Beaumont sweeps at Mountain Pass cross country finals; San Jacinto runner exact some revenge
By Landon Negri
HEMET — Beaumont’s boys cross country team is out to prove something. San Jacinto senior Kimberly Lopez did prove something Thursday.
Beaumont swept the Mountain Pass League Finals in cross country at Diamond Valley Lake, with the Cougars boys setting the stage for what they hope is a more impressive postseason run this year. And a year after suffering a disqualification that wasn’t by her own doing, Lopez made most everyone in her league smile with a runner-up finish in the girls race.
Beaumont set a goal of getting all seven of its runners in the top 10 and did just that. Tallying just 19 points, the Cougars were led by league champ Nolan Valdivia (15:54.2) and runner-up William Sanchez (16:14.2). Hemet was second with 53 points.
The Cougars were considered a team with an outside chance at a state-meet a year ago before fading with a 22nd-place finish at its qualifying meet in the CIF-Southern Section Finals. Coach Brandon Tedrow believes his team is fueled by that disappointment.
“I hope so,” he said. “For the guys, that was our whole conversation in Big Bear at our summer camp — to be able to walk away from CIF Finals with our heads held high, instead of down low.”
While Cougars junior Aeriel Madrigal won the girls race in 19:35.2, Lopez’s second-place showing in 19:51.8 was triumphant for the senior.
Lopez would have finished third a year ago, but was disqualified for a pacing infraction when a former assistant coach rode alongside her for part of the race, even as it was without her knowledge. Not only did she lose her spot, but with only five runners at the time, San Jacinto did not have enough scoring runners without Lope and lost out on a postseason berth.
But Thursday, she ran strong, placing second in 19:51.8 and leading […]