Signing with the college you want is no easy task. There are many factors when it comes to taking your athletic career to the next level. Fellow MileSplit journalist Richie Mora wrote a great detailed article on what you can do to make your process easier and much more efficient. You can read that here. This week, El Paso Eastwood saw 6 athletes sign their letters of intent to their dream destinations. They saw 3 athletes sign to Division 1 schools, 1 sign on with a partial scholarships to a Division 1 school while the other 2 signed with Division 2 schools.
Eastwood High School has flown under the radar for many years out in El Paso but their program is one to be respected. Under the tutelage of Mike McLain, their running program has been one of the top Track programs in the city and their Cross Country program has been one of the top in the nation. So it is very rewarding to see these hard working athletes earn their way into some of the best college programs in the nation. We were able to talk with some of the athletes and they had a lot to say about their exciting experience.
Elizabeth Mendoza signed with a full ride to New Mexico State University. She's flown under the radar this past season but she showed true talent as she dominated the hurdling scene in Track. Her best in the 110m hurdles was a 15.43 when she competed at the UIL 6A - District 1-2 Area Meet where she took third to go on to the regional meet in Arlington. She also placed second in the 300m hurdles at the area meet which puncher her another ticket in another event at Regionals. "She's the type of girl that you're very sad to see leave," Coach McLain stated about his runner. He spoke about her consistently and dedication to being a leader on her team all year long. Check out what she had to say about becoming an Aggie.
Anthony Molina also signed a full ride with New Mexico State University. Molina has had a tenacious running career at Eastwood and this year he showed why he was a true leader on his team. Anthony also just got done competing with his team at the Regional meet in Arlington where he pushed through tough competition to his a PR of 4:19.62 in the 1600m finishing 4th overall. As good as his track season was, it was overshadowed by an even greater Cross Country season. He helped lead his team to their first ever top 3 finish at the UIL State Cross Country Championship and another top 3 finish at Nike Cross Nationals South Regional. He managed to finish top 10 in both races which is impressive considering he's battled against the best talent in the nation. He's had many impressive races but none other than at the 2017 Desert Twilight XC Festival when he ran an amazing 15:11.30 to finish 8th overall. McLain talked a lot about Anthony's maturity over the years and one of the things he loved the most about him was how he made a big effort to befriend every runner on the team. Molina seemed very excited to be reunited with some of his ex teammates who also run for NMSU. See what he had to say.
Gabriel Armijo signed with a full ride to the University of Houston to run for the legendary Steve Magness. Steve Magness, one of the most well known coaches in running today. He's famous for his insightful books, blogs, and podcasts that delve deep into the physiological and physical world of running. Gabriel was very excited to talk about his future as a Houston Cougar. He mentioned already talking to some of his future teammates who also shared excited for this upcoming freshman. Armijo , like Molina, also helped lead Eastwood's boys varsity team to great success during his tenure on the team. He also competed at the Regional Meet with his team where he ran a PR in the 3200m with a 9:23 and 6th place finish. He also, had a tremendous Cross Country season that was hard to ignore. Some of his highlights include a 10th place finish at the Desert Twilight XC Festival where he Pr'ed with a time of 15:15.70. He also helped lead his team to top 3 finished in the UIL State meet and Nike South Regional meet with a top 10 and 15 finish.
Francis Hernandez stands with her coaches after signing to NMSU
Other signings: Emily Cruncleton - Seton Hill, Francis Hernandez - NMSU, Pedro Guerra - EPCC (full ride). The sky in the limit for these individuals and we're sure to see more in the upcoming years as the programs at El Paso Eastwood are sure to continue working hard.