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Garcia second in senior race at Laguna Hills Invitational

Noelle Garcia finished second in the Division I girls senior race at cross-country’s Laguna Hills Invitational September 13.

Garcia had a time of 18:05 on the 3.0-mile course to place second among the 85 girls in that race. The senior race winner, Jessica Chadwick of El Toro High School, had a time of 17:55.

“She ran a smart solid race from beginning to end,” Fallbrook coach Troy Hamlin said of Garcia.

Garcia was leading the race at the one-mile point before being overtaken by Chadwick. A total of 1,528 girls from all grades and divisions competed in the Laguna Hills Invitational, and Garcia’s time ranked 19th overall.

“To be 19th out of 1,500 is quite an accomplishment,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin was also impressed with Garcia’s improvement over her 2007 time of 19:57. “That’s a huge improvement,” Hamlin said. “She’s working hard, she’s fit, and everything’s going great.”

Medals were given to the top 40 finishers in each race, and four Warrior girls earned medals at the Laguna Hills Invitational. Olivia Tidd also earned a medal in the senior race, finishing 31st with a time of 20:15.

Two other Warriors also competed in the senior race. Carrie Jercinovich placed 60th in the race with a time of 22:32 while Angeline Puranen finished 65th at 22:47.

Fallbrook’s 2007 team included freshman Kristin Parry, who moved with her family to Dana Hills during the Summer and now attends Dana Hills High School. Parry won the Division I girls sophomore race at the Laguna Hills Invitational with a time of 17:28. “Put her back on this team and things would have been different,” Hamlin said.

Despite Parry’s transfer, Fallbrook still earned a medal in the sophomore race. Amanda Mulkey, who participated in some junior varsity races in 2007 and ran last year’s Laguna Hills Invitational in 20:55, improved her time to 19:12 and finished 13th among the 183 Division I sophomore girls.

Fallbrook narrowly missed a second medal in the sophomore race when Julie Cramer finished 41st with a time of 20:56. Cramer had a time of 24:52 in the 2007 freshman race. “It’s pretty impressive,” Hamlin said of Cramer’s improvement.

In her first-ever three-mile race, Tamzen Sommer placed 59th in the sophomore race with a time of 21:26. Courtney Bode’s 91st-place finish at 22:37 closed out the top half of the race’s finishers.

Fallbrook’s fourth medal was given for the freshman race, where Mercedes Cortes took 36th place with a run of 21:18.

Fallbrook’s only participant in the girls junior race was Chelsea Carpenter, who placed 58th among the 106 runners with a time of 22:12. Carpenter had run the 2007 sophomore race in 24:10.

“The girls had a really good day all in all. We had some really good things happen,” Hamlin said.

The race was hosted by Laguna Hills High School. “I’d say it’s a moderately tough course with a monster hill at the end,” Hamlin said.

A total of 20 Fallbrook girls competed in the Laguna Hills Invitational. “I think we have a solid nucleus at this point,” Hamlin said of his team.

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