The Eastwood Cross Country team proved yet again that they are some of the most successful and diligent runners in El Paso. The team competed at the Centennial Hawks XC Challenge at Centennial High School on September 28 in Las Cruces and at the McNeil XC Invitational on October 5 in Round Rock, Texas.
At the Centennial Hawks XC Challenge, the team took first place in the Girls Varsity 5k Run, first in the Boys Varsity 5k Run. Both JV teams also won first place.
The team also had triumphant success at the McNeil Invitational this past weekend. “Our boys got first place and are now ranked third in the state, and our girls got fifth place and are ranked eleventh in the state,” Coach McLain said.
Sophomore Diana Martell competed in the Gold Girls event at the McNeil Invitational and placed 82nd out of 196 runners. “I believe that each runner has certain qualities that make our team successful. We all have determination, dedication, strength, perseverance, and a mindset to become the best we can be,” Martell said. “It’s also a great experience competing away from home because you get to race against many different people with different standards, and even though there is a lot of stiff competition, it just motivates us to become even better athletes.”
Eastwood girls and boys teams, varsity and JV, won the Burges/Jefferson meet on Saturday, October 12th at the Horizon Golf and Conference Center, to remain undefeated in area meets. Anna Mora finished 2nd individually, just 2 seconds behind, and Brian Casillas led the boys, also with a 2nd place finish. “What makes us perform well is our team unity,” said Mora. “We are a family; we believe in each other, train hard, and believe in our coach.”
Mora, who is the younger sister of former Eastwood cross-country standout Richard Mora, credits her older brother with getting her started as a runner. “As long as I can remember, I wanted to be just like him-- do whatever he did,” Mora said, “and I just started running cross-country at middle school because he was doing it here at Eastwood.” And the rest is history. She is dedicated to training and improving so she can earn a division I scholarship to run in college and major in mechanical engineering.
The teams will compete for the district title next Saturday, October 26, at the Chamizal National Memorial, pending developments with the government shutdown. An alternate site has not yet been determined. Both teams are favorites for the district title, but these athletes are not inclined to take anything for granted. “We’re successful because we work hard and train intelligently,” added Mora. “That is a tradition here at Eastwood, and we intend to continue it.”
The Varsity Cross-Country teams: Girls-- Jr. Anna Mora, Sr. Carissa Pinon, Jr. Vanessa Parra, Jr. Eden Buntyn, Jr. Dominique Blancas, Jr. Elise McLain, and So. Diana Martell. Boys-- Sr. Brian Casillas, So. Paul Truax, Jr. Deric Martinez, Sr. Ruben Campos, Jr. Christopher Wallace, Jr. Matthew Munoz, and Jr. Jose Silva.