Del Castillo, Lady Lions shine at Running of Bears Invitational￼
Special to the LPR
The Lockhart Lady Lions cross country team traveled to LaVernia for the first time ever to compete in the Running Bears Invitational and came home with some honors.
In the JV division, the Lady Lions took silver in the team standings for the second week in a row, while in the Varsity division the Lady Lions competed for individual honors only.
In the Varsity division, freshman Reina Del Castillo took home the gold for Lockhart as she placed 1st overall.
Del Castillo took the lead 1,200 meters into the competition and never relinquished, with Floresville’s Alyssa Quinones taking second. Castillo completed the 2-mile plus course in 13:19. With an equally impressive race, Sophomore Adriana Rodriguez used a perfectly paced race to take home the bronze. Rodriguez finished third overall, outkicking a Gonzalez runner with a time of 14:03.
The Lady Lions did not have the required five runners to compete for the team standings, only individual honors, but took home two of the top three spots.
“Our ladies ran their tails off today” said LHS Head Coach Reuben Ortiz. “We didn’t know what to expect from some of these schools, but the girls didn’t let the unknown get to their heads. They learned some good racing lessons out there.”
In the JV division, senior standout Christy Gonzalez came back for her first race of the season and placed 2nd overall. Gonzalez ran the 2-plus mile course in 15:26.
Aubrey Milam of Randolph took home the gold in the JV Division. Freshman Clarissa Martinez-Olvera used a strong start to hold on to 6th place overall with a time of 15:58. Also in top 10 honors was senior Amryss Flores, who used a strong kick at the end to finish ninth overall with a time of 16:35. Senior Jazmine Reyes-Trejo and Junior Ryleigh Lindsey came in with the main pack to give the Lions a strong 4-5 punch. Reyes-Trejo finished 16th with in 17:21, while Lindsey finished 18th in 17:38. Junior Ashley Ramirez and sophomores Hadley Moorhead and Jayla Goodwin finished as pushers for the team. Ramirez (18:46), Moorhead (19:52), Goodwin (19:53) finished 26th, 30th, and 31st, respectively.
The Lady Lions JV team tallied 35 points to place second overall in the team standings. Just one point separated Lockhart and Randolph, which placed first overall in team standings.
“It was nice to get some of our ladies back this week,” Ortiz said. “They definitely made the difference today. We will be back to bigger numbers in a few weeks and ready to move some up for varsity competition.”
In the Junior High competition, Sofia Rodriguez (17:03) placed ninth overall in the 7th grade division, while Violet Lindsey (23:54) placed 32nd in a loaded field.
In the 8th grade division, Natalie Gonzale (15:38) took home the gold and placed first overall.
“We brought these ladies with us as a way of saying thank you for training with us in our summer runs,” Ortiz. “The JH season kicks off next week for the rest of the team.”
This Friday and Saturday, Lockhart will host its annual Hippensteel Cross Country Open at Lockhart City Park. The Junior division will be held Friday starting at 6 p.m., while the High School division will be held on Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m. Teams from across the state travel annually to attend this meet and due to its size last year, it was split into two days to accommodate its popularity and growth.