Garcia, who made the CIF State Cross-Country Championships last November, paced teammate Jacob Avila to a 10-second personal record (PR) in the 1600-meter run in 5 minutes, 8.86 seconds.
“Angel is able to influence and motivate his teammates in a great way,” Felix said. “They can follow him and go at their pace as long as they can. Angel is a great team player, and this year more than any other it’s clicking. He’s investing time with the team so everyone can improve. It makes a big difference when you have a standout helping out.”
Garcia did his best superhero impression at North Salinas, running four events: the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200.
“Angel was exhausted at the end, but he’s all good,” Felix said.
Anzar had all of 12 athletes a year ago—boys and girls combined. This year the Hawks have doubled their numbers, to 24. That’s why Felix was bonkers as she talked about the promising athletes on this year’s squad.
Junior Martin Guzman also had a solid meet, finishing second among all Mission Trail League athletes in the 200 and seventh in the 100. Guzman is in his first year of track and field competition.
“Martin joined the track team for fitness reasons,” Felix said. “He never expected to be this good, but he’s made a nice transition from football.”
The Anzar girls might have its best team in several years. Charlene Tomasini is expected to be one of the MTL’s top sprinters, and freshman sensation Peyton Maseun competes in multiple events.
“I call Peyton my super athlete because I only need to give instructions to her once and she follows through on exactly what I said and am thinking,” Felix said. “And Charlene is one of the fastest girls I’ve ever seen. She’s going to fly.”
Felix was pleasantly surprised with senior Megan Campos, who finished second among all MTL athletes in both the 200 and 400 at the time trials.
“Megan amazed me because she ran nothing like this in the five weeks of training we’ve had,” Felix said. “I contribute it to the adrenaline as a result of having so many kids competing.”
Felix said there were 1,150 athletes competing in the North Salinas Time Trials, a staggering number even for a sport that tends to draw several hundred at a typical meet. Felix also expects promising things from sophomore Ella DeAmaral and senior Jaqueline Vences.
DeAmaral took second among all MTL athletes in the 800, and Vences was first in the shot put.
“Ella tests her limits,” Felix said. “We need more girls like her on the team because she is not afraid to overachieve. Ella and Jaqueline are going into the season with some top 10, top 5 marks. I’m so impressed with the guys and ladies and what they’ve done so far. It’s going to be great to see how the season will unfold.”
Felix hopes a number of athletes on the team develop a competitive drive similar to Garcia and DeAmaral, who love to test themselves to their physical limit and beyond.
“They are not afraid to overachieve,” Felix said.
The recent rain hasn’t put a damper on the team’s workout schedule. As long as conditions are safe—meaning no thunder or lightning—Felix doesn’t plan on getting soft.
“If we get wet (in practice or meets), we get wet,” she said. “I don’t want them to freak out in the rain. Sometimes fear gets the best of us, and we don’t even end up trying. I don’t want them to run away from an experience that will be their calling.”