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Four Warrior girls medal at Woodbridge Invitational

Four members of Fallbrook High School’s girls cross-country team earned medals at the Woodbridge Invitational in Irvine September 20 for being among the top 90 finishers in their race.

The varsity race saw Noelle Garcia finish 13th, Olivia Tidd place 58th, and Amanda Mulkey earn 74th among the 178 runners. In the freshman girls race Jessica Jamison finished 47th among the 198 competitors.

The varsity race was the only girls race in which Fallbrook fielded a full team of at least five runners. Fallbrook finished 13th among the 22 full teams.

“I was glad that we finished where we did,” said Fallbrook coach Troy Hamlin.

A total of 34 girls teams competed at the Woodbridge Invitational. Fallbrook had four freshmen girls participate, and Carrie Jercinovich was the only Warrior in the junior varsity race.

Jercinovich, who finished 102nd, was the Warrior who came closest to a medal without receiving one.

Fallbrook was one of three schools from the San Diego Section to field full varsity teams and finished ahead of the other two San Diego Section schools.

“I’m really pleased with the way they ran,” Hamlin said. “All in all it was a successful evening.”

The race was run at night under artificial lighting. “The kids really enjoy running at night,” Hamlin said.

The race also utilizes varsity teams rather than grade-level races, which is why Fallbrook competed in the Woodbridge Invitational while many San Diego Section schools ran that day in the Mount Carmel Movin’ Shoes Cross-Country Invitational at the Morley Field course in San Diego.

“It allows us to run a varsity team. Most of the other meets this early are age group,” Hamlin said.

That allowed several Warriors to participate in an actual varsity race. “We’re looking at four runners who are brand new to the varsity level,” Hamlin said. “All in all they really stepped up and rose to the occasion.”

Garcia, who finished the 2007 three-mile race in 18:53, completed this year’s race in 18:42. She completed the first mile in 5:50 and actually led for part of the race.

“To lead that race for a mile even is quite an accomplishment in and of itself,” Hamlin said.

Tidd improved her time in the Woodbridge Invitational race from 20:00 in 2007 to 19:38 this year. Her time of 6:16 after one mile surpassed her previous 2008 best of 6:29.

Mulkey, who did not run the 2007 race, had a time of 20:08 after completing the first mile in 6:03.

Julie Cramer’s time of 20:57 was a course personal record by 2:44 and gave her 118th place. Freshman Mercedes Cortes placed 146th at 21:39.

Courtney Bode’s 150th-place time of 21:51 was a personal record by 1:02, and Chelsea Carpenter finished 159th at 22:23 while improving her course personal record by 3:36.

“We certainly have room for improvement,” Hamlin said. “What we’ve got to do in order to be more a competitive team is we’ve got to move our 4-5 runners closer to our 1-2-3 runners.”

Jamison ran her first career cross-country race at the Woodbridge Invitational and had a time of 21:26. “It was just an outstanding performance,” Hamlin said.

Jercinovich posted a time of 22:30 in the junior varsity race.

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