After her first-place finish at the Montwood Race To Midnight cross country meet, Eastlake senior Aeriel Garcia was nominated by MileSplit Texas for a chance to become the top varsity performer of the week.

The recognition pins Garcia alongside some of the state's best runners and allows fans to vote on the best performers of the past week. She won the girls varsity race at Montwood (three miles) with an impressive time of 18:18.44.

Her time clashed with some of the top runners in the Lone Star State and the voter polls on MileSplit show that she is in the lead over four other varsity girls with 34.52 percent (5,260) of the votes. Although she's in the lead, two other individuals are catching up, as Alexas Rodriguez of Laredo Nixon ran a 18:18 in a 5K Border Olympics and now has 29.69 percent (4,524) of votes, and freshman Aubrey O'Connell of Prosper, who ran a 18:39 in a Plano ISD 5K meet, has 23.14 percent (3,525) of votes.

Garcia, a four-year varsity runner, qualified for regionals in cross country three consecutive years (2017, 2016 & 2015). Last year she placed second at the District qualifier, 10th at the Regional Championships and qualified for the Texas State Championships with a 18:36 finish at regionals. Her track and field high school career saw a regionals appearance in 2018.

She told El Paso Running this after her win at Montwood:

"Not a lot of people know, but I quit my club basketball team so I could focus on my running. I figured this should be my number one priority because I'm better at this than I am at basketball."

You can vote for Garcia by clicking here or logging on to http://tx.milesplit.com/articles/246033-vote-preseason-week-2-girls-performance-of-the-week and selecting Aeriel Garcia of Eastlake.