Top Individuals in the City: Junior Girls

Forewords: The Class of 2017 is led by Jazmine Macias who had an impressive Sophomore year and could push her teammate Natalie Realegeno for a City Title. Right behind her is Santee’s Jennifer Perez who logged a 5:30, 11:57 double winning the F/S Titles and returns with the best Track times among this group. She should contend for a top 10 finish in November despite having a 21:14 Pierce PR. Also receiving recognition are D1-caliber talents running in D3 and D2 respectively, Vanessa Moreno and Sidney Dragolarish, who are both heavy favorites to win their respective divisions at City Finals. JJ Wittbrodt and Carissa Lee are also expected to lead the great programs of Palisades and Taft respectively this year as Juniors after the graduations of Marissa Williams and Beckie Alch. The rest of the group all has the potential of breaking 20 at Pierce this upcoming season making them extremely deep and bodes well for the future.

1. Jazmine Macias – Granada Hills (19:18/Pierce, 5:33/1600, 12:03/3200)
Jazmine Macias’s 19:18 is the 2nd fastest returning time at Pierce behind her teammate Natalie Realegeno which gives Granada the potential of going 1-2 at City Finals. She couldn’t quite replicate her 1st place finishes in the F/S 1600 and 3200 m from her Freshman year in Track this past season but still PR’ed in the 1600 which is a good indication that she should better her XC times.

2. Jennifer Perez – Santee (21:14/Pierce, 2:30/800, 5:30/1600, 11:57/3200)
Jennifer Perez was arguably the best improver from XC to Track this past year. She finished her Sophomore XC season with a PR of 21:14 which is good, but not anything outstanding. However, she elevated herself to new heights during Track as she won the F/S 1600 and 3200 m in personal bests 5:30 and 11:57. Those times would have placed her 8th in both Varsity races. Alongside her teammate Patricia Sanchez, they should form a formidable 1-2 punch this season that could lead to a podium spot in November.

3. Vanessa Moreno – Academia Avance (19:48/Pierce)
Vanessa Moreno is the only D3 runner that I will rank among girls or boys which is a testament to her outstanding ability. She won the Small Schools division as a Freshman and D3 as a Sophomore by 1 minute and 42 seconds which makes her a 2-time defending champ that could easily compete in D1. There isn’t any Track data from her but she has still managed to improve her PRs at Pierce from year to year. As an overwhelming favorite at the City level, she could turn her attention to a higher finish at the State meet where she finished 39th last year in D5.

4. JJ Wittbrodt – Palisades (19:52/Pierce, 5:55/1600)
Having been a part of the Palisades Varsity team for the past 2 seasons, JJ Wittbrodt has had success team-wise and individually. However, with Marissa Williams now gone, she has greater responsibility on her shoulders to lead the Dolphins this year. Wittbrodt has a relatively quiet Track season, but the emergence of teammate Kimia Samandi should take some pressure off of her.

5. Carissa Lee – Taft (20:03/Pierce, 5:41/1600, 12:22/3200)
Like JJ Wittbrodt, Carissa Lee is expected to lead her team this season after one of the City’s recent best, Beckie Alch, graduated. She has consistently improved from season to season having lowered her Pierce PR by almost 2 minutes this past season and setting personal bests in the 1600 and 3200 this past season. She qualified for both the F/S 1600 and 3200 m Finals where she placed 8th and 4th respectively. She will be tasked with the responsibility to lead Taft back to the podium even though they lost a good number from last year’s Varsity team.

6. Shannon Lee – Palisades (20:08/Pierce, 5:46/1600, 12:19/3200)
Shannon Lee was Palisades’s 6th runner for last year’s City Champ team as she just missed breaking 20 at Pierce. Although she didn’t PR in Track, she still recorded solid times for a Sophomore and ran on the biggest stage at the Varsity level in the 3200 and bettered her finish from her Freshman year. Like her teammates from Pali, she will be expected to step up in order to help fill the shoes of Marissa Williams.

7. Noemi Silva – Polytechnic (20:02/Pierce, 2:39/800, 5:57/1600)
In Noemi Silva’s first XC last year, she nearly broke 20 at Pierce, placed 21st individually, and helped Poly to a respectable 8th place finish. As a Junior this year and the 10th best returner from City Finals, she should place on the podium individually even if she didn’t have the best Track season. Silva will also be a much needed low stick for her Poly team that could better their 8th place this season.

8. Sidney Dragolarish – Verdugo Hills (20:10/Pierce)
Sidney Dragolarish was the F/S XC Champ last year as she won by 27 seconds over Palisades’ Kimia Samandi in her first season running. Her time would have easily won her the D2 Individual Title last year making her a big favorite for the Title this season, despite not having any Track times. With her leading the group, Verdugo Hills should be back at City Finals as a team and make a splash.

9. Chelsea Levi – Palisades (20:16/Pierce, 2:41/800, 5:54/1600)
Chelsea Levi burst onto the scene as a Freshman by placing 14th at City Finals with a 19:31 to help Palisades win the team title by a single point over Granada Hills. She also placed 2nd in the F/S 1600 and 3200 m last year to Jazmine Macias. Levi suffered a little of a “Sophomore Slump” but has the ability to recover as she still put up very respectable times. If she can recapture her Freshman year form though, then she would become an even greater asset to the Dolphins in their attempt win back-to-back City Titles.

10. Genesis Siam Alvarez – Santee (20:19/Pierce, 2:46/800)
Genesis Siam Alvarez finished the season as Santee’s 2nd runner at City Finals last year as she helped Santee to a 7th place finish. During Track, she focused more on sprints and hurdles which shouldn’t be a deterrent since she was a 400/800 runner in her Freshman Track campaign. With her teammates Jennifer Perez and Patricia Sanchez having huge Track seasons, Santee has a formidable front trio that could lead to a podium finish this season.

Honorable Mentions:

Elia Gil – Bravo (20:32/Pierce, 2:35/800, 5:58/1600, 12:51/3200)

Jessica Villasenor – Narbonne (20:38/Pierce)

Alexa De La Pena (20:49/Pierce, 5:43/1600, 13:01/3200)

Victoria Childers – Granada Hills (21:07/Pierce, 5:52/1600, 12:35/3200)

Ariel Pollack – Palisades (5:41/1600, 12:41/3200)

Paloma Camacho – Eagle Rock (21:47/Pierce, 5:49/1600, 12:46/3200)

Magaly Resendez – Cesar Chavez (23:32/Pierce, 5:41/1600, 12:48/3200)

Fiona De Rego – Venice (20:58/Pierce, 6:03/1600, 12:56/3200)

Nicole Figueroa – Palisades (21:28/Pierce, 2:23/800, 5:42/1600)

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