Penguin XC and Track Club excel at regional meet
11 Runners Qualify for
ALAMOSA — The Penguin running club has had a successful season thus far. Competing in the United States of America Track and Field (USATF) Junior Olympic series this fall has proven to be rewarding for the harriers of the San Luis Valley. Over 50 youths from around the valley have joined the club this year. After a few weeks of practice, the Penguins put their mental and physical fitness to the test. The first Junior Olympic competition took place in Lyons, Colorado, where 43 Penguin runners competed against 10 other clubs from Colorado at the USATF Colorado Association Junior Olympic Championships on November 9th at Bohn Park. The runners did fantastic, qualifying 6 teams and all 43 individuals to regionals.
USATF Region 10 Junior Olympic Championships at the Santa Ana Golf Club in New Mexico, just outside of Albuquerque took place on November 16th. Again the Penguins stepped their game and toed the line with the best youth runners from New Mexico, West Texas area, Arizona, and Colorado. In the 8 and under girls
Shae Romero was 11th, Mila Cisneros was 43rd and Faith Crowder was 45th out of 87 girls. In the boys 8 and under division Caden Graber was 15th and Diego Vasquez Gamboa was 78th out of 94 boys. Next up was the 9&10 girls. In 8th was Angelina Molina, 45th Braelyn Cisneros, 75th Daelyn Jackson,
83rd Hannah DeLaCerda, 106th Camryn Zook, 109th Heidi Heersink out of 126 runners. The boys 9-10 followed with Christian Gamboa in 37th, 38th Donicio Navares, 64th Landon Crowder, 76th Jaxtin Lester, 84th Gavin Graber, and 119th Gavin Heglund out of 120 competitors. The girls
11-12 toed the line, Araceli Molina was 5th, 23th Vanessa Villalva, 24th Victoria Gifford, 28th Jayden Wubben and 62th Bailey Graber out of 131 runners. The team finished 5th out of 13 teams.
The boys 11-12 followed: 47th Rodolfo Gonzalez, 66th Jeremiah De La Cerda, 93th Mason Shipp, 105th Adlai Gardner, 107th Brody Artaechevarria, and 126th Gabriel Mora out of 133. Next up was the girls 13-14: In 24th was Elizabeth McQuitty, 59th Olivia Imre, and 71st Desiree Reveles out of 121 runners.
The boys 13-14 finished, 15th Isaac Higareda, 48th Mario Villalba, 67th Dylan Crowder and 106th Cody Williams out of 118. The final Penguin competitor was 25th place finisher, Izaiah Casanova, in the 15-18-year-old division.
At the conclusion of the regional 90% of the Penguin, runners had run their fastest time of the season. The club will now send 9 runners to the USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in Madison, WI at the Yahara Hills Golf Course on December 14th. Shae Romero, Caden Graber, Angelina Molina, Araceli Molina, Vanessa Villalva, Victoria Gifford, Jayden Wubben, Bailey Graber and Elizabeth McQuitty will all make the trek to JO Nationals.
Note: Isaac Higareda and Izaiah Casanova qualified for nationals but will not compete this year. All in all, it has been a great season and thanks to all the coaches, parents and supporters for creating these opportunities for our youth. Good luck Penguins at Nationals!