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Just out of reach, Cibola just misses top 10 cut at state cross country meet

Local runners gave everything they had at the DI state cross country meet in Phoenix

PHOENIX, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - The Cibola boys cross country team qualified for the AIA DI state cross country meet and had one goal in mind, place in the top 10. The Raiders fell just short finishing 11th out of 20 schools at Cave Creek Golf Course over the weekend.

"They performed as best as they possibly could," Cibola head coach Jose Villasenor said. "It's all a coach can ever ask for."

Chandler claimed the 10th spot with a team score of 235 with a team time of 1:26:12. What's also interesting is that a former Cibola coach is part of the Chandler coaching staff.

"Interesting how things play out sometimes," Villasenor said. "We're trying to get him back here to Yuma."

Villasenor says although his Raiders fell short this year of their top 10 finish goal, there is a lot to be excited about.

"Our top five boys finished in the top 100," Villasenor said. "Of those we have two freshman who really just set the bar pretty high for next year."

Cibola also had four girls qualify for the state meet, senior Isabella Irazola finished 25th with a time of 20:27. Sophomore Lilliam Kamm placed 93rd with a time of 22:51. Junior Angelina Garcia 128th with a time followed by sophomore Elvya Aguilar just :15 seconds behind in 132nd place.

"It was brutal, it almost killed me," Elvya Aguilar said after her first state appearance. "It was fun but like in every race, I regretted my decision but then again I love running."

The 5K race along the rolling hills of Cave Creek Golf Course was grueling for most runners, including Gila Ridge's lone qualifier, senior Eduardo Marquez.

"This is one of the hardest courses of the season," Marquez said. "I did more terrible than last year. I had a disappointing season and tried to give my all in my senior season. These hills they just beat me. They hit me so hard that I almost gave up in the last mile. I knew I had to finish, I could not stop, so I really dug deep and my heart feels like it's about to explode."

These hills they just beat me. They hit me so hard that I almost gave up in the last mile

Gila Ridge senior Eduardo Marquez

Marquez finished 78th win a time of 18:02.

Cibola's top finisher was #1 runner, junior Alan Ornelas who placed 27th with a time of 16:50.

"It was a good experience," Ornelas said. "Next year we should be a powerhouse because we'll return two juniors who will be seniors, three juniors and two sophomores. No one is leaving our team."

Junior Isaiah Lazaro finished 40th with a time of 17:18 says he's very honored to be competing in his second state tournament and loves the team he has surrounding him.

"There's a little extra when it comes to state," Lazaro said. "Everyone is pushing harder. That's why we look at our competitors and always respect them. We know they put in the work just like we did. I really love this team."

Cibola freshman Caius Lastra placed 85th with a time of 18:09. Freshman Gavin Bermudez came in 96th with a time of 18:20:1 followed by sophomore Alex Figueroa right behind in 97th at 18:20.9. Sophomore's Micah Peynado placed 132nd and Daniel Perez 141st.

There's just something about the state atmosphere that just draws the best out of everyone

Cibola head coach Jose Villasenor

"The overall end all is if they are going to pass out," Villasenor said. "Always finish so gassed out and it's just the environment."

In Division II, the Kofa boys team qualified and finished 15th out of 29 schools. Freshman Sabrina Anaya was the lone female qualifier in Division II from the Yuma area and placed 38th with a time of 21:08.

Article Topic Follows: High School Sports
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Scott Gross

Scott Gross joins the KYMA team as the CBS 13 sports director and weather forecaster.

Contact him at scott.gross@kecytv.com.

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