It has been a highly anticipated wait for the 2009 cross country team. It has been a nine month wait for the returning runners to get a chance to compete again. After such success in the 2008 season, they were anxious to get out there on the course and see what the new season had in store.
The Punchers and Cowgirls traveled to Abilene to compete in the first ever Hardin-Simmons University Invitational. Former teammate Lydia Bjork, now currently competing for HSU, was on-site to cheer on her old teammates. It was an early morning trip, after a disappointing cancelation of the Friday night football game. Even though all of the runners were unable to attend, the Punchers and Cowgirls were focused and took care of business.
The meet consisted of teams from just about every classification. There were 5A teams such as Midland High, Midland Lee, and Abilene High, as well as Abilene Cooper which is now 4A. Along with these larger schools were thirteen other schools in and around the Abilene area. In the girls’ division there were 162 runners and the boys’ division had 102.
Our team finishes were the most impressive of the day. The Punchers won their first meet of the 2009 season, to add to their MHS record setting wins from last year. The Cowgirls placed 4th as a team, behind two 5A teams from Abilene High and Hamlin. Both teams had a great start for the upcoming season.
Individually, junior Tomas Callejas completed his 3-mile run in 16:54, just behind two Class 5A competitors to get the third place medal. Following close behind was sophomore Emmanuel Segura in 5th with a time of 17:12. Sophomore Zen Steward and senior Ramiro Casas finished 15th and 22nd with an 18:01 and 18:22. The fifth runner for the Punchers was freshmen Zack Bjork finishing with a time of 19:54 and in 43rd place.
For the Cowgirls, senior Hillary Bibb was the top finisher placing 13th with a 13:46. Sophomore Kaitlyn Cavness ran a 14:07, placing 20th, with freshmen Jacie Rychlik on her heels in 21st with a time of 14:11. Just behind her with a time of 14:18 in 29th was junior Yolanda Gonzalez. Finishing up the Cowgirl team points was junior Myles Banner in 63rd with a time of 15:07.
Our performance over the weekend was outstanding. It gives us a good idea of where we currently stand and what we need to do in order to achieve everything we hope to accomplish. The next meet with be held this Saturday in San Saba. The Pride of the Hill Country Meet will be held on Saturday, October 10th at the City Park beginning at 8:00 a.m.