Tierra del Sol to host District 6-A meet Friday

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Six schools will converge on Tierra del Sol Golf Course Friday afternoon for the District 6-4A Cross Country meet, hosted by Belen High School.

Runners from Gallup High, Gallup Miyamura, Grants, Los Lunas and Valencia will join the host Eagles to determine both the district champion for 2013 as well as representatives for the 2013 Class 4A State Cross Country meet at Rio Rancho High School on Saturday, Nov. 9.

"Hopefully it's your best race of the year," said Belen coach Joseph E. Garcia, referring to the district meet. "You've been training since June, then start in August and go all the way through November and what you're shooting for the whole time is district."

The Belen High boys, who are among the favorites to win the league title as well as return to the top three or higher at the state meet, took third place at the Atrisco Heritage Invitational Saturday.

In the final meet before the district meet, the Eagle boys scored 70 points to finish behind Class 5A schools Albuquerque Eldorado and La Cueva, which finished first and second with scores of 33 and 60, respectively.

Juniors Jared Garcia and Aaron Romero-Valenzuela finished second and third behind Eldorado's Taylor Potter.

Garcia finished with a time of 16:41 while Romero-Valenzuela clocked in at 16:49. Fellow junior Manuel Guererro came in ninth with a time of 17:50 as Belen finished with four boys in the top 25.

On the girls side, Belen sophomore Arena Lewis finished first with a time of 18:54, her best of the season, and the Belen girls finished sixth collectively.

La Cueva edged out Eldorado 33-35 for first place. Senior Victoria Cordvoa finished 21st for the Eagles.

The Los Lunas and Valencia boys and girls were slated to run at the Grants Invitational on Friday, but the meet course was washed out by rains that afternoon and the meet was cancelled.

Valencia coach Lynette Padilla has high hopes for her boys and girls teams this week.

"The girls' goal this season was to win district," she said. "Every year we're in the running, but it's a tough district but anything can happen."

A top three finish is her goal for the girls, while on the boys side Padilla said she thinks the boys may be able to sneak into third and advance to the state meet.

For the Los Lunas boys and girls, preparation has intensified in the last two weeks, said coach Larry Padilla.

Meets run on the grass of golf courses have treated his team well this season, so Padilla said his team could do well.

"The girls have run their best on that type of course," he said. "In Socorro and Las Vegas, they ran golf courses and had their best runs of the year. So we're hoping that repeats in district."

The top three teams in the district meet advance to next week's state meet while the top three individuals also advance.

Look for Web First coverage of the District 6-4A cross country meet this weekend at www.news-bulletin.com.