MHS' Barragan, Guzman and Queenan to run at FPU
A trio of Monache High School's top senior runners announced their commitment to join Fresno Pacific University's cross country and track programs in front of friends and family Wednesday afternoon at the school.
The Marauders' Marina Barragan and Aryanna Guzman signed National Letters of Intent earlier this month while Alexa Queenan said she is going to sign her NLI soon. All three will attend the university on partial academic and athletic scholarships.
This season, the FPU Sunbirds women's cross country team won the school's first-ever women's Pacific West Conference Championship since joining the PacWest in 2012. It was the NCAA Division II team's first cross country championship since 1986.
“They're a very good match with Fresno Pacific,” MHS head coach Seth Ishida said to the crowd at Monache. “Their values are excellent, impeccable; and they match the values. And I feel very happy to pass these athletes along to coach Ray Winter, Dr. Winter, he's a great guy. I talk to him face-to-face about four times every year, so I'll get the updates directly from him. … He's a great person, they're in good hands. He cares about his athletes.”
All three of Monache's runners are exceptional in their own right and helped lead the Marauders to a third-place finish at the CIF Central Section Division I cross country championships in November.
At the state meet, Barragan ran a 5,000-meter personal record 18 minutes, 51.3 second time at Fresno's Woodward Park to place 59thof 184 of the state's best Div. I runners. Her PR also tied her for the third-fastest course time for Monache girls runners at Woodward and she was selected The Recorder's 2019 Orange Belt Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.
“I felt at home when I visited,” Barragan said about choosing FPU. “And it aligns a lot with my personal beliefs and principles. I thought it'd be a great place for me to grow academically and spiritually, just as a person. Also as an athlete of course. I felt like they really cared and that's what I'm looking for and that's why I chose it.”
Barragan, Guzman and Queenan are all three-year runners for Monache. Queenan PR'd at 19:34.4 in the 5K this season and was excited about getting to continue her running career with her teammates.
“It's going to be great,” Queenan said. “I've never had a team that's been more like family than this one.”
She added, “I'm very excited and I think it's going to make my transition into college a lot easier than I ever could've imagined. I feel very, very lucky and blessws to have them with me.”
Guzman PR'd in the 5K at state with a time of 19:40 but returns to the Marauders' track team as one of their top distance runners. Her PRs for the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs are 5:45.61 and 12:01.29, respectively.
On competing in college, Guzman said she knows the competition will be tougher and having different practices will be a challenge but she's ready for it.
“I know it'll be rough at first but once I acclimate to it, it's going to be fairly easy and I'm just going to take it challenge by challenge,” said Guzman.
In college, Guzman plans to major in kinesiology so she can become a physical education teacher and coach. Barragan is going to major in either sociology or psychology so she can help her community in the future. Queenan is going to major in environmental science and might make a career in something involving water but is undecided at the moment.