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Warrior girls win junior race at Laguna Hills Invitational

Hannah Diverde leads a trio of runners from Valley Center during cross country competition at Kit Carson Park.

Fallbrook High School’s girls cross country team began its season Sept. 9 with the Laguna Hills Invitational, and the Warrior girls won the Division 2 junior race.

Cross country team scores are derived by adding the positions of a school’s first five finishers. The sixth and seventh finishers are not scored but can add points to other team’s totals. Fallbrook accumulated 41 points, Foothill High School of Santa Ana placed second with 44 points, and Beckman High School of Irvine had the third-place score of 49 points.

“We had a good showing,” said Fallbrook co-coach Lisa Hasvold. “I’m just real happy.”

Medals were given to the top 40 finishers in each race, and six Fallbrook juniors received medals.

“They all medaled, so that was quite a thing,” Hasvold said.

Two additional medals were taken home by Fallbrook runners who competed in the freshman race.

Laguna Hills High School hosts the Laguna Hills Invitational, which is contested on a 3.0-mile course.

“Laguna, that’s a pretty tough course and that’s our season opener, so it really shows training or lack of training,” Hasvold said.

Fallbrook cross country runners, from left, are Katie Hutzler, Jessica Wilbert, and Iselah Cabello (white jersey).

The meet allowed Fallbrook’s two seniors to run in the junior race rather than in the later senior race so that the Warriors could leave earlier. Fallbrook junior Audrey Petersen was the first of the school’s runners across the finish line, placing seventh overall with a time of 21:07. Fallbrook senior Gisselle Rivera was eighth at 21:08 despite having been ill earlier in the week. Hannah Diverde, who ran as a freshman in 2015 but not as a sophomore last year, was tenth with a time of 21:38. A time of 22:55 gave junior Jessica Wilbert 21st place.

Iman Saadat is a senior but had never run in a cross country meet until the Laguna Hills Invitational, where her time of 23:28 gave her 28th place and a medal. “We were very impressed with how she did,” Hasvold said.

Fallbrook’s sixth finisher was junior Katie Hutzler, whose time of 25:20 was worth 40th place. Exchange student Belana Roser placed 49th with a time of 28:57.

The Warriors placed seventh as a team in the Division 2 freshman race. Iselah Cabello had a time of 22:50 for 18th place and Jade Kennedy also earned a medal for her 33rd-place time of 24:16. Galilea Medina placed 49th at 25:39, Amairani Sanabria was 51st after completing the course in 25:56, Sophia Bachman posted the 78th-place time of 30:07, and Zuszeth Montiel had a time of 30:12 for 79th place.

“It’s always an awakening for the freshmen at Laguna Hills,” Hasvold said.

A minimum of five runners are needed for a team score. Three Fallbrook harriers competed in the sophomore race. Riley Barrios was 45th with a time of 24:33, Maya Rink took 52nd place with a 25:17 performance, and the cross country debut of Alicia Bazan produced a time of 26:35 and 67th place.

“It was a pretty good day,” Hasvold said.


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