The end of August brought us another meet out in West Texas, this time at Canutillo Middle School. The Canutillo Invitational is only the second meet of the season but for some of the city's top runners it was their opening race. Among those making their debut this week were the Eastwood boys and girls, along with Hanks's Michael Abeyta.
The varsity girls were the first to race and they did not disappoint, with Franklin's Eva Jess leading the pack of runners. As usual, she took the lead from the gun and and steadily pulled away, setting a personal course best. The aspiring Junior crossed the line with a time of 18:05.86, a solid 44 seconds faster than last year. Eastwood's Lauren Walls was next to cross the line with an impressive 19:19.01 for the young sophomore who improved on her time from last year by 23 seconds. Montwood Junior Karyme Garcia rounded out third with a time of 19:43.88, nearly a minute and forty seconds off her time from last year.
Ultimately Jess's first place helped lead the charge for the Franklin girls who claimed the girls' title. The Cougars dominated, with three more girls finishing in the top ten. Sophomores Jordan Torres and Jenna Saunders earned fourth and sixth respectively, and Freshman Alyssa Laspada finished seventh. Franklin won the meet with a total of 33 points, followed closely by Eastwood with 38 points, and Montwood with 77 points.
Although Canutillo was the opening race for Senior Michael Abeyta it did nothing to slow him down, as he took the lead from the gun and never looked back. The Hanks senior finished the race in an impressive 15:27.65, a comfortable fifteen seconds ahead of Eastwood Seniors Elias Perez and Juan Olmos, who finished with times of 15:42.3 and 15:51.54 respectively. All three seniors had a strong first showing with the Eastwood pair improving on their time from last year at this course and Abeyta dropping a time under 15:30 early in the season.
Although Abeyta shined individually the Eastwood boys dominated the meet, placing four runners in the top 10. Led by Perez and Olmos, Juniors Sergio Leon Cuartas and Aaron Perez finished fifth and tenth for the Troopers, with a finishing score of 28 points. They were followed by Franklin with 62 and Hanks with 120 points.
It should be noted that the course measured seventy meters longer than a true 5 km course. To reach converted 5k times of the athletes, take off 18 seconds for the girls and 14 seconds for the boys.