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Three Warrior boys medal at So Cal Invite

Three Fallbrook High School boys earned medals at cross-country’s Southern California Invitational for finishing among the top ten in their races.

The Southern California Invitational, which was held October 18 at Guajome Park, involves runners of equal team seeds competing against each other. Uriel Aguirre was fourth among the #1 runners, Justin Jones placed ninth in the #2 race, and Michael Froboes was fifth among the #4 harriers.

The Warriors, who were without two of their top three runners, placed ninth among the 16 boys teams in the meet. “It didn’t go as well as I was hoping,” said Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias.

Aguirre ran the first mile in 5:12 and completed the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) race in 16:11. The winner, Isaac Chavez of Barstow High School, had a time of 15:46. “He wasn’t that far out of it,” Arias said of Aguirre.

Had all Fallbrook runners been present, Aaron Thielk likely would have raced as the Warriors’ #2 runner and Garrison Haddon would have competed in the #3 race. Thielk had a previous commitment and Haddon was sidelined with a non-running injury. Arias and the other Fallbrook coaches moved Jones to the #2 position, where he posted a time of 17:04. “Ran it pretty well,” Arias said.

Jones’ time would have placed him fourth in the #3 race and second in the #4 race.

Ramon Villalobos inherited Fallbrook’s #3 designation, although his time of 18:20 gave him 12th place. “He tries to run it like a track meet and goes out too fast,” Arias said of Villalobos, a sophomore who did not run cross-country last year.

Froboes had a time of 17:35. “Not bad at all,” Arias said.

Andrew Donnelly was 12th among the #5 boys after completing the race in 18:59. “He just tried to hang in as best he could,” Arias said.

The #6 and #7 runners competed in the same race. Matt Day’s time of 19:16 was worth 20th place while Max Martin, who hadn’t planned to run the Southern California Invitational prior to Haddon’s injury, posted a time of 19:53 without training and finished 26th. “They tried the best they could,” Arias said.

“It hurt us, but it gave us a good understanding of where we are right now,” Arias said of competing without Thielk and Haddon.

The disadvantage did provide experience for the Fallbrook runners who hope to move up in future years. “They all came back with something positive,” Arias said. “They all came back and said ‘I raced up’.”

The performances of the Fallbrook runners against superior competition may be worth more than the results of a single meet which does not affect the Warriors’ league or CIF placing. “I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Arias said. To comment on this story online, visit


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