Aguinaga Captures 1st Career Varsity XC Title

Aguinaga Captures 1st Career Varsity XC Title
Posted on 09/27/2016
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Aguinaga captures 1st career Varsity XC Title at the Mercedes Live Stock Show Grounds on September 10, 2016.

By: JOHN CANNON

RGVAthletes.com

 

(MERCEDES) – In her first two races of the Cross-Country season, Kelly Aguinaga has placed second in both.

 

Coming into her third race on Saturday morning, Aguinaga had her sights set on winning the gold.

 

Aguinaga left no doubt as to who was the top girls’ runner as she smoked the competition while taking first in the varsity division of the Mid Valley Track Club Cross-Country Invitational at the Livestock Showgrounds.

 

After the race, Aguinaga had just two words to say about securing the gold medal.

 

“It’s mine,” joked Aguinaga.

 

From the start of the race, Aguinaga built a comfortable lead and never relinquished it throughout the entire three and a half mile race.

 

Aguinaga crossed the finish line with a time of 20:14.48 and was ecstatic to finally take first in a race.

 

“I am very satisfied with coming out of top,” said Aguinaga. “I had a ton of confidence coming into this race and wanted to win this one real bad.”

 

“But just as satisfied as I am with winning the meet, I am very happy with the way our girls finished overall. We had three girls finish in the top five which is incredible and I feel the team is really starting to come together.”

 

Aguinaga’s running mate and fellow senior Leslie Alvarado continues to improve as the season progresses as she finished in fifth place overall at the meet with a time of 22:01.

 

One of the biggest surprises of the day for Edcouch-Elsa was freshman Haley Villalpando. Villalpando ran by far her best meet of the year as she came in third place with a 21:13 and head girls coach Juan Perez said he was ecstatic with her finish.

 

“Wow,” said Perez. “Haley had a great race and really turned some heads today.”

 

“And even though she is only a freshman, she sure didn’t run like it. I am very proud of her and with where she finished on the day. We are expecting big things from her and she will only make this team stronger.”

 

The Lady Jackets won the overall girls race with a score of 36 points and Perez feels that all of the hard work they have put into the program is truly paying off.

 

“We had three of our girls finish in the top five today and that’s truly an impressive feat,” said Perez. “Kelly led the way and I was so happy to see her finally win a race. She has worked so hard this year and wants to end her senior season strong.”

 

“Then we had Haley come in third and Leslie come in fifth. The other girls did really well also and I am just so proud of each and every one of them. They strive to keep this rich tradition going and will stop at nothing to be the best.”

 

On the boys’ side, Mark Cardona led the way as he came in ninth with a time of 17:57.75.

 

Cardona said that he wasn’t pleased with his time and felt a lot of it had to the layout of the course.

 

“This course had a lot of hills and there were a lot of ups and downs on it as well,” said Cardona. “I kind of struggled with the course today and wasn’t very happy with where I finished up.”

 

“I am going to work very hard for the next race and my goal is to place in the top three.”