Over 40 Roadrunners traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete at the USATF Junior Olympic National championships on Dec. 12. To qualify the team must place among the top 30 individuals or top five teams in Southern California and the Region XV meet held in Las Vegas. The event was held at Balloon Festival Park at over 3,000-foot altitude. Despite adverse conditions, the team had four All Americans with the 15-16 boys team placing second overall.
Weather conditions were not ideal as the runners in the early races ran in sub 40 degree temperatures and pouring rain, thus making the course muddy. Alexis Fallejo (San Gabriel Valley) was the lone Roadrunner qualifier competing in the 8-under girls division running 9:18.4 for the 2,000-meter course. There were 197 finishers in the race. Alexis placed 49th overall. The 8-under boys team placed eighth in the nation with 227 competitors. Jayson Lopez (Redlands) was the top Roadrunner taking 69th overall with 9:06.2. Ahris Mayorga (Highland) who just started running one month prior placed 93rd with 9:17.6. Jonathan Cisneros (Covina) placed 100th with 9:21.3 followed by teammate Prince Watkins (Rialto) in 102nd with 9:22.3.
The team ran well, exceeding coaches’ goal of top 10 in the nation.
Allura Markow (San Bernardino) ran a strong race to place 30th in the 9-10 girls age group with 294 finishers. Allura ran 12:49.2 for the 3,000-meter course. It was still raining during her race. Dhannasshy Sanchez (Riverside) placed 172nd with 14:32.0 running in only her uniform braving the cold environment and she ran well in her first National championship event. Isaic Moreno (San Bernardino) was the top Roadrunner placing 122nd with 13:10.4 for the 3,000-meter race. Anthony Cisneros (Covina) placed 172nd with 13:42.3 . There were 306 finishers in the race.
The 11-12 girls team placed 15th overall despite missing several of its top seven runners at the meet. Jennifer Lopez (Redlands) ran 12:24.2 to place 47th as the top Roadrunner. Allison Ear (Diamond Ranch) placed 75th with 12:37.1. Emma Miller (Loma Linda) was the teams #3 runner placing 182nd with 13:25.9. Jimena Muro (Walnut) had a big improvement as the #4 runner placing 204th with 13:41.6. Maya Barcelo (San Gabriel Valley) was the fifth scoring runner placing 216th with 13:54.1. There were 300 finishers and 24 teams competing.
The 11-12 boys team ran with a bare minimum of five runners placing 20th as a team. Alex Miller (Loma Linda) completed the 3,000-meter course in 11:22.7 to finish among the top 50 with 43rd place. Angel Medrano (Baldwin Park) placed 116th with 12:02.4. Glenn Bell (Fontana) place 171st in his first national championship with 12:24.4. Arian Mayorga (Highland) just started running with the team a month prior placed 191st with 12:33.6. Angel Osorio (Colton) was the key fifth runner placing 296th with 14:33.6. The team was lacking two key top five runners at this meet. There were 312 finishers in this age group race.
The 13-14 girls team ran the bare minimum of five runners due to key runners competing at the high school state championships. The team placed 27th on the 4,000-meter course. Lindsay Calderon (Apple Valley) placed 139th with 17:27.7. Caitlin Miller (Loma Linda) placed 169th with 17:43.3 as the course got more and more slushier from the rain.
The 13-14 boys team placed fifth overall with over 345 competitors in the race. Kevin Ramos (Riverside) led the race for 3,000 meters before getting caught and finished second overall for All American honors running 13:30.6 on the 4,000-meter course. Jacob Moran (Phelan) just missed All American honors taking 31st overall with 14:35.3. Andres Duran had a big improvement despite only running for two months placing 58th overall with 14:50. Jordi Piero (Apple Valley) placed 103rd with 15:10.1. Leonardo Valencia (Riverside) was the fifth scorer placing 121st with 15:21.2. Others on the team included Antonio Diaz (Upland, 161st, 15:37.8), Thomas Ear (Diamond Ranch, 194th, 15:51.4) and Trevor Benson (Claremont, 207th, 15:56.9).
The 15-16 boys team ran well and took second overall in the team competition with three runners achieving All American status (top 25). Erik Gonzalez (Riverside) placed ninth overall with 17:29.6 over the 5,000-meter course. Tyler Florez (Riverside) placed 12th with 17:32.7. Humberto Guzman (Riverside) had big improvement placing 18th overall with 17:51.7. Michael Ramirez (Grand Terrrace) just missed becoming an All American taking 26th overall with 18:01.5. Max Balderas (San Dimas) was the fifth runner placing 69th overall with 18:51.8. Others on the team included Alexis Cacique Vargas (Riverside, 103rd, 19:20.9) and Jesus Moratoya (Riverside, 117th, 19:27.8). There were 219 finishers in the race.
The Roadrunner coaches thank all the runners for their hard work and dedication and making the commitment to compete and strive to become a Junior Olympians.