TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Thanks to outstanding runs by senior Alex Klekas and sophomore Xandry De Arrieta – coupled with strong efforts from their supporting casts – the Elko cross country teams posted successful and matching performances.
Wednesday in the Canyon Ridge Run, the Indians and Lady Indians each tallied fifth-place finishes in the boys and girls varsity divisions.
Klekas placed third out of 85 runners, the Indians placing fifth among 13 teams with 150 points.
He finished with a time of 16:42.3.
Sophomore and little brother Sean Klekas took 21st and crossed second for Elko, flirting with a sub-17 race of 18:05.5.
“Alex ran really well. He took 11th last week against mostly the same kids, so moving up to third was good,” said Elko coach Cody Krenka. “Sean has been struggling for the last month, but he got back on track and turned it around.”
Elko went back-to-back at 40th and 41st, sophomore Jimmy Murphy and senior Peter Neff splitting hairs with matching times of 19:07.8.
“Jimmy and Peter ran well, but Duncan Monroe is out with a knee injury,” Krenka said. “We still need to find out what’s wrong with him.”
A pair of Elko sophomores also finished in consecutive fashion, Noah Haase’s 20:26.1 crossing in 61st and Carlos Correa’s 20:34.7 following in 62nd.
In a three-in-a-row streak, Elko freshman Philip Neff took 63rd in 20:37.7.
Owyhee sophomore Antonio Ovando closed the race in 21:05.1 for the Braves in 68th place.
De Arrieta tallied a top-10 finish in the varsity girls race with a time of 21:40.4 and placed eighth out of 69 athletes, leading an Elko team that scored 158 points for fifth place against 11 programs.
“Xandry did very well for the girls,” Krenka said.
Sophomore teammate Lulu Neff placed 24th with a time of 23:10.8, and junior Marrisa Valdez crossed in 24:29.5 for 39th.
“We had a lot of PRs, but that will happen with a lot of new people. Athletic.net did not post Karissa’s (Fadenrecht) time, but she ran in the low 24s and did very well. She finished a few spots ahead of Marrisa,” Krenka said.
Elko junior Viviana Gavaldon ranked 43rd with a time of 24:53.
In 47th, sophomore Karen Salazar finished in 25:25.7, and sophomore Briana Cortez crossed in less than 26 minutes with a 25:58.7 for 54th place.
The Lady Indians were also without Kady Allen, who is injured.
For the Lady Braves, junior Talliah Hanchor took 69th place with a time of 34:58.2.
Junior varsity boys
In the JV boys division, the Jackpot Jaguars experienced another solid outing – placing fifth with 157 points.
Elko took 11th out of 11 qualifying teams with 271 points.
Of the 149 runners in the field, just two finished ahead of Jackpot freshman Hector Ontiveros and his time of 19:01.5.
He was followed in eighth by junior teammate Hugo Sanchez, who finished in 19:22.3.
Wells junior Matthew James took 18th place and made a sub-20 run of 19:54.5.
Jackpot senior Jesus Lopez ran a 21:10.3 and placed 36th.
Elko’s top runner, freshman Kevin Tanner, clocked a 21:35.5 for 56th place.
Sophomore teammate Spencer Memmott took 82nd with a 22:50.6, freshman Connor Cooper crossing for the Indians two seconds later with a 22:526 for 84th.
Jackpot freshman Jonnathan Rios posted a 22:54.4 for 85th, and Elko freshman Gavin Nicola placed 88th in 22:56.8.
The Elko junior varsity girls posted 164 points for sixth place, Wells finishing with 236 points in eighth – nine teams taking place in the 98-person field.
Elko freshman Kara Nicola led the way for the Lady Indians in 31st place with a time of 26:16.6, followed in 35th by sophomore teammate Alexis Castor’s 27:03.9.
Sophomore Ava Nielson aided Elko’s performance with a 27:09.7 effort for 35th place, and senior Mariela Avila took 42nd in 27:44.2.
Freshman Ameliya Marin improved her time to 28:03.8 for 48th.
Wells began its placings with a 28:05.9 by sophomore Zion McKay for 49th, followed in 51st by sophomore teammate Liliana Cobian’s 28:07.
Elko freshman Krystal Howe crossed in 28:58 for 59th, and Wells sophomore Ana Roque-Luna finished in 30:04.5 for 69th.
Sophomore teammate McKenli Myers took 72nd in 30:33.7, Elko junior Rachel Toney crossed in 77th with a time of 31:48.6 and Wells freshman Jimena Roque-Luna’s 32:32.1 placed 78th.
Wells freshman Shaylin Uhlig rounded out the times for the locals with a time of 34:50.8 for 89th.
“For only having two senior boys and one senior girl, everyone looks good – seems like right where they need to be at this point,” Krenka said. “We have a month until our meet, so we need to stay healthy and keep improving throughout the rest of the season.”
All of the local programs will take part in a big meet at their next competition, running Saturday, Sept. 22, in the Bob Firman Invitational, at Eagle Island State Park, in Boise, Idaho.