeks.
“So (for her), to have shaved the amount of time that she did, made me really proud,” said Nuno. “All of us coaches really get along and work together to make sure that it’s an enjoyable experience for all of the athletes. We all try to encourage everyone. It’s not only an individual sport or team sport, it’s a Valley sport and we want to make sure we support each other throughout it all.”