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Burnet cross country’s final 2023 race ends at state meet

CAPTION: Burnet junior Victor Aviles is on his way to the finish line of the Class 4A state meet Nov. 4 at Old Settler’s Park. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

The Burnet High School cross country girls cross country team and juniors Victor Aviles and Isaias Zarate performed well at the Class 4A state meet Nov. 4.

Aviles was 11th in the individual standings of the boys 5K race thanks to finishing in 16 minutes and 5.8 seconds. Zarate completed his run in 16:59.7 for 55th overall. The race had 150 runners.

This is the second consecutive year Aviles has competed at the state meet.

“This is such a huge improvement from last year’s state meet where he placed 22nd,” head coach Kristi Jones said. “This young man continues to put in the work and has such a bright future. We can’t wait to see what he does in his senior season.”

Zarate made his state meet debut.

“This young man has a heart the size of Texas and was a leader all season for his teammates,” Jones said. “We know he is going to stop at nothing to earn his spot at the top. He will return in his senior season stronger and faster than ever.”

The Lady Dawgs finished 16th in the team standings paced by freshman Abby Bennight, who finished the two-mile course in 12:49.9 for 52nd overall followed by senior Kaycie Banton, who was done in 13:24.4 for 81st, junior Brooke Bowman, who clocked 13:28.1 for 86th, junior Adriana Briggs, who finished in 13:31.8 for 92nd, and senior Amelia Griffin, who was done in 13:42.6 for 97th. Other runners include junior Marissa Aviles who finished in 13:44.5 and sophomore Halle Maxwell, who clocked 13:55.2.

Not bad for a Lady Dawg squad that hadn’t competed at a state meet since 2014.

“The goal for this season was to get a team to state, and these young ladies worked persistently to make that happen,” Jones said. “They went into today’s meet being unranked in the (Class) 4A division and ended the day with an overall team place of 16th. Although this wasn’t quite where we wanted to end the season, we are incredibly proud of the work they put in to be ranked 16th out of 206 cross-country teams in the 4A division. This group is determined to return next year, and they have already started setting goals for the 2024 season.”

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