Lakeside’s Enrique Soto wins USATF Cross Country Championship
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Enrique Soto has become the first high school runner from the state of Louisiana to win a national cross-country championship.
Soto blazed to a 15:44.96 to win the Young Mens Division (17-18 yr-olds) of the USA Track and Fields Junior Olympics at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Soto's 5K (3.1 miles) time was the 4th fastest ever run by a Louisiana high school athlete. It also qualifies as a mile-split 1st team elite time.
There were 101 runners who had qualified by finishing in the top 10 of 12 regionals held in November across all of the U.S. who started the race on a cool, cloudy afternoon. at the one mile point Soto was in a pack of 5 at 4:57. Soto was 2nd at the 2 mile mark with a time of 10:09.
He trailed the leader by 3 seconds. During the last 1800 meters the race developed between Soto and Luis Gonzales. With 200 meters left Gonzales passed Soto. But Soto used a closing kick to beat Gonzales who finished 2nd at 15:45.92.
Soto, the Class AA State Champion, qualified for the championship at a regional held in Ruston. Soto also ran at the Footlocker South regional where he finished 61st out of 350 runners with a time of 15:51 in November.
Soto's high school Coach, Dan Grantham, felt that Soto was ready for an outstanding performance. Soto will now prepare for the indoor track season.
Soto is the 3rd person from Lakeside in the last 5 months that has won or finished in the top 2 at a national championship event.
Springer Chris Lewis finished 2nd in the 100 meter dash at the AAV Jr. Olympics in new Orleans in the 15-16 yr. old age division in August getting All-American honors. T.J. Carpenter was a leading player on the Louisiana 17-18 yr. old basketball team that won the AAV title in Orlando in July.