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SPORTS BRIEFS: September 2, 2021

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VOLLEYBALL
Lady Lions earn first district win

The Lockhart Lady Lions won their district opener against Navarro, cruising to a 3-0 win after defeating the Lady Vikings 25-11, 25-13, 25-3 at home last week.
The Lady Lions’ early season continued this weekend in non-district tournament play, where they split their contests in San Marcos during a tournament that provided a tune-up before the bulk of district play begins. Lockhart beat Canyon Lake 29-27, 24-26 and 25-23 and recorded a 25-21, 18-25, 25-27 loss against Katy Taylor.
Lockhart’s district schedule was set to continue on Tuesday in Austin against Ann Richards.

CROSS COUNTRY
Lions pick up where they left off

The Lockhart Boys Cross Country team traveled to Yoakum last weekend to compete in the Yoakum Invitational. 
The Lions did not compete in the 2020 meet due to COVID-19, but picked up where they left off in 2019 with a win on Saturday.  Lockhart was the overall team champion with just 28 points, as they placed all five of their runners in the top 10 places overall. 
A total of five teams and 55 runners competed in the Varsity Boys division.  
Lockhart Junior James Franco led the Lions to victory, finishing in second place. Franco covered the mushy 3.1 mile (5,000 meter) course in a new personal best time of 16 minutes and 44 seconds.  Franco had a strong summer of training and it showed last Saturday.  
Lockhart Senior Matt Flores and Sophomore Zeke Sanchez finished in fourth and fifth places.   The duo battled all the way to the finish line, with times of 17:19, and 17:20 respectively. Both runners set personal  5,000 meter records.  The next milestone for both athletes will be ducking under 17 minutes for the distance. 
Completing the top five and the scoring for the Lion harriers were the sophomore duo of Carlos Terrazas and Cole Frey as they finished in eighth and ninth places with times of 19:04, and 19:05 respectively. 
Lockhart freshman Anthony Daniel finished as the sixth runner for the Lions, placing 12th overall. Daniel finished with a solid time of 19:16.  
“What a debut for Anthony,” Coach Scott Hippensteel said. “He didn’t run in junior high, and had the courage to give running a try, so we are all really excited to see what he can do in high school.”
Other Lions who competed included Mason Griffin who placed 19th in 20:09, senior Kevin Francisco placed 22nd in 20:20, senior Angel Aguilar placed 24th in 20:21, sophomore Mason Nino 25th in 20:30, junior Santiago Ayala placed 28th in 20:51, senior Andrew Ortiz placed 40th in 22:08, and senior Eric Hernandez placed 50th in 23:40.
 Four other Lions participated in the Junior Varsity race.  Sophomore Reagan Bliss led the way finishing 6th of 36 runners with a fine time of 21 minutes and 20 seconds.  Sophomore Victor Ruiz placed 16th in 23:21, freshman Nate Hernandez placed 21st in 24:34, and freshman Joseph Phares placed 18th in 23:32. 
 “I am so proud of the way our kids competed last weekend, we did some really good things, and had a lot of fun in the process.   I really appreciated the leadership of our returning runners.   It is going to be a great year.”

Lady Lions kick
off cross-country season

The Lady Lions Cross-Country team kicked off the fall season traveling to Yoakum this past Saturday and came back with positive results. In the 13-team varsity field, the Lady Lions placed sixth with 170 points. Team El Campo was right behind the Lady Lions and placed 7th with Floresville taking 5th as a team.
In the Girls JV Division, the Lady Lions came in 2nd as a team just getting edged out by Shiner for the JV team Title.
In the Varsity Girls Division, freshman Adriana Rodriguez led the team with a 13th place medal finish. She finished the 2 plus mile course in 14 minutes and 07 seconds. Just 3 seconds behind Rodriguez was Senior Marissa Cervantes (14:10), with a 14th place medal finish. Sophomore Ryleigh Lindsey (15:15) used a late push to move into the lead of the main pack to finish 36th overall. Junior Jazmine Reyes-Trejo (53rd/15:56) and sophomore Hannah Wheeler (56th/15:57) ran neck and neck with Junior Amryss Flores (68th/17:10) rounding out the squad.
“This race was really important for us,” said head girls coach Reuben Ortiz. “Training-wise we are moving up to be in 3.1 mile race shape and with this race a bit over 2 miles, it fits perfectly into our training.
“Our Lady Lion strength has always been our depth, and today our depth helped us finish around strong regional qualifying teams like Floresville and El Campo. We are missing some key pieces right now but when they come back we will get even stronger.”
In the JV Girls Division, Sophomore Mayra Varillas used a strong last mile push to move up into medal honors to take 12th place with a total time of 15:55. Less than a second behind her was Newcomer Emma Forester, who placed 13th/15:56. Sophomore Alize Salazar(19th/16:29) and Senior Kaitly Louk(20th/17:10) battled with the leaders for most of the race but still ended in top 20 honors. Junior Annelilse Epperson-Jones(21st/17:36) broke away from a pack to give the Lady Lions key points as the 5th runner. Freshman Takayla Thomas(24th/17:49) and Sophomore Hailey Bane(27th/18:21) rounded out as the 6th and 7th team pushers. “There were some nice surprises in this race, they went out and competed,” says Ortiz. “Mayra Varillas got some Varsity experience last year as a freshman and her smartness out there showed today. And I can’t forget about Emma Forester, she ran her first ever Cross Country race today and medaled. It’s scary to think how much more she can improve with her commitment. Overall 2nd as a team was exciting for these ladies in a deep field like this.”
Varsity and JV runners will compete early Saturday morning at the Lockhart Hippensteel Cross-Country Invitational at City Park.

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