FAIRFIELD — With the 2013 prep cross season and its athletes getting in shape for postseason runs, this year’s crop of runners are looking to have even better results than a season ago.
The city’s respective coaches are preparing their runners the best they can in hopes of having success.
Here’s a look at this year’s teams:
Senior Alex Jenks is back for her final season for the Vikings, looking to defend her SCAC title from a season ago.
Vanden coach Sherman Martinez is also looking to get good results from fellow returners in junior Jacque Henderson, sophomores Justin Alvarez and Caleb Stiles, and seniors Logan Jandreau and Victor Kusaka.
Key newcomers to Martinez’s squad include freshman Kiera Connelly, junior German exchange student Jana Jensen, freshmen Erick Fierro, Aidan Hayes, and William DeVoe as well as sophomore Jamarian Johnson.
“Unseating Benicia as the SCAC league champions will be a difficult task,” Martinez said, “although with some hard work and mileage anything is possible with the young men and women I have to work with.”
The Mustangs will look to have continued success from sophomore Halle Sullivan, who made it the state championships in 2012, along with fellow returners Makenzie Alspaw, Emma Vogliano, Anthony Vogliano, Jesse and Jake Jones, and Marcos Moreno.
Rodriguez coach Tracy Cordes is also expecting to get good results from newcomers Mitchell Velasquez and Andrea Hernandez.
“We have added nine new freshman girls and six new underclassmen boys,” Cordes said. “We are excited at the direction that the team is moving. We haven’t had this many new freshman runners in years.”
Dave Monk is in his second season at the helm of the Indians after several years coaching at Fairfield High and has made an immediate impact on the program.
Juniors Rohan Saini, Andres Rivera, Kyle Catapusan, Ryan Cook and sophomore Alec Woodson all return this season to the boys squad, while sophomores Kirah Overman and Soso Amatoru and junior Amanpreet Kaur are back for the girls.
Joining the team this year for Monk are Juan Martinez, Brendan Erwin, Matthew Webster, Jared Webster, Gabbriella Nathan-Funk, Tiffini Mestas, Leslie Gutierrez and Grace Baxter.
“We’re looking to take the next step in Year 2, vying for League titles,” Monk said. “We want to qualify varsity teams to the section championship and continue the development of every athlete in the program towards achieving their full potential.”
The Falcons aren’t the biggest team in the area, but coach Brian Purcell is trying to re-establish the program with younger athletes.
Sophomore Andrew Purcell and junior Lupe Reyes return as the top runners for Fairfield, while Earl Banaag (senior) and three freshmen – Ninia Canlas, Katelyn Cook and Delissa Cooper – join the team this season.
“We are a small but dedicated team this year,” Purcell said. “Most of our runners have never run cross country before, so we’ll be working hard to be at our best at the SCAC (finals).”
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.