The cross country teams at Seguin, Navarro and Marion high schools are prepping for their district meets with races all over Central Texas.
Seguin has competed at four meets so far, the last was the meet at FEAST on Saturday. Navarro and Marion also ran at the meet.
Here’s a wrap-up of how the teams have fared this season.
The Seguin boys finished 19th out of 41 teams at the FEAST Patriot Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.
Senior Jerry Garcia, the boys top returner from last season, was the top finisher at the meet, placing 38th out of 378 runners at the meet.
It was the fourth meet of the season for the Mats and Lady Mats.
Head coach Guy Nowlin said he’s been seeing improvement throughout the season.
“We had a rough go the first meet, but it was somewhat to be expected with a lot of fresh faces,” Nowlin said. “But they all responded well the couple of meets after that.”
Senior Cheney Stephenson and junior Louis Flores medaled in the second meet of the year at Yoakum, as Stephenson finished 10th our of 82 runners in 16:00 and Flores 15th in a time of 16:38. The boys finished third out of 12 teams at the meet.
Briana Adams was 27th out of 112 runners at the Yoakum meet, helping the girls to an eighth place finish out of 15 teams.
Garcia and Stephenson medaled the following week at the Unicorn Invitational, finishing 10th and 12th, respectively. Flores finished 19th at the meet, and the boys finished fifth overall at the meet.
“It was Jerry’s debut of the season,” Nowlin said. “He’s been working his way back from knee issues he’s been dealing with.
“We were actually one point away from fourth, so we were knocking on the door there.”
Adams has been the leader for the Lady Mats this season, finishing the best out of the runners for Seguin at most of the meets.
Adams finished 54th at the first meet, 27th at Yoakum and 18th at the New Braunfels meet.
“She’s improved the most so far from the first meet to the last one,” Nowlin said. “She’s been moving up the ranks and her times are getting more competitive.”
The Mats have four more meets before the district meet, including the Zoo Relays in San Antonio this Saturday. Seguin hosts the Seguin meet at Starcke Park on Oct. 5 and the district meet, also at Starcke Park on Oct. 17.
The Lady Panthers had a good meet at FEAST, finishing eighth with Jaelyn Martinez (18th), Melonie Thomas (26th) and Vanessa Garcia (31st) the top finishers.
That followed a fourth-place finish at the Unicorn Invitational, as those three again were the top finishers for Navarro. Thomas, a senior, came home in 12th in a time of 13:30, with Martinez, a sophomore, on her heels in 14th (13:31), as they both medaled at the meet.
“The girls have worked hard, they did really well that we were able to place fourth,” head coach Jason Magin said. “We were going against some of the larger schools — so for us to come in fourth was really exciting.
“Melonie and Jaelyn ran right together, so for the them to come top 15 was really good.”
Freshmen Vanessa Garcia and Zoe Carter finished 26th and 28th, respectively, to help the girls to the fourth-place finish.
A young group of Panther runners include sophomore Aaron Armer, sophomore Nikolas Knight and freshman Quenton Gresham as the top finishers at the Unicorn meet, and junior Tanner Sanchez placing in the top two for the team at FEAST.
“We’re really young,” Magin said. “At the New Braunfels meet we ran with just sophomores and freshmen and they were competing against juniors and seniors from much bigger schools. We’re going to rely on those young kids to do a lot.”
The meet at FEAST was a good gauge for where his teams stand going into the rest of the season.
“FEAST was a good meet for us.,” Magin said. “There were schools there from our district and from our region, so it gave us a chance to see where we were at.”
The Panthers and Lady Panthers travel to Moulton this weekend, and have three more meets before district, Oct. 8 also at Starcke Park in Seguin.
Head coach Sammy Scribner is working with a young team at Marion, trying to get them experience as they prepare for district.
“We’re trying to get out and experience something different,” Scribner said. “We’re trying different courses, really competing against ourselves and trying to get better every week.”
Sophomore Alexa Ortiz has been the top finisher for the girls so far, medaling at two different meets this season. Ortiz finished third at Ingram and 15th at Schulenberg to pace the Bulldogs. Ortiz and her twin sister, Daniella, transferred in last year, so this is their first season to run varsity.
“Alexa is doing really well,” Scribner said. “They couldn’t run varsity last year, but ran well on the JV.”
The coach added one more runner on the boys side, giving the squad three runners total. Last year’s regional qualifier, senior Josh Galiviz, has yet to medal this season.
“Obviously, we don’t have enough for a team, so they are competing individually and they are improving every week,” Scribner said.
Starting the season with just five runners, the girls have also struggled to fill out a team, as they didn’t have enough runners for a team score at Ingram or at Vista Ridge.