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Holtville High School senior Alan Jimenez (left) jumps out to a quick lead during the Vikings’ Imperial Valley League dual meet against Calexico at Sunbeam Lake near Seeley on Tuesday, March 9. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

Cross Country: Vikings Take Top Spots at Dual Meets

Strahm, Jimenez Qualify for IVL Championships

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(UPDATED on Monday, March 15, with scores from the Saturday, March 13, dual meet.)

Holtville High School senior Alan Jimenez and freshman Lillian Strahm continued to dominate on the cross-country course as both won Imperial Valley League dual meets against Calexico and Central Union in the last week.

Jimenez broke his own personal, school, IVL, and course record with a blazing time against Central on Saturday, March 13, completing the 3.1-mile course at Sunbeam Lake near Seeley with a time of 15 minutes, 40.78 seconds. The senior was more than 90 seconds better than the Spartans’ top runner.

Calexico High School junior Briana Gallegos has a slight lead on Holtville High freshman Lillian Strahm as they head down the home stretch during their Imperial Valley League dual meet at Sunbeam Lake near Seeley on Tuesday, March 9. Strahm was able to overtake Gallegos at the finish line. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

“What he’s doing is really amazing because he’s running by himself,” said Gerardo Lara, Holtville’s cross-country coach. “Sure, you train by yourself, but there’s nothing like competition to drive you.”

The Vikings wrapped up their IVL dual-meet season, losing by walkover to Central. Holtville only had four runners and was unable to record a team score.

“With basically all the sports seasons starting at one time, we wanted to allow the kids to go play whatever sport they wanted,” Lara said, regarding the COVID-restriction of athletes only being allowed to play one sport at a time. “As a coach, the greatest challenge has been the changes each week with what we need to do to train and run and compete. It’s been a constant adjustment we have to deal with.”

On the girls’ side, the Vikings only had three runners on Saturday against Central, losing by walkover. Strahm finished the course with a time of 21 minutes, 39.93 seconds.

“The only thing holding her back is her inexperience as a runner,” Lara said about his top female. “She is so young but so disciplined and comes with a fantastic work ethic.”

Strahm, who turned 15 years old on Sunday, March 14, said she wasn’t sure what to expect from her first cross-country season.

“This is a first for me competing in races like this,” Strahm said. “I have a lot of improving to do, especially with my arms, but that’ll come with more experience.”

Holtville High School’s Alan Jimenez is in full stride during the Vikings’ Imperial Valley League dual meet against Calexico at Sunbeam Lake near Seeley on Tuesday, March 9. Jimenez won the race for his fifth consecutive IVL dual-meet victory. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

Both Strahm and Jimenez have qualified for the IVL Championships set for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 20, at Sunbeam Lake. The top 15 boys’ and girls’ times from the dual-meet season will race at the IVL Championships.

Results from the girls’ race on Saturday, March 13, were:

Lillian Strahm, freshman, Holtville (21:39.93)

Clarissa Gonzales, senior, Central (22:10.21)

Kayla Mesa, junior, Central (24:37.31)

Leslie Linarez, sophomore, Central (25:48.30)

Jocelyn Olague, freshman, Central (26:16.15)

Myla Mora, freshman, Central (28:23.40)

Samantha Reyes, freshman, Holtville (34:22.84)

Mariel Estrada, junior, Holtville (35:44.40)

Results from the boys’ race on Saturday, March 13, were:

Alan Jimenez, senior, Holtville (15:40.78)

Michael Zuniga, senior, Central (17:12.84)

Pedro Carrion, senior, Central (17:45.48)

Edgar Mendez, senior, Central (18:22.64)

Daniel Zavala, sophomore, Central (19:26.83)

Hector Lopez, junior, Central (21:42.54)

Javier Hurtado, junior, Holtville (22:16.85)

William Wright, sophomore, Central (24:01.85)

Francisco Vargas, sophomore, Central (24:47.73)

Gannon Strahm, freshman, Holtville (25:07.16)

David Magallon, freshman, Holtville (26:04.25)

Ricardo Romar, sophomore, Central (26:16.20)

Vikings Win Races, Lose Team Events

On Tuesday, March 9, Calexico defeated the Vikings when Holtville failed to field enough runners for either the boys’ or girls’ races.

On the individual side, the girls’ run proved to be the most exciting. Holtville’s Strahm (21:43.53) was able to edge Calexico junior Briana Gallegos (21:46.02) with a final kick down the home stretch.

In the boys’ race, Jimenez continued his dominating season, winning his fifth consecutive IVL dual meet.

Results from the girls’ race on Tuesday, March 9, were:

Lillian Strahm, freshman, Holtville (21:43.53)

Briana Gallegos, junior, Calexico (21:46.02)

Madison Longton, senior, Calexico (23:09.82)

Andrea Garcia, junior, Calexico (23:19.18)

Nayeli Cano, junior, Calexico (23:59.92)

Sarah Olmedo, junior, Calexico (27:50.73)

Danytza Sandoval, junior, Holtville (28:31.67)

Rebeca Gonzales, freshman, Calexico (28:33.73)

Melissa Torres, senior, Holtville (29:05.25)

Mariel Estrada, junior, Holtville (26:40.90)

Results from the boys’ race on Tuesday, March 9, were:

Alan Jimenez, senior, Holtville (16:07.64)

Federico Felix, senior, Calexico (18:30.86)

Ricardo Campos, senior, Calexico (19:51.05)

Daniel Pinela, senior, Calexico (19:51.63)

Damian Torres, senior, Calexico (20:28.33)

Luis Jimenez, freshman, Calexico (20:32.55)

Jacob DeSantiago, senior, Calexico (20:46.71)

Angel Chavez, senior, Calexico (22:14.89)

Javier Hurtado, junior, Holtville (23:17.97)

Abraham Aguirre, sophomore, Calexico (24:42.85)

David Magallon, freshman, Holtville (27:50.02)