CAPTION: Marble Falls junior Blake Cockrell (left) and Burnet junior Isaias Zarate are expected to play significant roles for their teams during the District 24-4A meet next week. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
The Marble Falls High School cross country program hosted its annual Leonel Manzano and Rick Edwards Invitational Sept. 30.
This year 1,063 athletes competed. Last year it had 761.
“The word seems to be getting out that we put on a good meet,” head coach Chris Schrader said. “We ran three races. We started at 7:30 a.m. and finished at approximately 10:30 a.m. It was the most kids we’ve ever had. It was a good meet. I was real pleased.”
Marble Falls and Burnet competed in the Class 5A and 6A race. Marble Falls junior Tyler Hamblin was sixth overall, finishing in 15 minutes and 54 seconds and was 14 seconds behind the winner. Teammate Blake Cockrell, a junior, finished 40th in 17:19 followed by Ezekiel Atkinson at 67th in 18:04.
“(Hamblin) was significantly better than last year’s 16:14 on exactly the same course,” Schrader said. “Tyler stepped against strong competition. He continues to improve and has had great training sessions in the last two weeks.”
The Bulldogs were led by junior Victor Aviles, who was seventh overall in 15:57.50 followed by junior Isaias Zarate, who was 24th in 16:43.30, freshman Hector Vega came in 54th in 17:34.30, junior Gustavo Vega finished 61st in 17:52.70, sophomore Josvanny Ramierez came in 71st in 18:13.50, junior Miguel Valdez was 88th in 19:07.20, and freshman Hays Bennett came in 93rd in 19:29.80.
In the Class 1A-4A races, Marble Falls freshman Owen Martin placed 13th overall in 18:46.60 followed by freshman Colton Rutland at 18th in 19:37.90, and freshman Connor Yaklin was 39th in 20:31.30.
Schrader noted the freshmen are running their first mile faster than a year ago in the eighth grade.
“The significance of (Martin’s) run was the first mile where he ran 5:45,” Schrader said. “His eighth-grade 1,600-meter personal record was 5:45. Colton ran his first 1,600 meters in 5:38. His eighth-grade personal record was six minutes plus. Last track season, Connor was a 7:20 1,600-meter runner. He went through the 1,600 meters (at this cross country meet) in 5:49. The boys are getting fitter and stronger.”
In the boys junior varsity race, Marble Falls senior Zachariah Apachito was fifth in 20:02.10. Burnet sophomore Matthew Resendez was eighth in 20:37.40, sophomore Thomas McAnally finished 18th in 22:57.10, freshman Ricardo Flores came in 19th in 23:40.30, junior Adrian Morales was 21st in 23:53.50, senior Jason Suarez came in 22nd in 24:10.50, and freshman Marcos Campos was 25th in 24:45.60.
The Lady Dawgs finished third in the team standings paced by freshman Abby Ennight, who was 13th in 12:42, senior Amelia Griffin finished 20th in 13:02.80, junior Koir Haile came in 28th in 13:32.70, senior Kaycie Banton was 31st in 13:37.40, junior Adriana Briggs came in 32nd in 13:39, junior Marissa Aviles finished 33rd in 13:44.70, sophomore Haile Maxwell was 36th in 13:54.70, and junior Brooke Bowman came in 37th in 13:54.80
The Lady Mustangs competed in the junior varsity race and were led by Sachi Marcum, who was 22nd with a very solid 16:35, Schrader said. Lynett Sital 28th in 16:52, Briseah Rivera finished 29th in 16:54, Lilliana Benitez came in 32nd in 17:42, Ruby Carrillo was 33rd in 18:13, Haley France finished 34th in 18:20, Irie Wallace came in 35th in 18:42, Ava McNamara finished 37th in 18:49, Aryana Aguirre was 38th in 18:51, Jeimy Chan came in 39th in 19:18, and Presley Kahl finished 40th in 21:00.
With the District 24-4A meet right around the corner at Marble Falls High School, Schrader got a better look at the rest of the district. Little changed his opinion in a week. He noted Burnet’s quality runners and depth is enough to put them on podium.
Marble Falls is the defending district champion and Burnet finished as the runner-up a year ago.
“Salado is loaded,” he said. “Burnet got home last year, and they made a decision we’re going after Marble Falls. For us to get out, everyone is going to have to run lights out.”
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