It’s been three years since the La Quinta High School girls’ cross country team won a Desert Valley League meet, but that drought ended Wednesday.
The Blackhawks hadn’t won a league race since 2010 when they saw a five-year winning streak come to an end. Ironically, though, since the winless streak began, they have had the best individual runner in Megan Huebner, who has had the fastest time in every one of those races.
But now, for the first time in three years, the team with the fastest runner is also the winning squad.
“I’m excited; it’s been three years since we won a DVL race,” said La Quinta head coach JoAnn Monachello-Prahl. “We won five years in a row, then they broke us. It feels good because (we’re) a good team and they worked really, really hard. It’s good for them to see that their hard work is paying off.”
Huebner (18:55) finished 24 seconds ahead of second-place runner Valeria Ruiz (19:24) of Xavier Prep.
“I’m really proud of my team,” Huebner said. “This course is always a little bit slow, I just wanted to go out and run strong and run for my team. I’m really proud of how they did.
“The Xavier girls are really fast this year, they always are,” she said. “(Ruiz) was definitely up there, I kept looking behind me, I knew they were right there.”
The Blackhawks won the meet fairly easily, 20 points ahead of the second-place Saints, by virtue of finishing five runners in the top 10: Huebner, Sandra Flores (19:45), Marissa Rodriguez (20:11), Irie Jimenez (20:50) and Vanessa Ramirez (20:59).
Despite finishing second on their home course, Xavier Prep head coach Aron Lyons said he feels confident his girls will be able to close the distance between themselves and La Quinta.
“It’s only going to improve, and it’ll be even closer as the season progresses,” Lyons said about his squad’s relationship to La Quinta. “I think we’ll close the gap.”