PALMDALE — The temperature was up for the second race of the Antelope Valley Summer Cross Country Series at Pelona Vista Park on Thursday, but so was participation and the competition.
There were 30 more runners than two weeks ago during the opening race and it led to faster times.
Knight High graduate Francisco Soria won the three-mile race for the second consecutive time, with a time of 17 minutes and 31 seconds. He won with a time of 17:45 two weeks ago in the series opener.
“That was my goal, to be first again,” Soria said. “This was much harder, but I felt more prepared. I ran at a faster pace. I could hear footsteps behind me.”
Soria, who will be attending Cal State Northridge in the fall, won for the first time in the opener after running in the series the last few years.
Nico Colin, a 2003 Highland High graduate, finished second for the second consecutive race, with a time of 17:41. He had a time of 17:56 in the last race.
“I felt good because I ran 10 seconds faster,” Colin said. “It was hotter. There were more guys pushing me faster.
“It wasn’t too hot, not compared to last year. At least we had some breeze.
Antelope Valley College student Ikenna Achara finished third with a time of 17:57.
Achara is running unattached to AVC, to stay in shape and having used up his two-year eligibility competing in cross country and track and field.
He is still enrolled at AVC and has been accepted to Sacramento State, where he is considering transferring to. Achara said he talked to the cross country coach and would have to compete in a time trial at the end of August.
“I need to keep in shape,” Achara said.
Angie Tingey was the first female finisher and 14th overall with a time of 21:51. She competed in the series last summer despite being eight months pregnant.
Brooke Stevenson was the second female and 16th overall with a time of 22:14.
There were a total of 114 runners in the three-mile race, compared to 84 in the series opener two weeks ago.
Josiah Schroeder, 10, won the one-mile kids race with a time of 7:11 in a field of 33 kids, compared to 15 in the series opener.
“I got a new (personal record),” Schroeder said. “I just really wanted to beat my friends.”
His friend Ian Cline, 9, finished third overall and second for boys with a time of 7:54. His brother Evan Cline finished seventh.
Schroeder and the Cline brothers run together three days a week.
Keira Nalborczyk, 12, was the top female finisher and was second overall with a time of 7:24.
“I’m really happy about it,” Nalborczyk said. “Track and field helped me out.”
It was the first time Nalborczyk competed in the series, but she ran both cross country and track and field at Hillview Middle School.
Her younger sister Amy Nalborczyk was the second female finisher.
The series will be one race shorter this season, with six races instead of the usual seven. There was no race last week on the Fourth of July holiday.
The annual co-ed race will be on Aug. 1, during the fifth meet of the season.
The temperature was 90 degrees for the start of the one-mile kids race, but because of a constant breeze, it wasn’t enough to push back the start time like last year during a heat wave. The temperature was 85 at 7:30 p.m.