The Las Positas Hawks cross-country team is coming off a very successful 2012-2013 season. The Hawks ranked No. 15 in the state, led by Abe Espinoza who was a key runner for LPC all season. Espinoza is now running at Sacramento State with a partial scholarship. Espinoza rejected offers to Holy Names University, College of Notre Dame and Cal State East Bay to get his Division I scholarship with the Sacramento State Hornets. LPC also lost their top womens cross-country runner Janae Mayfield, who received a 50 percent scholarship to Chico State. This new season the Hawks have one main task to overcome and that is out with the old and in with the new.
Espinoza was special runner that accomplished some great things, including in the classroom where he received a state scholar award for being a good athlete and maintaining a GPA higher than 3.65. This is an award that only two runners in the state of California received, the other being LPC’s own Adam White.
“Abe is a special player who broke seven college records out of nine runs and our biggest challenge will be getting these new runners to step up and take over,” coach Steve Navarro said.
LPC still has a few sophomores that will lead the way for the Hawks, such as Juan Morales. “He has been running very well, working hard every day,” Navarro said about Morales.
The women’s team is lead by sophomore Lilana Mukha. This year’s team has been taken over by freshmen, which will be the theme for the season. Young team with something to prove.
“The freshmen need to step it up, it is as simple as that,” Navarro said.
Navarro is also looking to bring in two more top recruits for this season, which will bolster the roster.
After the key losses from last year’s team the Hawks still have high hopes for state.
“I believe we can still finish Top 2 in conference and Top 10 in state,” Navarro said confidently.
The team began that journey at the Fresno Invitational, at Woodwork Park in Fresno, CA, this past Saturday and finished No. 16 in that first meet. However Navarro does not see it as a failure.
“The team had some quality bonding and gained some much-needed chemistry on this road trip,” Navarro said.
The leaders for LPC at the Fresno Invitational were Jason Intravaia who placed No. 33 and ran a 21.53 four-mile time, Juan Morales who placed No. 50 with a 22.30 four-mile time and Michael Yee placed No. 90 with a 24:05 four-mile run.
This meet contained 201 runners from Northern and Southern California. LPC’s team came in No. 8 for Northern California, despite missing key runners Mukha and Zamanian who were not able to attend the race due to personal issues.
The next meet LPC will be competing is Sept. 18, 3:30 pm at the Lou Vasquez Invitational at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA