Top Individuals in the City: Senior Boys

Edit (8/6/15): Hector Garcia actually finished 9th in the State Meet last year which is even more impressive.

Forewords: As expected, the Seniors are the class of the City and unless something drastic happens, the City Champ should emerge from this group. Luevano has to be the favorite, but Garcia will be hungry and should challenge him. Six have already recorded sub-16 efforts at Pierce while a further 8 went 10:00 or better in the 3200.

1) Paul Luevano – Venice (15:01/Pierce, 4:19/1600, 9:09/3200)
The reigning XC City Champ and two-time 3200 m City Champ has the credentials to be the favorite to win it again. Could he get Rosales’s 14:31 course record at Pierce too? It’s certainly in the realm of possibility. While he will continue to respect challengers from the City, he will undoubtedly want to make an impact at the State level this year after falling short of his best the past few seasons.

2) Hector Garcia – Marshall (15:28/Pierce, 1:57/800, 4:18/1600, 9:14/3200)
Luevano is the favorite, but Garcia will definitely have something to say about that. Last year, Garcia made a huge, gutsy move on the Switchbacks in an effort to break Luevano, which didn’t work out as he wanted it too. He hasn’t been able to get the best of him at City, but at the State level, he takes his game to a whole new level. Garcia finished in a remarkable 9th place at State Finals in D1, which is the strongest and deepest division in the State and the country. In Track, he had to deal with illness which resulted in him not being able to be his best. Expect him to challenge Luevano and push him to his limit this year.

3) Marcelo Ramirez – Eagle Rock (15:52/Pierce, 4:27/1600, 9:44/3200)
Ramirez has steadily improved over his three years to become one of the City’s best and the cornerstone of the Eagle Rock program. He is the definition of consistent having finished 8th at XC City Finals, and 7th in the 1600 and 3200. He also has the tendency to come up with his best performances at the end of the season when it matters. Look for him to be in the top 5 in November.

4) Jesus Cortes – Santee (15:56/Pierce, 4:37/1600, 9:45/3200)
After being in the same category as Luevano and Garcia as a Frosh, Cortes hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations but has nonetheless been an important part of the Santee program for three years. By his standards, he was in a slump since his Sophomore XC season, but finally had his breakthrough in the 3200 running a 15 sec PR in 9:45. This year, he will be the frontrunner and leader for a Santee team that has a good shot at making it back to State.

5) Veejay Jones – Verdugo Hills (15:36/Pierce 4:41/1600, 10:01/3200)
Jones transferred to Verdugo from a Southern Section school (Gahr) in his Sophomore Track season. Since then, he has become one of the City’s best runners, but also the most under the radar. Last year, he finished runner up in the D2 XC City Finals to Negash in 15:36, which is the 3rd fastest returning time behind Luevano and Garcia. For whatever reason though, he has chosen not to compete in the postseason during Track so he isn’t able to show his talent at the highest level. He is, however, the favorite for the D2 Title this season.

6) Cristhian Macias – Gardena (16:08/Pierce, 1:58/800, 4:28/1600, 10:05/3200)
Macias is another talent running in D2. He finished 3rd last year and built on that with a great Track season. Last year’s F/S 1600 City Champ and 3200 runner-up focused on the 800 this year where he finished 4th at City Finals. He and Jones should have a nice duel this upcoming season similar to Garcia and Luevano’s in D1.

7) Marcos Shente – Reseda (15:55/Pierce, 4:38/1600, 10:08/3200)
The former F/S XC City Champ had a tremendous XC season which ended in an 11th place finish and a sub-16 PR. Shente unfortunately didn’t have the Track season he wanted to though by missing out on City Finals in his focus event, the 3200. Expect him to come back even stronger and lead his team to a City Finals berth.

8) Andre Shahinian – Granada Hills (16:12/Pierce, 4:33/1600, 9:52/3200)
Shahinian was another member of the Granada team that missed out on a spot at State by a single point last year. Like his teammates, the disappointment probably fueled the fire for a great Track season and it will undoubtedly be in the back of their minds over the summer and during the season. Last year’s F/S 3200 m Champ recorded Prs in the 1600 and 3200 this past season and finished 10th in the 3200 Final. He and Tiber will lead a hungry Granada team this season.

9) Christopher Guerra – Bravo (16:33/Pierce, 4:32/1600, 9:56/3200)
Guerra had a good XC season but he really improved nicely in Track in Spring and proved that he is ready to step up as one of the best runners in the City. He qualified to City Finals in both the 1600 and 3200 and is one of ten returners that have broken 10:00 in the 3200. He will look to place as high as possible to give his Bravo team the best chance of placing on the podium.

10) Brodie Collette – El Camino Real (17:37/Pierce, 4:52/1600, 9:48/3200)
Perhaps the biggest surprise and improver over Track was Collette who came out of nowhere to record the 6th best returning 3200 time in the City. His meteoric rise comes off after a season where he was the 4th man for ECR’s JV team last year that won City. Collette had never ran under 10:20 until he recorded his 9:48 at City Prelims, but couldn’t match that performance at Finals. If he can consistently replicate his 9:48 form, he will be a key scorer for favorites ECR and a podium contender individually. He should be able to record a huge PR at Pierce this upcoming season.

Honorable Mentions:
Henry Fitzmorris – El Camino Real (16:12/Pierce, 4:47/1600, 10:16/3200)
Jeffery Lung – North Hollywood (16:17/Pierce, 2:02/800, 4:35/1600, 10:29/3200)
Oswaldo Soto – North Hollywood (16:56/Pierce, 4:54/1600, 10:00/3200)
Anthony Medina – Monroe (16:25/Pierce, 4:46/1600, 10:19/3200)
Salvador Rodriguez – Santee (16:13/Pierce, 4:52/1600, 10:51/3200)
Servando Aguilar – Panorama (16:32/Pierce, 2:04/800, 4:34/1600)
Jose Perez – Roybal (17:08/Pierce, 4:47/1600, 10:05/3200)
Jonathan Pedroza – Garfield (16:27/Pierce, 4:51/1600, 10:28/3200)
Usiel Ulloa – Santee (16:55/Pierce, 2:06/800, 4:44/1600, 10:19/3200)

I will post the top overall individuals hopefully tomorrow.


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