Bassett’s XC Program Keeps Their Streak Running


Anthony Padilla

Bassett’s Crossy Country team’s season is coming to a close, but a strong, dominant season at that. With their Training Starting during the summer, continuing just as hard during the fall, they have now reaped the rewards of their hard work. Every team from Bassett won the league championship title, which include JV Boys, JV Girls, Varsity Girls, and Varsity Boys.

For a quick summary on the sport and for those unaware, Cross Country is a sport where teams race on a 3 mile course for the fastest overall team time (i.e Fastest Varsity Boys Team time). Bassett’s course is Bonelli Park, next to raging waters, a hilly course that has altering terrain. Bassett’s league consists of Garey, Ganesha, Pomona, La Puente, and Edgewood High.

The season started strong and finished stronger for each individual team. The team was blessed with incredibly talented freshmen this season, who really stepped up to the plate to secure Bassetts win. They were some slight obstacles, such as the messiness of the second cluster meet, where the course was changed, however not correctly to where it was three miles,nor did any team understand the new course.

On the Boys Varsity side, the season seemed to be a little grim, with Varsity Capain Anthony Padilla(11th) being injured. However, Alexis Castillon (11th), also Varsity Captain, was able to lead the team to victory, with the succeeding runners also stepping up to the plate. Alexis Castillon led Bassetts team, followed by Luis Aranda(10th), Eli Hernandez(10th), Sergio Aldana(11th), Luis Berrios(10th), Giancarlo Banuelos(10th), and Cristian Menera(9th). The boys secured the league title, and now move on to CIF.

On the Girls side, the season was filled with nothing but potential, with strong veterans returning  to the team, as well as standout newcomers who only added to the teams strength. The team was so strong in fact that the girls front runner would constantly be changing, with Vivian Mendez(10th) leading the first meet, Anahi Guitrion(9th) leading the second, and veteran Claudia Gonzalez(12th) leading the last. Other standout members contributing to girls varsity were Stephanie Niebla(12th), Ana Tecuanhuehue(12th), Davina Torres(11th) and Ana Simon(10th). The Girls will also be advancing to CIF.

Only adding to the titles, JV Girls were also able to secure the league title, and by a large number, with practically every runner in the top ten were from Bassett. Joanna Vasquez(10th) led the first league meet, Meraly Vasquez(9th) leading the second, and Jazmin Ramirez(10th) dominating the last. The most interesting development of the season is the emergence of the last two runners, Jazmin and Meraly. Their times in the last league meet place them at the front of the Varsity Race, which now place them to run CIF with the Varsity Girls.

Last but not least, the JV Boys secure the league title for the first time in some years. The boys had standout newcomers, such as Daniel Cerna(9th), Omar Guzman(9th), Sergio Torres(9th) Matthew Cerda(9th), Cesar Leal (10th), and Jethro Del Roasario(12th). The boys secured the win, and gave Bassett their dominance across the Board.

The season concluded for the team at CIF prelims, where the competition was extremely fierce, as well as the conditions of the race being brutal. It was a mix of being windy, humid, hot, and extremely dusty. The girls ran a strong race, with Meraly Vasquez being a standout runner, going from being JV at the beginning of the season to 1st Varsity Girl at CIF. She was followed by Stephanie Niebla, and then Anahi Guitrion. While this year the Girls weren’t quite able to make it to finals, with the front runners of the team being so young, next year looks nothing but promising. The boys, having lost most of their runners, were not able to advance to the next stage. However, while the teams weren’t able to advance, Alexis Castillon was able to secure a spot in this weeks CIF finals, placing 13th place in his race. Should he be one of the top 5 individuals in this weeks finals, he’ll move on, and represent Bassett in State for the first time since 2016.

While the season is over for most, many of the team’s top runners are continuing their training, preparing for track, as well as the upcoming Footlocker Invitational, one of the most difficult races in the nation. While the High School career for some of our veteran runners might be coming to a close, for others it’s barely beginning,making Bassett’s Future Cross Program have incredible potential.