On Wednesday, October 28th, the Punchers and Cowgirls competed in the District 30-A Cross Country Meet. Both teams were District Champions of the 2008 season and were back to defend their titles.
Junction High School hosted the meet at the Texas Tech Campus just south of town. District 30-A consists of twelve schools: Mason, Junction, Menard, Medina, Rocksprings, Sabinal, D’Hanis, La Pryor, Brackett, Stacey, Center Point, and Hunt. The top ten finishers qualify as individual runners in the Region IV meet to be held in San Antonio at Brooks-City Base Golf Course on Saturday, November 7th. Also advancing to Regionals are the top three teams.
The varsity boys kicked off the meet with a 1:00 PM start. The state ranked Punchers were favored to win, but each runner had a personal goal, as well. All five Punchers finished in the top ten. District Runner-up from the 2008 season, just behind teammate Marcelo Segura, junior Tomas Callejas was the 2009 District Champion. Tomas lead the pack early in the race without any contention. Fighting off a runner from San Antonio Stacey (Desmond Clark) for the 2009 District Runner-up position was sophomore Emmanuel Segura, who outsprinted Clark in the last 100m by one second.
Stepping up, challenging himself and running his best race of the season, sophomore Zen Steward moved up in the Puncher line-up finishing 5th in the Individual standings, just ahead of senior teammate Ramiro Casas in 6th. These two boys are competing hard against each other for that third spot on the team. Senior Jorge Morales also had a great competition finishing 10th to qualify as an individual also. Alternate Jorge Segura substituted for Zack Bjork, who couldn’t compete due to illness. Jorge was a great help to the Puncher team, and he placed 11th. Rounding out the team was junior Jansen Rychlik finishing 21st. Overall, the Punchers had five individual Regional Qualifiers, and one individual alternate, all seven runners in the top 21, and the 2009 District Championship .
Following such an outstanding performance is tough to do, but the Cowgirls were up for the challenge. Defending their 2008 District Title would be much more difficult for the girls. Returning District Champion, Kelsey Bruce from Brackett, was picked to lead the pack. However, the remaining nine individual qualifying spots were up for grabs. Half-way though the course, the Cowgirls were running in 5th, 6th, 8th, 12th, 13th, and 16th. This was exactly where they each hoped to be, and they did not sell themselves short. Their individual placements improved in the last mile of the competition. The lone senior for the Cowgirls, Hillary Bibb, was the 2009 District Runner-up just ahead of freshmen Jacie Rychlik in 3rd place.
Shayla Estes vowed, “I will not be 11th ” ever again and moved up in her standing this year to 6th. Margaret Lemke, a new competitor for the Cowgirls, showed her toughness by gutting out the last Regional Qualifier’s spot in 10th place. Completing the team points for the Cowgirls were sophomore Kaitlyn Cavness in 13th and Yolanda Gonzalez close behind in 14th. Running in spite of illnesses which caused a lack of preparation was junior Myles Banner in 32nd. In all, the Cowgirls came home with the 2009 District Runner-up, four individual Regional Qualifiers, and the 2009 District Championship.
Also taking the District Championship were the Junior Varsity Girls: Emily Ellebracht (2nd), Makenzie Mitchell (3rd), Michaela Martinez (5th), Lyndsi Clark (8th), Amber Herrera (11th), Mari Marquez (12th), and Kady Castillo (14th). The Junior High Boys as well won the District Championships: 8th Graders – Raul Silguero (3rd), Jason Berreles (6th), Elliot Bibb (8th), and Michael Hanscheck (19th); 7th Graders – Miguel Castillo (3rd), Pascual Callejas (6th), Luis Castillo (7th), and Samuel Martinez (8th). The Junior High Girls placed fourth as a team.
The Punchers and Cowgirls have had such a great 2009 season, but it is not over yet. There are still many goals left to accomplish. The next step will be the Region IV meet in San Antonio on Saturday, November 7th. The meet begins at noon, with the Class A Boys running at 3:20 and the Class A girls at 3:40. Directions to Brooks-City Base Golf Course are available in the high school office.