2010 All-Empire Boys Cross Country; Luna Runner of Year

RUNNER OF THE YEAR

Luis Luna, junior, Piner

Running in a different stratosphere than his North Coast Section competition, Piner junior Luis Luna has emerged as one of California’s top prep cross country talents.

Piner junior Luis Luna is North Bay League champion with second-fastest time ever at Sprint Lake. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

While shy and still growing as a team leader, Luna is a competitor who continues moving up the region’s record books.

Luna is the cross country All-Empire Runner of the Year following a season highlighted by great results: North Bay League champion with the second-fastest time ever at Spring Lake, in Santa Rosa; North Coast Section winner in Division 3; sixth place at the California high school finals.

“It was definitely a breakthrough year. He has the potential to be one of the best ever,” said Piner coach Luis Rosales.

More comfortable talking about training or the Piner team’s recent success, Luna said another solid summer of running could position him for a state title next season.

“Hopefully that will happen,” he said. “I was pretty confident this year because I was stronger after the summer. But I know I have to get more mentally tough.”

Going into this season, Luna increased his mileage some and worked on starting races faster.
Setting the Empire’s fourth-fastest three mile time ever at an early-season meet in Pleasanton showed Luna to be a stronger, more mature runner.

Becoming only the second runner ever to finish under 15 minutes in the league finals at Spring Lake was remarkable not only for the time. Luna had to push himself with the second place runner nearly a half minute behind.

“That’s really hard to run fast by yourself,” he said.

Pushed more in the section meet by Petaluma’s top runners, Luna’s winning time topped all five divisions at the Hayward meet.

Ranked second in California going into the state Division 3 finals, Luna was aiming for a runner up finish when dehydration caught up in the final stretch. Collapsing at the end, Luna still finished sixth. Luna didn’t drink enough water on the chilly day at Woodward Park, in Fresno — another lesson learned.

“You’ve got to be prepared,” he said. “I’m working to get better.”

–Michael Coit, The Press Democrat

First team
Clark Bernard, Petaluma, Sr.
Ryan Douglas, Petaluma, So.
Daniel Hauptman, Maria Carrillo, Sr.
Paul Holden, Ukiah, So.
Kevin Poteracke, Petaluma, So.
Forrest Shaffer, Petaluma, Sr.
Alexi Taylor, Cardinal Newman, Jr.

Second team
Charlie King, Cardinal Newman, So.
Jose Mendoza, Montgomery, Jr.
Austin Minnick, Casa Grande, Sr.
Valle Rogers, Willits, Sr.
Jason Saler, Piner, Jr.
Jaime Silva, Piner, So.
Ben Tarango, Casa Grande, Sr.

Honorable mention
Dylan Ferrell, Piner, Sr.
Colin Gibson, Maria Carrillo, Jr.
Jamie Goldfield, Montgomery, Sr.
Evan LaBruzzo, Rincon Valley Christian, Sr.
Chris Orr, Willits, Jr.
Jonathan Peck, Santa Rosa, Jr.
Gustavo Vazquez, Analy, Sr.

Coach of the Year
Dan Aldridge, Sonoma Academy