Lady Lions complete successful day at Hippensteel Cross Country Open￼
Special to the LPR
The Lockhart Lady Lions were able to show their skills home at the annual Hippensteel Cross Country Open at Lockhart City Park. Nearly 1,000 runners and 3,000 spectators flooded the park over the two-day event.
Due to the event’s popularity and growth, it has been split into a two-day event. This race has grown into one of the premier meets to kick off the Cross Country season for many teams as they traveled from as far as Brownsville to be a part of the annual event.
In Varsity competition, the Lady Lions were split into two groups. In the Varsity Big Division, freshman Reina Del Castillo once again took charge for LHS to bring home the silver in one of the closest races of the day. Del Castillo took the lead midway through the race followed by an aggressive pack over the 2.2-mile course. In the last stretch, Ford from San Antonio O’Connor made a late push to catch Del Castillo.
Del Castillo fought back with a push of her own. At the end, Del Castillo took the silver in a heroic effort to finish with a time of 13:30.
Sophomore Adriana Rodriguez followed behind in the main pack to finish 20th overall and finish in Top 20 medal honors. Rodriguez finished with a time of 14:48.
In the Varsity Small Division, the Lady Lions took home the silver in team standings, just edging a very strong San Antonio Saint Mary’s Hall team.
Senior Christy Gonzalez continues to improve back from injury and finished 3rd overall with a time of 15:32. Not to be outdone, senior Amyrss Flores ran her best race of the season to take 12th overall and finished with a time of 16:30. Freshman Clarissa Martinez-Olvera fought with the leaders early and finished 16th with a time of 17:23. Close behind was junior Ryleigh Lindsey, who finished one spot out of medal honors. Lindsey finished 21st with a time of 18:07. The wave of Lions came after with senior Jazmine Reyes-Trejo(23rd/18:17), junior Emma Forrester(24th/18:23), and junior Mayra Varillas(25th/18:42).
“We took some good steps forward today,” Lockhart Girls Head Girls Coach Reuben Ortiz said. “We got Forester and Varillas back this week for their first race of the season. They should be big contributors in a few weeks. Flores and Del Castillo really dropped their PPM’s (pace per mile) this week in a tough course. We are moving in the right direction.”
In Junior Varsity competition, sophomore Jessica Silva, in her first race of the season came back with a roar. Silva ran the 2.2-mile course in 17:21 and finished 23rd in the deepest girls race of the day. Junior Ashley Ramirez ran her best race of the season, finishing 30th with a time of 18:09, followed by sophomore’s Jayla Goodwin (44th/21:09) and Hadley Moorhead (46th/22:05). Lockhart did not have a 5th runner needed to be eligible for team standings, with Liberty Hill taking the JV team title.
“Usually, the toughest race is the last race of the day,” Ortiz said. “The heat kicked in as well as the humidity, but they battled through it. Getting Silva and Moorhead back and practicing next week is going to be a huge boost for our program.”
The Lady Lions will take the following week off, then split forces when the JV team will travel to nearby Seguin on Thursday, Sept 15, while the Varsity will compete on Saturday, Sept 17, at the Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi Pre-Regional meet.