The goal of the Fallbrook High School girls cross-country coaches to develop the skills of the younger runners took an unexpected twist Oct. 19 at the Jaguar Invitational meet when two Warriors in the junior varsity race ran faster than Fallbrook’s fourth-fastest varsity girl and three other JV runners had a better time than the Warriors’ fifth varsity finisher.
“We had some JV girls who stepped up in the JV race,” said Fallbrook head coach Troy Hamlin. “It was a very good showing for the group.”
The top five varsity runners had a combined time of 1:37:12, or an average time of 19:27 on the 2.74-mile course at Kit Carson Park in Escondido. The top five JV finishers averaged 19:58. “They’re catching up. There’s not the big gap anymore,” Hamlin said.
Fallbrook’s first varsity finisher was Ciera Villegas, whose time of 18:44 placed her 33rd among the 70 girls in her race. Medals were given to the top 40 varsity finishers, and two other varsity Warriors also received medals. Emma Workman finished 38th at 19:11 and Rosanne Lopez was 39th with a time of 19:14.
Fallbrook’s fourth varsity finisher, Haley McCaffrey, took 19:54 and finished 51st. Alexis Lopez had a 59th-place time of 20:09.
“It was not a particularly great showing,” Hamlin said. “At the JV level we had a much better day.”
Some of Fallbrook’s top junior varsity runners did not compete at the Jaguar Invitational. Kiera Donoghue was sick; Andrea Vela had a family commitment, and Hannah French will miss the rest of her freshman season due to her knee injury. The junior varsity race had 150 girls, and the top 50 finishers including five Fallbrook runners received medals. Those first five Fallbrook finishers had a split of 20 seconds. “They put down times that were equal to or better than what the varsity did,” Hamlin said.
Jessica Steinhoff posted a time of 19:48 to take 36th place. Rosalie Helling was 37th at 19:49. Ally Cote took 19:56 and earned 41st place. Molly Paige had a 20:07 performance and finished 45th. Sarah Girgis spent 20:08 racing and ended the race in 46th place.
The Warriors as a team finished seventh among the 13 schools in the junior varsity race.
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