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Arias focusing on developing Warrior boys

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Marco Arias returns for his 15th full season as the Fallbrook High School boys cross country head coach (he took over during the 2007 season after Marty Hauck had a fatal heart attack), but only four of Arias’ 2021 runners are on this year’s team and none of the Warriors’ top five runners last year are part of the 2022 squad.

“We’re actually a pretty young team,” Arias said.

The four returning runners are senior Abraham Hughes, senior Daniel Macedo, and sophomores Daniel Wilson and Connor MacMillan. Each school is allowed seven runners at the CIF San Diego Section meet; Wilson and MacMillan finished sixth and seventh among Fallbrook runners at last year’s meet.

The Warriors have a total of 12 runners. Four of those are seniors: Hughes, Macedo, Drew Tegt, and Tyler Dudley. Arias also coaches Fallbrook’s track and field team and Tegt has previously been on that team but has not run cross country. Tegt has been a hurdler and middle distance runner for the track team but has not previously run distance races. Dudley has no previous high school running experience.

Fallbrook’s fastest runner, junior Jose Rivera, has not previously run cross country but is a cousin of former Fallbrook harriers Joel Rivera and Enrique Rivera (and former girls cross country runner Gisselle Rivera). Ethan Wooten is the only freshman on this year’s Fallbrook team.

The Warriors began their season Sept. 10 at the 38th annual Laguna Hills Cross Country Invitational meet. Jose Rivera took 16th among the 84 runners in the Division 1 junior boys race. All races in the meet utilized a 3.0-mile course, and Rivera had a time of 17:54.5.

The Division 1 freshman boys race at Laguna Hills had 104 harriers. Wooten had the 60th-place time of 22:10.1.

MacMillan needed 19:03.5 to place 30th among the 85 Division 1 sophomore boys. Timothy Rouse made his high school cross country debut in that race and finished 35th with a time of 19:23.2. Wilson completed the course in 19:56.4 for 44th place.

“The first meet was more of a learning lesson,” Arias said.

Fallbrook was in Division 2 for the Sept. 17 Mount Carmel/ASICS Cross Country Invitational meet at Morley Field in San Diego. All of that meet’s races were 3.0 miles. Rivera had a time of 18:02.8 for 15th among the 131 junior boys. Braden West, who was on the Sullivan Middle School cross country team but did not run for El Camino High School as a freshman or sophomore, was 60th in that race.

In the sophomore race at the Morley Field meet, Rouse took 32nd with a time of 19:05.3; Alejandro Lugo finished in 19:16.6 for 39th place; MacMillan was 57th at 19:55.7, and Wilson became the 60th finisher 19:59.3 after the race began. All finished in the top half of the 155-runner field.

“Those four are going to be the core of our team,” Arias said. “We’re looking to build off of that base.”

The senior race had 145 runners. Dudley was 76th with a time of 20.40.6 while Hughes had an 82nd-place finish and took 20:51.2.

The first Valley League cluster meet will take place Sept. 30 at Kit Carson Park in Escondido. “We’re going to be competitive as far as the rest of the league,” Arias said.


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