Jacksonville Daily Progress
Jacksonville High School boy's cross country Randy Hammontree said that he had mixed emotions about his team's runner-up finish at the 16-4A Cross Country Meet, which took place Thursday on the Tribe's home course at the high school campus.
Jacksonville tallied 50 points and was edged out of first by Lindale's Eagles, who garnered 49 points.
Whitehouse (76) came in third, followed by Nacogdoches (77) and Corsicana (85) — John Tyler did not field a complete unit and was not eligible for the team title.
The top-three schools, plus any runners that finished in the top 10 that were not on one of the top-three teams all advance to the Region II Meet, which takes place on Nov. 2 at Lynn Creek Park at Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie.
“I am really surprised on one hand that we were able to get second,” Hammontree quipped. “But at the same time some of our guys are disappointed that we finished one point out of first place. We wanted to win it, but we came close. I think that just goes to show that not just the times, but the placings, too, matter a lot.”
Hammontree said that he was able to add some speesters who could handle the 5K distance as well late in the season and that the addition of the new team members was just what the doctor ordered for the Indians.
“We added (three kids) late and they all ran well (Thursday) and gave us a boost in the team point total,” Hammontree said.
Jeffrey Watson representing Lindale was the first to cross the line in the varsity boys division. He ran a 16:12.
Jacksonville's Jerry Romano took second and finished in a time of 17:04.
“I could hardly sleep any last night,” Romano said.”I was nervous. I knew that I would not be able to catch Jeffrey Watson because he is super talented, but I wanted to make sure that I could win second place.”
As a sophomore last year Romano came in sixth place and earned a trip to regionals.
Romano said that he felt that he benefitted from having trained over the course, which has undergone some tweaks since the last district meet was run at the high school in 2011.
“There were some changes made to some of the hills out in the back and you think it looks easy until you hit it and if you are not prepared for it you can be fooled,” Romano said. “Having traveled over the course some definitely made things easier.”
Hammontree stated that Romano's success last year carried over to this fall and that he hopes the strides that Indian cross country made this year will pave the way to even bigger and better things next season.
“Jerry (Romano) was our lone runner last year and he finished sixth and went to regionals,” Hammontree explained. “I told him then that his accomplishment would make more guys take an interest to cross country and be a part of that this year and that's exactly what happened.”
As the old saying goes, success often breeds success.
Other top-10 performers for Jacksonville were Pedro Mireles who came in fourth in a time of 17:43 and Braulio Garcia (7th, 18:14.)
Jonathan Garcia took 15th place and finished up with an 18:41.
Completing things for the Tribe was Emillo Chavira (24th, 19:40).
A total of 34 boys competed in the race.
2013 District 16-4A Varsity Boys Cross Country Standings