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Punchers Win UTSA Cross Country Meet
Wednesday, September 24, 2008 • Posted September 24, 2008

After having such a great start to the cross country season at the Llano meet, the Punchers and Cowgirls are eager to continue to move up. However, the meet last weekend in Junction was cancelled due to the fear of Hurricane Ike could take a turn in our direction. A few weeks passed by before the cross country team would get a chance to compete again. That meet was hosted by UTSA at Brooks City-Base Golf Course on Saturday, September 20th.

The UTSA Ricardo Romo Classic is an annual meet hosted by UTSA. It is also the site of the Region IV cross country meet that will be held on Saturday, November 8th. Many teams in the southern region turn out for this meet because it is important to get a good look at your competition and allow your athletes to experience the course. All races are divided up by classifications, so this was the first appearance for the Mason Cowgirls and Punchers in the 1A division.

In normal circumstances, we usually start with the girls (ladies first). But for today, we will begin with the boys. Prior to the race, the commentator begins by stating the results from the prior season. He lists all of the teams that are running and how they placed last season. He also lists some of the top runners in the division to watch based on their performance from last year.

After listing the 2nd through 6th place teams, and a long pause, he points out that the Mason Punchers are also competing after dropping from 2A to 1A this last season. After that brief introduction, the Punchers stunned the 1A division. Four of the eight boys posted their personal best times in a 5K run (Manuel Segura – 20:49; Zen Steward - 20:45; Melesio Segura – 20:53; Ramiro Casas – 19:19). Tomas Callejas finished 2nd with Marcelo Segura eight seconds behind in 3rd place. Another close race between teammates was Jorge Morales coming in 8th and Ramiro Casas 10th. Jeremy Duarte rounded out the top five with a 21st place finished. With their places combined, and individual runners thrown out, their team score was 36. For those of you that are not familiar with cross country, team scores are tallied by combining the places of the top five individuals per team. The lower the team’s score the better the place (similar to golf). That score of 36 was good enough to hold off district opponent San Antonio Stacey with 44 points. The Mason Puncher cross country team took home their first Championship trophy in the past five years.

The Cowgirls also had a great showing. As a team, they placed third in front of district opponent San Antonio Stacey. They beat SA Stacey by 22 points, yet fell to the Champions Brackettville Brackett who is another tough district opponent. Lauren Keith dropped almost a minute from her race time in Llano and is closing in on her goal of getting back to where she left at the end of her sophomore year. The remaining Cowgirls were disappointed with their times, but there were some good finishes. Brittany Estes placed 4th, Lydia Bjork 12th, and Hillary Bibb 17th. With all the excitement of the Friday night football game in Goldthwaite and the athletes not getting home until 1:00 a.m., we know that another meeting with these teams could end up even better for the Cowgirls than it did last weekend. They showed up Monday morning at 6:00 a.m., ready to work hard to achieve the next step: BEAT BRACKET!

The next meet will be in Ozona this Saturday, held at the Country Club. The meet begins at 9:00 a.m. with the Jr. High divisions. On another note, anyone that may possibly attend the District Cross Country Meet held on Wednesday, October 29th at Lackland Airforce Base will need to get their name on the list. A background check for all runners, coaches, and spectators has to be completed prior to entrance onto the Airforce Base. Please contact the office or Sherry Keller for more information. The Pride of the Hill Country Meet will be held on Saturday, October 11th. We are still in need of four-wheelers and workers if you are interested in donating your time.

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