Vikings to lean on experience

DOWNEY - The Downey High School boys' cross country team is gearing up for their fall season after ending their C.I.F. mandated "dead period" in July.Head coach Bob Gleason has several key runners returning from a league championship team. Manny Ramirez, Andres Velasco, Jose Martinez and Christopher Casillas all return with more speed and another year of experience under their belts. Junior Geovany Salinas and sophomores Anthony Lopez and Miguel Gutierrez are looking strong as well. Key departures from last year's squad to graduation include Enrique Munoz and Nestor Becerra. The Vikings were co-champs with cross-town rival Warren in 2011 but were Frosh-Soph and Junior Varsity league champions. Coach Gleason said that it was a solid year all-around for the Vikings and is looking forward to duplicating that success this year. Gleason maintains that all S.G.V.L. schools have solid athletes but Warren will provide the toughest league competition. Downey is returning from a 14th place finish at C.I.F. Finals last year. Coach Gleason said that this has been a solid Summer with about 35-45 runners attending workouts regularly. Coach Gleason also mentioned that several of these athletes working out with his cross country squad were athletes from other sports, such as track, who wanted to get in some extra conditioning. Downey will compete at the Woodbridge Invitational on September 15 and start their league competitions later in the month. Coach Gleason concluded by saying that he is looking forward to the challenge of building off of last year's success and is pleased to have a solid core of student-athletes to work with.

********** Published: August 09, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 17