NEW SUMMERFIELD —
If there was such thing as a home course advantage in cross country teams from New Summerfield High School certainly seemed to have it Wednesday morning when the Hornet varsity squad captured the District 21-A Cross Country championship for the second-consecutive year and the Lady Hornets earned a trip to the regional meet in Humble (Nov. 2) by earning third place in the varsity girls' team standings.
And, lets not overlook the school's junior varsity squads as both the boys and the girls won their respective team titles as well.
The conference's season-ending distance events took place at the New Summerfield Athletic Complex under clear and crisp conditions.
New Summerfield head coach Kent Willis said that he has really believed in his runners all along.
“The boys were the favorites, so it was expected for them to do well, and I knew that our girls would qualify for regionals too; I may have been the only one that felt that way, but I really expected them to do well and they did," Willis said.
Willis said the girl's success boiled down to one thing.
“I think our girls were really motivated,” he said. “They have seen the success that our boys have had and they want to do well, too, and they have been determined to improve this season.”
New Summerfield's Francisco Parra, a junior, survived a nasty fall in the second mile to win the gold medal in a time of 16:31.7 — Levi Enloe of Martinsville took second and was clocked in 17:36.1.
Parra said that he took the lead for good nearing the first mile mark and that he was able to break away from the field, so when he fell he wasn't worried that the fall would compromise his chances as repeating as district champion.
“I fell while running through a bumpy area in the second mile and other than getting pretty dirty, everything was ok,” he said. “I was far enough ahead that I knew that I would be (still) be able to win.”
New Summerfield's Rafael Garcia (17:51.6) came in fourth, Alfredo Hernandez was fifth (18:06 flat) and Jonathan Trinadad ended up sixth, running in 18:08.8.
Next was Angel Marroquin (12th, 18:43.4).
Finishing behind New Summerfield, who tallied 23 points, in the team standings was Neches with 63 points and Martinsville (76) — those three schools will represent the loop at the upcoming Region III Meet.
With 101 points, Alto took fourth place.
Colton Herman of Wells came in eighth place (18:30.9).
With three runners nailing down top-five finishes, Cushing (22) edged Shelbyville (37) for first place in the varsity girls team standings.
The Lady Hornets scored 82 points to take third, well ahead of Neches (138), who wound up fourth.
Morgan Myers of Cushing was the first to cross the line in a time of 12:31.2.
Veronica Sanchez (10th, 13:45.3) led the Lady Hornets to the wire, with Tanya Saurez (12th, 13:54.8) not far behind.
Other girls figuring into the team points calculation for New Summerfield were, Juana Guerero (17th, 14:49.7), Andrea Saurez (21st, 15:18.2) and Alicia Perez (22nd, 15:19.9).
“This is probably the first time in 10 years that our girls have qualified for regionals and we are very proud of them,” Willis said.
Alto came in 7th in the team standings, while Wells' Chelsea Berry finished in 13:20.1, which put her in seventh place.