Village News Reporter
At the CIF San Diego Section cross country meet, the first 10 finishers in each race are given all-CIF first-team recognition and the next 10 runners across the finish line earn all-CIF second-team status. This year's section meet took place Nov. 11 on the Morley Field course in San Diego, and Fallbrook High School senior Jose Rivera finished 19th in the Division II boys race to receive a berth on the all-CIF second team.
"Him making second-team all-CIF is phenomenal," said Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias.
"I'm happy I got to the second team," Rivera said. "It was a good way to end the season."
The course was 2.96 miles. Rivera finished in 16:55.4. "I feel proud of myself," Rivera said.
"Super excited about what Jose did today," Arias said, "He had a very good race. He gave everything he had."
The three Division II teams with the best team scores qualified for the state meet as a team, and the five fastest individual runners not affiliated with a school which qualified as a team also qualified for the state meet. The positions of a school's first five runners are the team score; the sixth and seventh finishers from each team are not scored but can add points to opponents' totals.
Scripps Ranch won the Division II championship with 70 points; Vista had the second-place total of 87 points, and Steele Canyon was third with 103 points. The final individual state qualifier, San Dieguito Academy senior Colin Barlow, was 10th overall and had a time of 16:31.2.
Rivera entered the race with hopes of qualifying for the state meet, and he also had a goal to place in the top 20. "From the start I went up there and I held my spot," he said.
San Pasqual senior Justin Welch had a time of 16:57.4 to finish immediately behind Rivera and earn the final all-CIF position. Scripps Ranch senior Jacob Walker had the 21st-place time of 17:00.7. "At the end no one was passing," Rivera said. "I held my position."
Rivera had a time of 17:22.9 at last year's CIF meet and placed 37th. He did not run cross country prior to 2022.
Fallbrook placed 17th as a team with 427 points. The 16th-place school, Valhalla, accumulated 423 points. Chula Vista had 490 points for 18th place.
The Warriors' second finisher, junior Manuel Melendez, was 96th overall with a time of 19:22.8. The only other Fallbrook runner with previous CIF meet experience, current junior Daniel Wilson, had a time of 19:39.6 for 102nd place. Wilson finished 101st in both of his previous high school years with times of 19:37.8 in 2021 and 19:35.9 in 2022.
A time of 19:48.4 gave junior Cruz Arroyo 106th place; junior Giovanny Orozco completed the course in 19:58.6 for 110th place; freshman Tristan Valtieri became the 115th finisher 20:31.5 after the race began, and senior Javier Valdez had the 122nd-place time of 21:14.6.
"They're all young as far as experience in cross country," Arias said. "I'm excited to see what they're going to do next year."