By GREG MENGELT
After a spectacular freshman season in 2012, in which he helped lead Borden to its first sectional title, much was expected of Braves’ sophomore Julien Magallanes in 2013.
He blew by every expectation.
Magallanes won every major area competition in which he entered as a sophomore. No area runner beat him during the fall. No one came close to unseating the preseason favorite for News and Tribune Area Boys’ Runner of the Year award from achieving the honor.
“He definitely beat my expectations for him,” Borden coach Liz Carmony admitted. “I expected him to have a great season, but not quite like the season he had.”
During the 2013 season, Magallanes won individual championships at the West Clark Invitational, the Charlestown Invitational, the Salem Invitational, the North Harrison Invitational, the Scottsburg Invitational, the New Washington Invitational, the Silver Creek Dragon Invitational and the Eastern Invitational. He also teamed up with his brother, Nathen, to win the Silver Creek Hokum Karem.
It was even more than Magallanes himself expected.
“To be honest, I did not expect to run [in the 15-minute range] this year,” he said. “I was expecting to run the same times as last year because during the summer, I wasn’t feeling that strong.”
Magallanes then went on to defend his Southern Athletic Conference title and became the first Borden Brave to win individual sectional and regional titles.
“It was neat for all the kids to be able to see him do that,” Carmony said. “We expected it, but it was so great to see him win a sectional against all those big schools. It’s big for Borden — our community, not just the program.”
“It felt good, not just for myself but for the team,” Magallanes said. “We’re a real small school and no one expects much out of us. It was good to represent our school like that.”
With a 15th-place finish in the ultra-tough Brown County Semistate field, Magallanes became the second Brave to qualify for the state meet. Ricky Book was the first in 2002.
Showing the signs of most great athletes, Magallanes was dissatisfied with his state-qualifying performance. Getting to state wasn’t good enough. The 15th-place finish didn’t meet with his growing expectations.
“His semistate run was good,” Carmony said, “but he was still disappointed because he felt he could do better. He was very excited to get to move on to state, but he was disappointed at the same time.”
“Getting to state I wouldn’t say was the most important thing,” Magallanes said. “I already knew I was going to make it to state. I was a little upset. My times started slacking toward the end of the season. I couldn’t run as well as I could in the middle of the season.”
With two years left as a Brave and a will to continue to get better, it’s hard telling what Magallanes can accomplish in his final two cross country seasons.
“I’m setting my goals and I’m going to accomplish them,” he said. “I expect to win conference, sectional and regional again and I’m hoping to win semistate [next year].”
“He has accomplished so much and he still has two years to figure things out,” Carmony said. “[The disappointing finish] should motivate him going into winter workouts knowing that he’s not satisfied.”
NEWS AND TRIBUNE ALL-AREA BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
• Julien Magallanes, Borden sophomore (Runner of the Year)
• Tanner Coots, Silver Creek junior
• Alec Heitz, Floyd Central junior
• Jacob Hedrick, Henryville junior
• Khalil McDaniel, Eastern junior
• Lincoln Ottersbach, Providence senior
• Luke Uhl, Floyd Central junior
• Tim Baumgart, New Albany freshman
• Zach Knox, Henryville junior
• Nathen Magallanes, Borden senior
• Reese Tarr, Floyd Central senior
• Gavin Tipker, Borden junior
• George Tipker, Borden senior
• Grant Vellinger, Floyd Central junior
• Juston Betz, Providence freshman
• Morgan Davidson, Silver Creek junior
• Chad Lawrence, Floyd Central junior
• Spencer Mitchell, Providence senior
• Christian Puckett, Christian Academy senior
• Grant Reynolds, Floyd Central senior
• Cameron Stephens, Silver Creek freshman
Boys' Cross Country Coach of the Year — Tim Korte, Floyd Central