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Prep track and field: Four G.V. runners announce college choices

Martinez, Garcia headed to University of California, Berkeley; Lopez, Nguyen pick UC Riverside

Posted: May 8, 2012 9:13 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2012 9:13 p.m.

(From left) Golden Valley senior runners Aaron Nguyen, Carlos Lopez, Kristian Martinez and Juan David Garcia announced their college decisions on Tuesday at Golden Valley High School. Martinez and Garcia will attend the University of California, Berkeley, while Nguyen and Lopez will attend UC Riverside.

 

Together, Golden Valley senior runners Kristian Martinez, Juan David Garcia, Carlos Lopez and Aaron Nguyen helped bring the school its first CIF-Southern Section and state championships.

On Tuesday, they all committed to college together, too.

Martinez and Garcia announced their commitments to the University of California, Berkeley, while Lopez and Nguyen unveiled UC Riverside as their destination of choice.

With their commitment to Cal, Martinez and Garcia become the first athletes from the program to commit to a Pac-12 school, according to co-head coach Rob Evans.

All four runners were integral parts of the boys cross country team at Golden Valley, which won state and Southern Section championships in Division II last November. The Grizzlies also made their first trip to Nike Cross Nationals, where they finished 11th.

Martinez won the first individual CIF title in school history with a victory at the CIF-SS Div. II finals, and he finished 15th at the state meet.

Garcia was the team’s highest finisher at state after he came in seventh, while Lopez wound up 39th and Nguyen 60th at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Both Lopez and Nguyen will join former Golden Valley standout Seth Totten at UC Riverside, while Cal was once home to Canyon High graduate and current United States National Team runner Alysia Montano (née Johnson).

All four will run both cross country and track and field in college, according to Evans.

They all have some unfinished business this track and field season, too. After helping the Golden Valley boys win a share of their first Foothill League title earlier this spring, each runner qualified for Saturday’s Div. II prelims at Moorpark High.

Fresh off his Foothill League title in the 800-meter race, Martinez will take part in that race and the 1,600, for which he owns the top overall seed time in the division.

Lopez will take part in the 800 as well, while Garcia and Nguyen will run the 3,200.

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