October 25th, 2020
Castillo, Warnick to represent Garrett at NJCAA Region XX and MDJUCO championships
The Garrett College cross country teams will send two runners to the NJCAA Region XX and MDJUCO championships hosted by Hagerstown Community College on Saturday, October 31st. First year students, Ella Warnick (Frostburg, Md.) and Esdras Castillo (Silver Spring, Md.), will represent the Lakers, with Warnick racing the women's 6k course and Castillo competing in the men's 8k distance.
Laker head coaches, Dale Luy and Phil Warnick, expect the Hagerstown course to be a challenge for all the runners. Although the course starts and ends on the track, the course in between features a variety of terrain challenges, from roadway to rocky uphills. Runners will need to plan out their race and be prepared to adjust accordingly.
For Esdras Castillo (graduate of Wheaton High School) the regional race is the first championship race of his life, but both coaches are confident he will continue to show improvement, as evidenced throughout his races this season.
"Castillo did not have a good race last time out at Carroll Community College but demonstrated a toughness necessary to be a successful cross country runner," said Dale Luy, GC's co-head coach. "The key for Castillo is to stay patient and to control the competitive spirit that sometimes gets in the way of smart racing."
Freshman Ella Warnick, a Northern Garrett High School graduate, is also positioned to perform well at the upcoming championship.
"Ella ran a good opening race of the year and then was forced to miss the next three races due to injury. She came back at the Carroll Community College race with a very good performance, challenging nationally ranked Westmoreland CCC runners throughout the race," noted Luy. "She is familiar with hill running, likes it, and thus should be well positioned to take a run at some of the top spots at the regional race."
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges this season, Garrett's coaches continue to be appreciative of the opportunities for student athletes to race this season – thanks to the successful collaboration among Garrett College and Region XX administration.
"I am proud of the work our coaches and runners have put into this season. The pandemic situation has made it difficult to say the least," stated Dennis Gibson, GC's athletic director. "These runners deserve the recognition they get, as they represent Garrett College athletics so well."