Top Indivduals in the City: Sophomore Girls

Forewords: As usual, Frosh girls tend to have a larger impact as Freshman than boys at the Varsity level. Eight recorded a 21:00 or better at Pierce, 14 had sub-6 efforts in the 1600 and 13 went 13:45 or better on the track. This group is led by University’s Stephanie Cruz who had the best Frosh time at Pierce by 24 seconds as she placed on the podium at City Finals. Bravo’s Libertad Gonzalez was the only other sub-20 girl at Pierce, but if Track times indicate anything, which they usually do, they indicate huge XC seasons for Santee’s Patricia Sanchez, and Palisades’ Kimia Samandi. A host of other girls showed great improvement during Track and should become scorers for their teams this season if they weren’t already.

1) Stephanie Cruz – University (19:38/Pierce, 2:39/800, 5:50/1600)
Stephanie Cruz was the top Frosh finisher last year at City Finals placing 12th overall and led the Wildcats to a City Finals berth. She didn’t quite meet the heights she reached in XC during Track that saw her missing out on City Prelims after attempting to qualify through the Varsity route. She is the 5th fastest returner from a year ago so expect her to push for a top 3 finish individually.

2) Patricia Sanchez – Santee (20:04/Pierce, 5:33/1600, 12:14/3200)

Patricia Sanchez had a great Freshman campaign that saw her nearly break 20 at Pierce and establish herself as a key scorer for Santee. She built on that with a huge Track season where she placed 4th and 3rd respectively in the 1600 and 3200 m F/S Finals (the 2nd fastest Frosh in those races). Sanchez’s 12:14 ranks her as the 8th fastest 3200 m runner which should set her up for a great XC season.

3) Kimia Samandi – Palisades (21:00/Pierce, 5:32/1600, 12:07/3200)

Like her teammate Jonathan Amiri on the Palisades boys’ side, Kimia Samandi was another Frosh that excelled in Track this past season. She show signs of promise by finishing 2nd in the F/S XC City Finals but recorded top 8 returning times in both the 1600 and 3200 m in the whole City Section. She took the runner-up spot in both those events at the F/S level once again at City Finals, but was the top Frosh. She could very well end up leading Palisades in November when they try to defend their City Championship.

4) Libertad Gonzalez – Bravo (19:52/Pierce, 6:03/1600, 12:52/3200)

Libertad Gonzalez was the only other Frosh last year that broke 20 at Pierce behind Stephanie Cruz. Like her, she did not have the best Track season but managed to break 13 in the F/S 3200 m Final and place 11th. If she can match or better her 19:52 at Pierce this season, Bravo has a legit shot at a top-2 finish.

5) Yareli Jimenez – Marshall (20:35/Pierce, 2:33/800, 5:31/1600, 12:52/3200)

Yareli Jimenez was another important scorer for her team as a Frosh and continued to run Varsity throughout Track. She finished 8th in the Varsity 1600 m and is the 6th fastest returner at that distance. With her teammate Gris Monterroso recording similar times, the two of them will form the 1-2 punch that could help Marshall be on the podium this season.

6) Chloe DeLeon – San Pedro (20:48/Pierce, 2:34/800, 5:45/1600, 12:46/3200)

Chloe De Leon was San Pedro’s 5th scorer at City Finals last year as a Freshman as they finished in 2nd place. With their top 3 all graduating, she will be expected to contribute even more to her team, but Track times indicate that shouldn’t be a problem. She put up impressive PRs across all 3 distance events and qualified to City Finals at the F/S level in all 3 as well. It’s possible that she will end up leading the Pirates as they try to finish in the top-2.

7) Jordyn Turner – Eagle Rock (20:56/Pierce, 2:25/800, 5:48/1600)

Jordyn Turner impressed as a Frosh as she broke 21 at Pierce in her only race there. However, Track is where she really established herself as one of the best in the Class of 2018 with incredible speed. She split a 62.9 in a 400 and ran a 2:25 in the 800 (5th best returning and 10th overall last season). Off the back of that, she should qualify to City Finals this year as an individual if her team doesn’t qualify.

8) Hillary Aispuro – Bell (21:00/Pierce, 6:07/1600, 12:49/3200)

The younger sister of Asension Aispuro (C/O ’13; 15:37/Pierce, 4:26/1600) carried the family name well as she was also a key scorer for Bell and nearly broke 21 in her only race at Pierce. She also finished 8th in the F/S 3200 m Final with a 12:49 PR. Along with her teammate Nairbris Sibrian, a potential top-10 finisher, Bell has a great chance to get back to City Finals after missing out last year.

9) Grace Mills – El Camino Real (22:19/Pierce 5:45/1600, 12:49/3200)

Grace Mills is another example of El Camino Real’s ability to develop decent runners into great ones. Mills finished 20th at the F/S XC City Finals with a modest 22:19, but really improved in Track where she qualified for the 1600 and 3200 m Finals. Her 12:49 3200 time was the 5th best among Freshman last season and she should be a scorer for ECR this upcoming season as they contend for a podium finish.

10) Karina Fiscal – Chatsworth (23:25/Pierce, 2:39/800, 5:38/1600)

Karina Fiscal had a decent XC season but didn’t do anything to really make her stand out. That changed on the track where she recorded an impressive 5:38 to become the F/S 1600 West Valley League Champ, which is arguably the most competitive league in the City. She finished in 5th place at City Finals and was the 3rd fastest Frosh in that race. Her 5:38 is the 12th best returning mark in the 1600 m which foreshadows a massive drop in time in XC where she should be a scorer for Chatsworth as they try to make it back to City Finals.

Honorable Mentions:
Zoe Camporaso – Palisades (21:35/Pierce, 2:42/800, 6:06/1600)
Sarena Chavez – San Pedro (21:38/Pierce 5:59/1600, 13:24/3200)
Katia Valente – Hamilton (23:04/Elysian, 2:40/800, 5:42/1600)
Jacqueline Corona – Bravo (21:31/Pierce, 2:36/800, 5:56/1600)
Emily Wilkinson – LACES (21:32/Pierce, 2:39/800, 6:01/1600)
Lulu Takei – Palisades (22:19/Pierce, 2:44/800, 5:53/1600)
Alexa Sullivan – Taft (23:22/Pierce, 2:33/800, 5:53/1600)

Let me know if you think I overlooked anyone. The Junior list should be up on Thursday.

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