Villegas selected as girls cross-country team MVP

Fallbrook High School’s girls cross-country team held its post-season awards ceremony Nov. 26 at the Bob Burton Performing Arts Center.

“It was a very nice ceremony,” said Fallbrook head coach Troy Hamlin. “It was very heavily attended.”

The ceremony included a slideshow presentation as well as the awards, and the girls also received varsity letters or certificates of participation.

“I try to make it a really positive experience, especially for the seniors,” Hamlin said. “We try to celebrate the seniors and their careers and what they did.”

The Warriors’ Most Valuable Player award was presented to senior Ciera Villegas. “She was the only girl who broke up the other teams at all in league this year,” Hamlin said.

The runners themselves, rather than the coaches, selected the awards. “We had no say in them,” Hamlin said.

That resulted in three awards given to runners who split time between the varsity and junior varsity teams. Freshman Andrea Vela, who started the season on the junior varsity before competing against varsity competition during Fallbrook’s final four meets, was selected as the varsity’s Most Improved.

“It was a fair choice,” Hamlin said. “The kids look more at how far you’ve come.”

Sophomore Kiera Donoghue, who won the junior varsity race in Fallbrook’s first dual meet of the year Sept. 28 but raced with the varsity for the Warriors’ final four meets of the season, was voted as the junior varsity’s Most Valuable Player.

“She ended up running varsity at the end, but she won a few races early in the season,” Hamlin said. “Kiera had a great season.”

Freshman Ally Cote ran one dual meet varsity race along with the league and CIF meets. She was selected as the junior varsity’s Most Improved recipient.

“She ended up being our number five in the CIF meet,” Hamlin said.

Villegas was Fallbrook’s first finisher in all of her 2012 races, and the girls also selected her for the team’s Most Inspirational honor.

“She led by example,” Hamlin said.

Villegas and senior Alexis Lopez were presented with team captain awards.

“Both were certainly worthy candidates,” Hamlin said. “They did a good job leading over the course of the year.”

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