Here is a district by district look at each championship cross country race, based off results from the Burges/Jefferson Invitational. Here is District 1-5A.
1. Juan Blanco, Eastwood, 16: 18.
2. Zach Bassett, Coronado, 16:25.
3. Dorian Miranda, Montwood, 16:25.
1. Montwood: 3, 4, 6, 16, 32, 33*, 37* —61 points.
X-Factor: Steven Yanez, fifth runner. With three in the top 10 and one more in the teens, Montwood has a huge gap with the fifth runner. Yanez had that role last time and if is there again he may be the difference. Interesting thing, is Montwood finished behind El Dorado last time, but a small race works in the Rams favor.
2. El Dorado: 5 7, 10, 11, 25, 46* — 70 points.
X-Factor: Isaac Avila, fifth runner. If the Aztecs want to hold off the Rams, then Avila has to close the gap between himself and No. 4 Ray Cuevas. El Doroado may have been missing a runner last times, but either way it is on El Dorado to come through now that there is a target on its back,
3. Eastwood: 1, 14, 18, 19, 20, 22*, 24*— 72 points.
X-Factor: Brian Casillas, second runner. After Casillas the Troopers have nice comfortable gaps, so the though is if he can catch No. 1 Juan Blanco, then the rest will follow. Eastwood is great at pack running and district might be where they show that off the most. It could lead to a district title.
4. Coronado: 2, 15, 17, 27, 28, 34*, 36* — 89 points.
X-Factor: David Colmenero, fourth runner. Colmenero has finished anywhere from first to fifth this season. He has enough talent to either catch up to No. 3 Adrian Aguirre or slingshot to bridge the gap between No. 2 Wito Vanheyste and Zach Bassett. Lately the T-Birds gap has grown, Colmenero could be the catalyst to shrink it down.
5. Socorro: 9, 21, 26, 30, 31, 38*, 45* — 118 points.
X-Factor: David Urquidi, first runner. Don't let the projection fool you, this team has a shot, not only to qualify for regionals but even to win it. I have noticed in races where Urquidi gets separated from his team they fall behind. However, if he can keep find them he has the ability to lead them all to better finishes. Don't forget, Urquidi is also a contender to win the race himself.
6. Bel Air: 13, 23, 41, 42, 48, 52*, 57* —167 points.
X-Factor: Frankie Ruiz, third runner. With two more right behind him, Ruiz can lead them if he can move up into the 20s to catch the rest of his team. The Highlanders need to find each other in the race before they can start to drop times.
7. Americas: 25, 35, 39, 44, 49, 58* — 192 points.
X-Factor: Frank Torres, fifth runner. Torres is the final scorer, but that doesn't make him powerless. With several teammates in front of him, Torres can move up and bring the rest win him. It's the let's go mentality that can perhaps catch Bel Air and maybe prevent Franklin from catching.
8. Franklin: 8, 40, 43, 51, 53, 54*, 56* — 195 points.
X-Factor: Brian Barraza, first runner. This kid is exciting to watch. You almost get the feeling that he does not know how good he is. So with the team far behind, I say he goes for the win. If he can do that it is a nice boost for the Cougars as well as a monumental building block.
9. Hanks: 12, 47, 50, 55, 59 — 223 points.
X-Factor: John LaBianca, first runner. After a bad finish to the 2009 season, LaBianca has a chance to make up for it and grab a top 10 spot. He is just two spots away and in this race it will come down to heart. With a top 10 finish he can make sure the Knights are represented in Lubbock.
1. Melanie Stires, Eastwood, 13:01.
2. Aimee Apodaca, Eastwood, 13:12.
3. Jocelyn Caro, Socorro, 13:20.
1. Eastwood: 1, 2, 8, 11, 25, 26*, 27* — 47 points.
X-Factor: Jackie Cuellar or Whitney Stewart, fifth of sixth runner. These two finished next to each other and together they have to find a way to catch up to No. 4 Olivia Lara. The Troopers are strong favorites to win it all, but they might need to focus on improving for a state push.
2. El Dorado: 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19*, 28* — 65 points.
X-Factor: Ileana Acosta, fifth runner. If there is a team that can take down Eastwood it is this one. Acosta had a bad race at the Chamizal and can very well make a strong surge to the front of the race. If not her, then maybe Bonnie Perez has the ability to also move up. On this team, any Aztec can make the difference.
3. Franklin: 12, 18, 20, 23, 32, 35* — 106 points.
X-Factor: Adriana Villalva, fifth runner. If the Cougars finish this way they are headed to regionals, but the Rams are not far behind. Villalva can fight off Montwood by dropping her place into the low 20s with the rest of her team. El Dorado and Eastwood are going for the title, from here the race is for the coveted third spot.
4. Montwood: 10, 20, 22, 29, 34, 43*, 47* — 115 points.
X-Factor: Andrea Amaro and Briana Perez, second and third runners. With only nine points to make up to catch Franklin it could be Amaro and Perez that do it. They have been close behind No. 1 Magnum Kiel (perhaps the coolest name ever) in the past and if they can do it again those could be the points they need.
5. Socorro: 3, 24, 30, 33, 42 — 132 points.
X-Factor: Stephanie Santiesteban, second runner. A top 10 finisher in other races, Santiesteban needs to lead the rest of the Bulldogs up in the pack. That could keep Socorro in the running for a shot at regionals. It may be on her, as No. 1 Jocelyn Caro will be contending for a district title individually.
6. Hanks: 4, 9, 38, 40, 46, 49, 50* — 137 points.
X-Factor: Paulina Munoz, third runner. With the two talented runners in Shannon Luevano and Shannon McMillian in the top 10, this team is not out of the top three hunt. But with a huge drop-off, Munoz is the runner than can get things done. With two more behind her she cannot fall behind early. If she can stay in the race adrenaline will take over late.
7. Bel Air: 5, 17, 31, 44, 45, 48*, 51* — 142 points.
X-Factor: Kassandra Pallares, second runner. Here is another team that is gunning for a shot to go to the next level. This team works best when Kassandra is close by her sister Kayla (fifth place). If both can crack the top 10, which Kassandra has done before, then they will be sisters headed to regionals and give the Highlanders the spark they need.
8. Coronado: 6, 36, 37, 39, 41 — 159 points.
X-Factor: Brynna Abel, second runner. With a newcomer like Patricia Ablandeo running in the top 10, Coronado is re-ignited. Abel the teams second runner is the first of several T-Birds close together. If she moves up the team may move up, while their top runner is going to the gold.
*Americas: Did not run the Chamizal, but based on results all season, can still compete for a spot at regionals.
X-Factor: The whole team. The experience this squad has is key. The Trailblazer made it to regionals last season and on top of that they have been in the big races including the Nike Invitational in Houston. Come district expect Americas to pull out all the stops.