King Flourishes Under The IE Pressure
The best teams from the I.E. united at Glen Helen Regional Park to show what they had compared to the rest and King went into the competition to show it is a force to be reckoned with.
The meet started with two freshman races, where Brayden Lunetta and Joseph Or scorched the course with Lunetta placing 3rd with a time of 17:24 and Or in 11th with a time of 18:27. The Freshman girls team of Ava Harper, Marikaya Williams, Evie Ruvalcaba, Caitlyn Brody, and Hannah Tan went for a team title as they had 5 scoring members with all 5 members running season PR’s and securing the 3RD PLACE TROPHY as a team! Ava Harper placed 4th with Marikaya Williams 28th in the race while Evie Ruvalcaba and Caitlyn Brody fought it out in the race to get 34th and 35th place. Hannah was just shy of a medaling with her 43rd finish but a huge 90 seconds PR.
On the JV levels, King had two members per gender with Ashlyn Richmond and Patricia Dacasin both placing in the top 20 with both running close times to their PR’s in the hottest time of the day and showing strong consistency this season, while Joseph Mayberry just squeezed his way into a medal with a 38th place finish and John Wangari debuted his return to cross country.
In the sophomore races, the boys had their first opportunity to score as all 5 members of the team were finally set to race together. Seth Robinson had another top performance as he clocked a 18:30 time and a 7th place finish. Tawheedullah Shirzard and Tim Gill both ran great races as Shirzard got the best of Gill. These two are set to be a great teammate rivalry for the future. Markos Pineda had his season open in the top 40 performance and received a medal in his first race while Aidan Luna finished off the scoring for the Boys Sophomores. The Boys Sophomores in their first ever team performance WON 3RD PLACE.
The girls set their sights to keep the momentum of their 1st place victory from Central Invitational last weekend to winning 1st place in the Inland Empire Challenge even with their top Sophomore girls not being present in this race. In the absence of those girls, it was the opportunity for some sophomore girls to step up and score for the King team to get that first place. The Sophomore girls took that challenge and thrived as Kaylee Magno led the charge with her 2nd place finish, Audiana Salgado making a great second half to place 7th and Savanna Martin being aggressive from the start and getting a fantastic 9th place. Makayla Berlagna with a 14th place finish, and Maria Mendez with a 16th place finish rounded off the scoring for King. Isabela Anthony ran a very strong race to finish our scoring while Isabelle Graham made her return to racing after having time off because of an injury. The Sophomore Girls kept their winning streak going with ANOTHER 1ST PLACE team win and trophy.
In the Varsity races only the boys raced as the usual varsity members in both gender races were in the elite Sweepstakes race. So the varsity race gave the chance for some athletes to race against other teams best squads and show the depth King has on the boys squad. Adrian Flores, Michael Rodriguez and Luke Stokes as they did at the JV race on Wednesday, lead King in this Varsity race and all placed in the top 27. They ran strong races as Adrian Flores ran a season best of 17:18 while Michael Rodriguez showed some strong consistency with a 17:30 time and Luke Stokes with a fast start and ending with an all time best of 17:40! Adrian Pulido and John Gathuu ran their first varsity races to finish the scoring as Pulido placed 71st and Gathuu placed 77th. The Boys Varsity placed 7th out of 12 teams providing the depth King has as its second team proved to be well enough to handle anything the race threw at them.
Lastly, the Sweepstakes races took place, the top 8 teams in all Riverside and San Bernardino counties in one race to have all the best teams race at once. King’s Boys and Girls both qualified for the race and showed that all the hard work that has been put in training has been paying off.
First the Sweepstake girls were led by our strong front 2 of Audrey Brunken and Andrea Guadian who used their strengths of their running ability to the test as they faced top competition. Audrey Brunken placed herself in the front pack and held her own as she finished 7th while Andrea Guadian went more conservative in the beginning and made big moves in the second and third mile to secure her 10th place finish. Andreya Goodson and Emely Ruiz both ran great races as they both were battling it out with each other through the 3 mile race and leading at different points of the race as Goodson got the best of Ruiz with* Andreya* placing 28th and Emely placing 29th. Sarah Pietrantonio and Gardemia Sandoval fought long and hard to secure the 5th spot and finish the scoring for the King girls as Pietrantonio and Sandoval ran lifetime PR’s and Sarah placing 38th as the 5th man. Leah Pendleton made her return to the varsity lineup and gave a strong effort as she placed 52nd and demonstrated why she deserves to be in the lineup. The Girls placed 6th overall which sets them up very nicely as they approach the beginning of the postseason in their pursuit of CIF Finals.
The Boys Sweepstakes took off fast as Jack Slavin and Gray Mavhera went off in a fast 5:10 first mile! Gray Mavhera held strong as he placed 7th in the race and Jack Slavin placed 16th. Julian Morgan, Matthew Gwynn, and Nathan Curtner ran smart races as they made great second half moves to run down top competitors. Morgan almost caught Slavin with his 17th place finish and Gwynn finished 22nd with Curtner right behind in 23rd. Damien Zemanek had a gutsy race as he placed himself in the mix of top competitors and placed 32nd.
All of the boys medaled and tied for 2nd place with Rancho Cucamonga who are currently ranked 10th in the Southern Section and right behind Santiago who are currently ranked 4th in the state! King Boys proved at the Sweepstakes race that they are in the conversation of making the State meet in late November.
As is the Inland Empire Championships tradition, at the end of the all races they announce the top 7 athletes of each grade and county to hand them individual trophies for being the best in their respective grades. King had some athletes receive those prestigious awards as being the best of Riverside County:
Brayden Lunetta received the award as being one of the top 7 Freshman runners in Riverside County!
Emely Ruiz, Sarah Pietrantonio and Gardemia Sandoval received their own personal awards as being one of the top 7 Sophomores runners in Riverside County!
Jack Slavin, Matthew Gwynn, Damien Zemanek and Andreya Goodson received their own personal awards as being one of the top 7 Juniors runners in Riverside County!
Gray Mavhera, Audrey Brunekn, Andrea Guadian and Julian Morgan received their own personal awards as being one of the top 7 Senior runners in Riverside County!
Gray Mavhera also received a Inland Empire patch for being in the top 7 in all Riverside County in all grades combined!
It was a great day to be a King athlete!