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Dominguez running past league competition

October 09, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Before the 2001 high school cross country season, Brawley Union High School's Claudia Dominguez and her teammates worked throughout the summer.

They would run 10 miles from Westmorland to Brawley almost on a daily basis.

While the three-time Imperial Valley League champion Brawley team was favored to win the title again, Dominguez and her teammates knew there was one serious challenger standing in their way … Calexico High.

Over the past few years Brawley and Calexico met in the season finale, but this year the IVL rivals kicked off the regular season against each other.

It was the challenge for which Dominguez had been preparing all summer.

What it turned out to be was nothing more than a glorified practice for the Wildcats as they disposed of Calexico 19-39, taking five of the top six spots.

Leading the Brawley pack was Dominguez, who ran the 3-mile course in 20 minutes, 26 seconds.


"I was quite overwhelmed that I got first against Calexico. We had been hearing people say how bad Calexico wanted it, but we really didn't know much about their team," said the 15-year-old sophomore. "I was trying to play it down, just telling my teammates that it really didn't matter if we won or lost. But in reality I was really nervous about it. I was nervous because it was Calexico and they were supposed to be our toughest competition."

With their "toughest competition" behind them, Dominguez thinks she and her teammates should have little difficulty claiming another IVL crown.

"With this win, IVL should be a little easier. So I'm kind of glad that we raced Calexico at the beginning of the season. Now that's out of the way," said Dominguez. "We still have some things we need to improve. But instead of worrying about Calexico, now I can just look at other things.

"If there's one thing I can focus on its defending my IVL title. I think it's going to be tough, but I think I'll be able to defend it."

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