Meets are a learning process for Aztecs
EL CAJON • The Barstow cross country teams took on four schools in their latest meet, as the Aztecs met up with Granite Hills, Silverado and Burroughs at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon.
The Aztec varsity girls and JV boys each placed third in the quad meet. The girls amassed 77 points, ahead of Silverado’s 99, while the JV boys’ 76 points also topped Silverado, which had 92 points.
In the varsity boys’ race, Granite Hills finished first with 31 points, with Burroughs (43 points) second, Silverado third (54), and Barstow fourth (103). Hills was also first for the varsity girls, with 15 points, followed by Burroughs, with 49 points.
Though summer is officially over, it will take a bit more time for the intense heat to subside, and the desert sun was a factor in this meet, according to Aztecs head coach Mike Pitassi.
“It was a tough meet. The heat really played a factor in our performance. We had issues with dehydration and heat exhaustion among some of the runners,” said the coach. “It wasn’t all bad, though. Many runners improved their times, though many also took a step backwards. The boys varsity squad has the most work to do.”
The first Aztec varsity boys runner over the finish line was Geng-Wei Lee, who placed 17th at 19:25. A pack of Barstow runners finished in the 20-24 spots: Alex Garcia (19:39), Cristian Aguirre (19:48), Angelo Sciortino (19:52), and Vernon Sciortino (20:15).
The highest-placing Aztec runner in the JV boys race was Zack Rucker, who was 12th with a time of 21:15. He was followed by Barstow’s Chase Cobb, who placed 13th at 21:50, and Frankie Baca, 14th at 21:56. Taking first place was Hills’ Zach Maroste at 18:58.
There were not enough JV girls runners for final team scores, but individually, in third place was Barstow’s Chyna Irvin with a time of 26:42. Granite Hills’ Emily Packer was first at 22:51.
“I was happy with how our girls performed, coming in ahead of Silverado,” said coach Pitassi. “Our fastest girl, Chyna Irvin, ran JV because of absences, so we could have scored even better.”
Tatyana Padilla crossed the finish line first for Barstow in the varsity girls’ race, her time of 27:00-even good for 14th place. Maria Miranda was right behind at 27:42, followed by Alysia Sanchez at 28:45. Four Granite Hills runners tied for first place with times of 21:58: Holly Hele, Alexa Zamora, Katie Deimling and Larissa Morse.
The young Aztecs squad keeps learning as the season progresses. With every meet, Pitassi sees exactly what needs to be addressed. After this one, he thinks it’s a matter of proper preparation.
“As a coach, the thing I took away from this meet is that we need to prepare ourselves better for race days,” he said. “I’ve been stressing to the team ways to stay hydrated and eat properly on the days of and leading up to a race.”
What was to be the Aztecs’ next meet, the Cerro Coso Invitational scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled. Barstow will next take part in the Inland Empire Challenge at Glen Helen Park in San Bernardino on Oct. 6.