Othello cross-country returns top boys

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Boys who ran 15 of the top 22 times with last year’s cross country squad will return for the 2017 season. Sophomore David Maldonado sets the pace for the Huskie pack attack.

“David is our number one runner coming back,” coach JJ Martinez said. “Our boys’ team should be pretty competitive.”

Maldonado completed the three mile course at the CWAC District meet in 18:07. Carter Freeman finished next at 18:59. Alexis Silva, Jeremy Mendez, Jovani Espindola and Chris Melo were the next four fastest returning Othello runners.

Grace Goddard, who moved in last year and established a spot as the top girl runner, moved out this year.

“On the girls’ side, we lost our number one runner-she moved again,” Martinez said.

Iyalhye Barraza is the only graduating senior among the top 8 girls. Lori Gomez and Brissa Valenciano are the top two returning girls. Rounding out the top competitors on the girl’s side are Yesica Neponuceno, Georgia Bunch, Renae Beshere and Monica Vasquez.

“Brissa getting state experience in track will help her,” Martinez said. “She will be hungry for success.”

Although some of the cross-country athletes are not primarily runners, Martinez feels they what they get out of the sport will depend on what they put into it.

“Chris Melo’s sports are soccer and wrestling and cross country is just a sport for him to keep in shape,” Martinez said. “But when he runs, he is competitive and that is why he has so may personal records in cross country.”

Last year was a down year, but the previous year the girls were 6-3 and the boys were 7-2.

“The team goal is to get back into the winning season mode-to be competitive,” Martinez said.

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