ROADRUNNERS WIN TEAM  NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

     The Southern California Roadrunners competed at the USATF Junior Olympic Cross Country championships held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas on December 14th coming home with an Individual Champion, 6 All Americans and a National team championship. There were over 3800 competitors from all over the United States that qualified by placing at Association and  Regional championship rounds by either finishing among the top 30 in their respective race or  having a top 5  team finish . Despite being a rebuilding year the team ran well and exceeded expectations at the National meet.

     Allura Markow (San Bernardino) led off the 1st race of the day in temperatures in the  low 40s  placing 71st with 9:17.61 over 2000 meters for the 8-under girls race. Teammate  Angelina Diaz (Upland) placed 122nd with 9:54.42 with  competitors. Stephen Martinez (San Gabrel Valley) placed 160th in his 8-under boys age group with 9::39.03. There were 205 competitors in his race.

     The 9-10 year old girls team placed 16th overall as a team despite missing 1 top runner. Allison Ear (Pomona) was the teams top finisher placing 70th overall with 12:28.96 for the 3000 meter course. Emeline Myung (Rancho Cucamonga) ran 13:09.20 for 139th oveall. Jennifer Lopez (Redlands) in her 1st season of running placed 153rd overall with 13:21.58. Maya Barcelo (San Gabriel Valley) placed 203rd in her first National meet with 14:00.97. Antonia Fallejo (San Gabriel Valley) and teammate Emma Miller (Loma Linda) ran as a team placing 213 and 214 with 14:13.86 and 14:13.91 . There were 308 runners in the race.  Alex Miller (Loma Linda) gained All American Status by finishing among the top 25 in his race. Alex ran 11:12.25 for 19th overall with 329 runners in the race.

     The 11-12 year old girls team placed 14th overall with 37 scoring teams in the race and 428 runners. The team ran without 2 of its traditional top 5 runners and running with only 6 runners  exceeded its goal of top 15. Olivia Paez  (West Covina) earned All American honors taking 9th overall with 11:00.99. Lindsay Calderon (Apple Valley) placed 121st with 11:58.27. Jalina Lindstrom (Apple Valley) ran her best race of the year taking 147th with 12:07.72. Caitlin Miller (Loma Linda) having her best year placed 207th overall with 12:30.36. Teammate Gabriella Rivera (San Gabriel Valley) was close behind with 12:31.46 for 211th place. Myah Peters (Apple Valley) battling the flu still ran 319th overall with 13:18.92.

     The 11-12 boys team ran well with a rebuilt team that could not qualify in 2012 and were the Association  and Region XV team champions.. Despite going against All Star teams from the US the team placed 5th overall out of 33 scoring teams with 391 finishers. Kevin Ramos (Riverside) gained All American Honors by placing 14th overall with 10:27.73 over the 3000 meter course. Andrew Garcia (Redlands) was the teams Number 2 runner placing 55th with 10:56.46. Zachary Nichols (Apple Valley) placed 71st with 11:01.44. Connor Taylor (Redlands) was 80th with 11:04.36 and Thomas Ear (Pomona) despite falling before the finish line placed 83rd wtih 11:05.14. Others on the team were Mario Taveres (Riverside/ 112th/11:13.47), Antonio Diaz (Upland/233/11:54.58) and Michael Leong (Highland/358/13:30.06).

     The 13-14 boys  team won the National team championship with close pack running and were led by individual National champion Erik Gonzalez (Riverside) running 12:59.54 finishing 7 seconds ahead of 2nd place. Jose Castellon (Riverside) gained All American honors by placing 19th overall with 13:29.62. Tyler Flores (Riverside) running his best race placed 26th wtih 13:31.30 just missing All American by .15 seconds. Isiaias Ramirez (Riverside) placed 45th with 13:51.70. Cory Megna (Rancho Cucamonga) was the 5th and final scorer for the team placing 52nd wtih 13:55.23. Teammate Christopher Weiland (Rancho Cucamonga) placed 60th with 13:57.96. Others on the team were Chris Maldonado (Riverside/82nd/14:05.03) , Jesus Guzman (Riverside/ 121/14:18.82) and Alberto Gonzalez (Riverside/247/15:02.15. Alberto gave up his spot on the 8 man squad and ran as an individual to allow Jesus Guzman a chance to compete at the National meet. The race was the largest of the day with 444 runners and 39 teams competing. The rebuilt team follows 2012 2nd place squad that had won the same race in 2011.

     Samantha Aguilar (Mentone) gained All American honors in the 15-16  girls race placing 4th overall with 19:02.71 over the 5000 meter course. There were 152 runners in the race. Roadrunner Alumni Phillip Rocha (San Gabriel Valley) won his 2nd consecutive Junior Olympic National title after winning last year in New Mexico in the Youth division. Since the Team had no team represented due to HS cif competition Phillip was able to defend by being added to the Obriens army team so as not to jeapordize his HS CIF state competition status.Phillip ran 15:47.36 for 5000 meters 15 seconds ahead of perenial rival Jacob Ogden.

     Coaches Sam Gee (Riverside), Luiz Diaz (Pomona), Danny Castro (Walnut) , Stewart Boden (San Bernardino) and Dr. Mike Leong (Highland) are very proud of thier athletes for their hard work, dedication and attitude this season.

The Team will take a break and will resume training January 6, 2014. Workout sites will be announced at a later date.