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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Warrior boys finish 16th at CIF cross country meet


Last updated 12/24/2017 at 7:57pm

As a team the Fallbrook High School boys cross country team finished 16th among the 17 Division II schools at the CIF San Diego Section meet Nov. 18 at Morley Field in San Diego.

“Not very joyful for it, but understanding,” Fallbrook coach Marco Arias said. “That’s actually what I expected. I’m happy that we didn’t finish last.”

Team cross country scores are obtained by adding the positions of a school’s first five finishers; the sixth and seventh finishers are not scored but can add points to other teams’ scores. Mount Carmel High School won the Division II team championship with 66 points. The Warriors’ 423 team points were between the 415 points of 15th-place Southwest High School of El Centro and the 17th-place total of 493 points accumulated by Hilltop High School.

Fallbrook’s seven runners consisted of five sophomores and two freshmen. The Warriors’ first two finishers, sophomores Josh Hernandez and Michael Lopez, were Fallbrook’s only two harriers who had previous experience at a CIF meet.

“It was a learning experience for most of them and I think we’re better as a team for it,” Arias said.

Hernandez posted a time of 16 minutes 54.5 seconds on the 2.96-mile course, which placed 40th overall and sixth among sophomores with no freshman completing the course earlier.

“He is one of the top sophomores within our league, within our division,” Arias said.

Last year the course was 3.04 miles and Hernandez had a time of 18:35 to place 86th among the 131 finishers and second among the nine freshmen in the race.

“It wasn’t necessarily disappointing, because he ran 16:54,” Arias said of Hernandez’s performance in the 2017 section meet. "It’s actually a faster pace than he’s run before. I think he’s in a good spot.”

Arias was happier with the result than Hernandez.

“He wasn’t pleased, and he was ready to go the following week,” Arias said. “The desire to get better is in him.”

Last year Lopez was the final freshman across the finish line, and his time of 20:33 placed 124th overall. This year he took 77th place with a time of 17:54.9.

Fallbrook’s fastest freshman at this year’s CIF meet was Danny Contreras, whose time of 18:39.1 gave him 99th place. A time of 18:39.2 equated to 101st place for sophomore Tristan Suppe. Joseph Bell completed his sophomore season with a 107th-place finish and a time of 18:59.8. Nash Youngren had a time of 19:00.6 to give the freshman 108th place. The time for sophomore Ricardo Martinez was 19:22.1, which earned him 116th place among the 122 finishers.


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