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Costa Mesa cross-country earns sweep in Orange Coast League opener

Costa Mesa's Jaqueline Rodriquez wins the girls' varsity race
Costa Mesa’s Jaqueline Rodriquez wins the girls’ varsity race in the Orange Coast League cross-country opener against Calvary Chapel on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

In the first sporting event held on the campus of Costa Mesa High School since the pandemic forced high school sports to shut down last March, the host Mustangs swept an Orange Coast League cross-country dual meet opener against Calvary Chapel on Wednesday.

Jaqueline Rodriguez got it started, pacing the field in leading the Costa Mesa girls to a narrow 25-30 team victory. One of three seniors in the lineup for the Mustangs, Rodriguez ran 20 minutes 40.1 seconds to hold off Eagles freshman Hannah Radmilovich (20:55.3) to win the race.

“Pretty thankful,” Rodriguez said of competing for the first time as a senior. “We didn’t have track [last spring], so that’s a bummer, but we’ve been running, and we felt we were really excited for this race.”

Juniors Angeles Alatorre (fourth, 21:58.7), Daisy Carrillo (fifth, 21:15.0) and Abigail Constantino (seventh, 25:01.2) were joined by senior Brianna Tapia (eighth, 25:31.6) among the scoring quintet for the Mustangs.

The course began on the track and finished on the track, with the runners making their way over to the adjacent Jack R. Hammett Sports Complex to complete three perimeters around the facility before returning into the stadium for a final lap.

Calvary Chapel's Alex Arellano wins the boys' varsity race in the Orange Coast League cross-country opener at Costa Mesa.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Costa Mesa senior Jackson Wrubel was first to re-enter the track in the boys’ race, but Calvary Chapel junior Alex Arellano (18:20.0) had the kick to pull ahead with about 200 meters to go.

Arellano said it was his first high school cross-country race. He said he felt nervous going into it, but after pulling off the individual win, he said, “Once I was out there, I kind of got my confidence to just push it.”

Wrubel crossed the finish line just five seconds later, but his job was far from done. As teammates returned to the track, he cheered them on as they battled for positioning in the team standings.

“He has a lot of enthusiasm and he understands the team concept, so it’s about getting across the line obviously as far up as you can, but then he really cheers on his team,” Costa Mesa cross-country coach Steve Moreno said of Wrubel. “He’s like that in practice. He’s been a great leader for us.”

Costa Mesa went on to win comfortably after placing all five scoring runners among the top seven finishers in the competition. The Mustangs topped the Eagles 21-35 on the boys’ side.

Costa Mesa's Jackson Wrubel leads the pack in the boys' race of the Orange Coast League cross-country opener on Wednesday.
Costa Mesa’s Jackson Wrubel leads the pack in the boys’ race of the Orange Coast League cross-country opener against Calvary Chapel on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Raymond Tran-Nguyen (third, 19:09.2), Moises Chavez (fourth, 20:02.1), Sebastian Alvarez (fifth, 20:03.0) and Diego Martinez (seventh, 20:26.9) also placed for Costa Mesa.

Asked about the on-campus course, Wrubel said it was nice to hear cheering coming from others at the school.

“It felt pretty weird because it’s our first time that we’ve ever had a race here,” Wrubel said. “It was nice because some of our other teams were practicing and cheering us on, and that felt really good to be recognized by them.”

Moreno got his exercise in, too, as he rode the pace bike for both races.

“I’m going to sleep good tonight,” he chuckled. “Let’s put it that way.”

Costa Mesa's Abigail Cahuantzi rounds the turn with encouragement from a friend in a race against Calvary Chapel.
Costa Mesa’s Abigail Cahuantzi rounds the turn with encouragement from a friend into the stadium in the Orange Coast League cross-country opener against Calvary Chapel on Wednesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

BOYS’ CROSS-COUNTRY


At Costa Mesa High School

3-mile course

Orange Coast League

Costa Mesa 21, Calvary Chapel 35

1. Arellano (CC) 18:20.0; 2. Wrubel (CM) 18:25.0; 3. Tran-Nguyen (CM) 19:09.2; 4. Chavez (CM) 20:02.1; 5. Alvarez (CM) 20:03.0; 6. Mejia (CC) 20:12.8; 7. Martinez (CM) 20:26.9; 8. Kerr (CC) 21:07.8; 9. Clark (CC) 22:01.0; 10. Rodriguez (CM) 22:12.8

GIRLS’ CROSS-COUNTRY


At Costa Mesa High School

3-mile course

Orange Coast League

Costa Mesa 25, Calvary Chapel 30

1. Rodriguez (CM) 20:40.1; 2. Radmilovich (CC) 20:55.3; 3. Biggins (CC) 21:22.1; 4. Alatorre (CM) 21:58.7; 5. Carrillo (CM) 22:15.0; 6. Navarro (CC) 23:14.4; 7. Constantino (CM) 25:01.2; 8. Tapia (CM) 25:31.6; 9. Reiser (CC) 25:50.9; 10. Frantz (CC) 26:15.7

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