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Fourth-place finish for Lady Lions harriers

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Special to the LPR

Lions Cross-Country traveled to Austin last week to compete at the District 17-5A Cross-Country meet. The Varsity Girls placed fourth, while the JV team placed second, and the freshman team took home the team title.
In the nine-team district race, Lockhart placed fourth overall. The varsity team was led by Senior Marissa Cervantes, who placed 9th overall with a time of 21:44. With her top-10 finish, Cervantes gets an automatic qualifying bid to the Region III meet held at Huntsville. Cervantes also gained first team All-District Honors. Next was Freshman Adriana Rodriguez who raced for the last spot batting with two other competitors, just missing out on an individual regional bid with a 12th place finish with a time of 22:19. Rodriguez did gain second team All-District Honors. Right on her heels was Junior Christy Gonzalez who battled back to also gain second team All-District Honors. Christy finished with a time of 23:05 and a 19th place finish. Senior Estephania Corona-Carrillo fought with the main group to finish 25th overall with a time of 23:36. Corona-Carrillo’s finish also gave her Honorable Mention District honors and finishes her cross-country career as a three year letterman. Sophomore Ryleigh Lindsey (25:07) and Senior Kaitly Louk(25:18) finished just behind the main pack to finish 36th and 37th. Louk finishes her Cross-Country career as a two-year letterman. Louk’s lettered after an outstanding freshman cross-country season followed by a 2 ½ year injury. A true Lion, Louk rehabbed for two years to be able to compete as a senior and worked her way back as a varsity letterman. Truly the heart of a lion. Sophomore Hannah Wheeler(39th/26:18) rounded out the varsity squad.
“We knew going into this race that we had a team shot but it was going to be tough,” said Head Girls Coach Reuben Ortiz. “We are the only sport that only allows three teams to go to Regionals vs. other sports getting four.
“We knew LASA and Anderson were going 1-2 at District. They have been state ranked and/or given votes the entire season which left one spot up for grabs. One of McCallum’s runners stepped up huge and that was the difference taking third. But we still have Marissa moving on, which is a huge accomplishment in a very tough women’s district field.”
Next up will be the Region III Meet held in Huntsville on Monday, October 25. Senior Marissa Cervantes is scheduled to race at 9:35 a.m. in the Girls 5A Division.
In JV competition, the Lady Lions finished in a tie for second as a team, but due to tiebreaker rules, the Lions took sole ownership of the team runner-up title. Sophomore Mayra Varillas led the JV team with a very impressive 6th place medal finish. Varillas finished the 3.1 mile course in 24:24.

Next on the team was Sophomore Emma Forester with a personal best race. Forester could not have picked a better time to run her best as she gained medal honors with a 13th place finish and a time of 25:32. Right on her heels was the trio of Junior Jazmine Reyes-Trejo(14th/25:37), Junior Diana Albino-Lara(17th/25:55) and Sophomore Alize Salazar(19th/25:59). Reyes-Trejo also gained medal honors while Albino-Lara and Salazar running personal bests. Pushers Junior’s Amryss Flores(21st/26:08) and Annelise Epperson-Jones(26th/26:37) gave the Lady Lions the tiebreaker to clinch 2nd place as a team. Sophomore Ana Albino-Lara(31st/28:18) and Senior Nitzia Cardoza(53rd/31:43) rounded out the Junior Varsity field. Cardoza finishes her Cross-Country career as a JV/Varsity contributor but was limited this year due to medical issues. “I’ve said it a million times and today proved my point,” said Ortiz. “Our team is deep in talent. Many of our JV girls would be varsity at other schools but due to UIL number limitations they run JV. Our depth broke the tiebreaker with LASA to give Lockhart the 2nd place team title which is a great accomplishment to our ladies out there.”
In the freshman division, the Lady Lions took home the team title once again. Jessica Silva took silver medal honors with her 2nd place(16:21) finish over the two mile course. Silva edged a LASA runner who had held onto 2nd place the entire race, until the end. Hadley Moorhead broke away from a Travis runner early and never looked back. Moorhead finished 4th overall with a time of 17:02. Not to outdone Jayla Goodwin(6th/18:25) and Zariella Ramirez(7th/18:37) separated from a pack of runners to gain district medal honors. Kara Sunukjian(9th/22:12) rounded out the Lady Lions team pushing past an Ann Richards group to steal one of the last medals.
“I was proud of our ladies out there, each one of them took home a District medal but more importantly they brought home the Freshman Team Title,” Ortiz said.

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