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9-9-2019 JH Cross Country at Hondo

“If my players work hard every day, then they won’t have to worry about game plans, or where they play (run) or about rankings and so on. They have their daily behavior – their discipline – to fall back on.” – Pete Carill 

Our runners have been working hard every morning and Saturday, September 7th, many of them received their first nervousness of standing on the start line waiting for the starter’s gun. Many of my ladies wilted under the mid-morning heat. However, it was good to allow them to experience the heat because you never know what weather we will receive in October at the District meet. On this day the 8th Grade lads and ladies began the Junior High festivities. Two years ago, we were the Meet Champions at Hondo and last year due to Harvey we didn’t run, so, we were technically defending our title. Rudy and Abel led the team by finishing together and pushing each other as they finished First and Second. The most improved runner currently is Brandon Obando who finished Fifth with a great time of 13:18. We were missing two 8th Grade lads who missed the bus, yet we were able to overcome with Stefan and Gabe pushing themselves to secure the Championship. Daniel Mercado and Chris Lopez ran their first 2-mile course for Lytle Cross Country. Daniel ran a faster second mile than his first. Chris is new to Lytle and I hope he gets inspired by the excellence of this class. 

8th Grade Boys - Team Champion 

Rudy Cepeda 1st – Meet Champion 11:57* 

Abel Sanchez 2nd - M 11:58* 

Brandon Obando 5th – M 13:18 

Stefan Grigsby 13th- M 14:05 

Gabriel Alcorta 19th 14:52 

Daniel Mercado 33rd 16:41 

Chris Lopez 47th 18:50 

*fastest times ever recorded by an 8th Grade boy from Lytle on Hondo course 

The ladies didn’t run their best. Samantha is recovering from a stomach bug and Isabel’s knee was giving her issues. Even with the ladies not running at their District Champion form they still finished Third as a team being bested only by the two teams from Castroville. Celeste medaled and since all the ladies ran the same course, Celeste was the fifth fastest girl in Lytle. It was really exciting to see Brianna, Lola, Mila and Sarah Beth all at the mile together. They encouraged each other in the first mile and by working together made all their times better. This was also important because Brianna, Lola and Sarah Beth ran in their first ever Meet for Lytle. 

8th Grade Girls - Third Place  

Celeste Martinez 6th – M 15:13 

Samantha Mujica 17th 16:10 

Isabel Arce 19th 16:32 

Annabel Lopez 51st 18:52 

Lola Patino 59th 19:37 

Brianna Padares 62nd 20:14 

Mila Salinas 67th 20:38 

Sarah Beth Tondre 69th 20:56 

The entire team would like to thank Mrs. Gonzales and Mrs. Woodruff for supporting them and encouraging them as they ran at the Meet. I think they sweat as much as the runners. 

The last race of the day was the hottest. My watch. which also shows temperature. read a triple digit wet bulb. I knew I was throwing the 7th Grade ladies to the wolves but you can’t grow unless you experience difficult conditions that can’t be simulated in practice. These six ladies gave their all as they finished. All these athletes experienced their first two-mile course. I think they would have said they couldn’t do this last year as 6th Graders. They now know they can complete two miles. 

7th Grade Girls 

Valentina Ayala 22nd 17:45 

Addison Criado 27th 18:48 

Kiara Gutierrez 60th 24:37 

Celeste Guerrero 63rd 25:00 

Lia Corral 66th 25:51 

Samantha Guerrero 67th 26:57 

We were also missing one 7th Grade lad who missed the bus. I am so thankful for all the parents who get their children up and drive them to practice every day at 6 am. Due to the number of JH athletes this year, I felt we needed to take two buses when everyone is competing. Deborah Costanzo supported my request and we are so thankful to have bus drivers who are willing to help our athletes. Mr. Tim Reed did a great job of getting us to the course. Even missing a runner we had a team. Robert Imning came out this week and during practice he seemed ready to run. Luke Estrada won the overall race for the 7th Grade boys and all the boys ran well with Yandel Esquivez earning his first medal in Cross Country. We did find out that Cotulla had a competitive team which won this meet but I now have a target for the lads to shoot for and I don’t think the same results will happen in District. 

7th Grade Boys - 3rd Place Team 

Luke Estrada 1st – Meet Champion 12:24 

Yandel Esquivez 14th - M 14:41 

Tristan Lopez 25th 15:36 

Robert Imning 32nd 16:09 

Zacharee Perez 36th 16:40 

Finally, Cross Country is family. Cody Lopez who graduated last year came to watch his brother Tristan run. Cody departed Sunday for basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to be followed by his AIT training as an Army MP. It is wonderful to see the young ones achieve success in Cross Country, but it is more wonderful to see young men and young ladies who graduate from Lytle willing to serve their country.  

“It wasn’t the reward that mattered or the recognition you might harvest. It was your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion – these were the things that counted in a life. When you gave purely, the honor came in the giving, and that was honor enough. – Scott O’Grady 

 See all photos at Google Album: Hondo Corss Country Meet 9-7-2019

Hadley Foster