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ACTION in the Interscholastic Middle School Cross Country League resumed yesterday afternoon with student-athletes making their way to the Agueda Johnston Middle School in Ordot.
In the first race of the day, the females took their running talents through a challenging course. With all schools taking running simultaneously, several matches were in store for the day. In one of their two matches scheduled yesterday, the Jose L.G. Rios Lady Voyagers took on the Inarajan Lady Warriors. When the match was all set and done, the Lady Warriors came out victors after picking up the 24-31 victory.
“Our team worked hard and we motivated each other to do our best. It was all about staying mentally strong and focused,” said Inarajan’s Gabrielle Cruz.
At the start of the race, runners from both teams came storming out and jockeyed for position. Heading away from the soccer field and into the campus surroundings, Inarajan’s Gabrielle “Dong” Cruz and Eliza “Little One” Peredo began to separate themselves from the Voyagers’ Alandra Mesa and Elizabeth Quintanilla.
With the girls heading into their second lap, Mesa made up some ground and was able to get past Peredo to maintain second place between the two teams.
With runners making their way up to the final lap around the school’s soccer field, Inarajan’s Cruz was first to emerge for her team and fifth runner overall with a time of 10:42 to give her team an early edge.
“I was very happy and excited that I was the first runner against JLGR to finish. Finishing fifth overall is starting to show that all the hard-work is paying off,” Cruz said.
However, the Voyagers didn’t show any signs of giving up as Mesa was second to finish after clocking a time of 11:23. Despite their school being away from the cross-country scene for several years, the Warriors’ Peredo and teammate Danielle “Ding” Cruz proved why they were still tough competitors as they were the next two to finish. Peredo completed her race in 11:26, while Cruz crossed the line 10 seconds later.
The Lady Voyagers kept the match close at 8-13 when Elizabeth Quintanilla and Abrianni Chargualaf were the second and third runners respectively for their team to finish the 1.5 mile course. The excitement for both teams didn’t end as Inarajan’s Tasi Cruz and JLGR’s Mia Wong battled with one another down the final 100 yards of the race. It was Cruz’s time of 12:44 that edged out Wong by a mere second.
Both teams only needed one more girl to get their fifth runner across the finish line. Trailing not too far behind Cruz and Wong, the Lady Warriors’ Katelyn Chargualaf pushed herself to the limit and gave her team the much-needed nine points to seal the 24-31 victory. Chargualaf finished with a time of 12:47.
Rounding out the top five for the Lady Voyagers was Laura Gombar who recorded an official time of 13:07.
Pirates place four runners in top 10
Continuing her dominance at every meet, Agueda’s Johnecia Mendiola cruised to yet another victory. Mendiola managed to blaze through her home course in 10:07. The Lady Pirates made their presence felt as a whole as well when Adrianna Dupriest and Janiko Gogue took second and third place, respectively. Dupriest finished in 10:33, while Gogue recorded an official time of 10:37.
The battle in the top five slots was filled with intensity as Astumbo Middle School’s Maria Ollat finished two seconds behind Gogue for fourth. Inarajan’s Cruz and Untalan’s Narissa Blaz stayed under the 11-minute mark.
Rounding out the final four spots in the top 10 were: FBLG’s Luvi Rueman (11:04), Lianey De LeonGuerrero (11:09), Jaenalyn Cruz (11:12), and Agueda’s Jaelene Manibusan (11:13).
Interscholastic Middle School Cross Country League action resumes next week Thursday as athletes and fans will travel down south to the hosting Inarajan Middle School Lady Warriors. The boys will begin their race at 4:45 p.m.