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The boys teams begin the 3.1-mile race at the Imperial Valley League Cross Country Finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Saturday, Nov. 13. Central Union’s boys team took the title while the Imperial girls squad was also crowned champs. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

CROSS COUNTRY: Vikings’ Soph Takes 2nd at IVL Finals

Reyna Finishes Fourth in Boys Final

SEELEY — Holtville High School sophomore Lilly Strahm finished second at the Imperial Valley League girls cross country finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near here on Saturday, Nov. 13.

Strahm, who took third at the IVL Finals during the Covid-shortened season in the spring, completed the 3.1-mile race in 20 minutes, 43.44 seconds, more than 32 seconds behind Central Union High senior and overall champion Azucena Hernandez, who finished in 20 minutes, 10.83 seconds.

Rounding out the top five was Brawley freshman Jayden Cornejo in third (20:51.56), Calexico senior Belen Campos in fourth (20:56.64) and Southwest senior Sidney Garcia in fifth (21:19.84).

Holtville High School sophomore Lilly Strahm makes the turn toward the finish line at the Imperial Valley League Finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Saturday, Nov. 13. Strahm took second overall after finishing third in her freshman season. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

As for the girls team competition, Imperial came out on top with its first five runners netting 50 points. Calexico finished second with 68 points, followed by Central in third (74), Brawley Union (92), Southwest (96), Holtville (107) and Palo Verde Valley of Blythe (190).

In the boys race, Central was able to edge out Brawley to win the IVL championship with the Spartans scoring 41 points to Brawley’s 49. Imperial finished third (60), followed by Southwest in fourth (69) and Palo Verde in fifth (122). Calexico and Holtville did not field enough runners to register a final score.

Southwest junior Steven Gomez was crowned IVL champion with his time of 16 minutes, 28 seconds for the 3.1-mile course. He was followed by Brawley junior Archie Olvera (16:30.48), Imperial junior Daniel Ortega (17:14.01), Holtville junior Julian Reyna (17:21.99) and Brawley junior Ryan Garcia (17:32.98).

All cross country teams will move on to compete in the respective CIF-San Diego Section divisional championships set for Saturday, Nov. 20, at Morley Field in San Diego.

With this being the IVL Finals, the top-10 finishers in both the girls and boys races earn the All-IVL designation.

Holtville High junior Julian Reyna runs at the Imperial Valley League Finals at Sunbeam Lake Park near Seeley on Saturday, Nov. 13. Reyna finished fourth in the 3.1-mile race to earn himself All-IVL honors. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

Girls Top-10 results:

Azucena Hernandez, Central senior (20:10.83)

Lilly Strahm, Holtville sophomore (20:43.44)

Jayden Cornejo, Brawley freshman (20:51.56)

Belen Campos, Calexico senior (20:56.64)

Sidney Garcia, Southwest senior (21:19.84)

Briana Gallegos, Calexico senior (21:20.69)

Natalie Lopez, Imperial senior (21:24.86)

Angelique Graham, Imperial junior (21:27.99)

Elyssa Martinez, Imperial senior (21:52.63)

Lilandra Padilla, Brawley junior (21:59.59)

Boys Top-10 results:

Steven Gomez, Southwest junior (16:28.0)

Archie Olvera, Brawley junior (16:30.48)

Daniel Ortega, Imperial junior (17:14.01)

Julian Reyna, Holtville junior (17:21.99)

Ryan Garcia, Brawley junior (17:32.98)

Jiovani Martin, Central sophomore (17:46.23)

Jaden Martin, Central sophomore (17:55.90)

Luis Jimenez, Calexico sophomore (18:07.04)

Grant Becker, Southwest senior (18:11.22)

Dyson Smith, Brawley freshman (18:24.23)