Both Big Spring cross country teams earned first place finishes at the District 4-3A meet held at Comanche Trail Park Monday.
Faith Roberson was bested only by Wylie’s Hannah Sanchez, coming in second overall with a time of 12:13.53. Karina Alvarado claimed fourth place and Hannah Alsobrooks came in ninth to lead the Lady Steers, who edged Monahans 48-49.
Rounding out the pack was Kaitlyn Matthews (11), Dyrshae Vanderbilt (22), Rikki Salgado (23) and Valerie Goodblanket (28).
In boys action, it wasn’t even close, as Big Spring defeated second place Wylie by 30 points. Five-of-seven runners landed in the top 10, with all seven placing in the top 15 in the field.
Diego Rodriguez finished strong at second with a time of 16:10. Right behind him were teammates Jose Vargas at fourth and Ian Gonzales at fifth. Izzak Zamora placed ninth, Raul Romo came in at tenth and Richard Martinez and Ryan Lopez earned 14th and 15th places, respectively.
“I’m proud of the way they all ran,” said BSHS Head Boys Coach John-Michael Leggett. “All seven guys ran their hearts out and set personal bests. Some times came down as much as a minute. It was a great performance by them all. Ryan Lopez is a good receiver on the football field, he said he wanted to run. He ran a time trial and ended up on varsity. Richard Martinez came to varsity and performed well. Ian Gonzales did a great job and trains hard and of course, Diego Rodriguez, Raul Romo and Jose Vargas were outstanding for us. Izzak Zamora came through for us, he always runs hard.”
Leggett knew he had a talented core of runners, but he admits he didn’t expect to win district — especially not in such a convincing manner.
“I expected us to do well,” he added. “But to win district with our top five runners finishing in the top 10? I didn’t expect that. But we’ve got a strong nucleus of guys. Most of them are underclassmen. I’m excited to see what Big Spring cross country can do in the next three, four years.”
Also setting her sights on strengthening and building the cross country program is Head Girls Coach Kelly Ritchey. And like Leggett, couldn’t be happier with her team’s level of competition.
“I’m super proud of my girls,” Ritchey said. “This is the most girls we’ve ever had run cross country. I’m excited to see what this could lead to in the future. It’s looking like we’re not losing anybody this year. We have several runners coming up who will fit right in.”
And young talent will likely be the engine which drives the Lady Steers.
“Faith Roberson is a freshman,” Ritchey continued. “She got second and had her best time all year. She’s continuously improved throughout the year. She’s been awesome and I can’t wait to see what she can do in the future. Karina Alvarado is another who has continuously improved. All of them have. At every meet, they keep getting better.”
As for the runners, particpants from both varsity squads believe they have what it takes to compete with the region’s best Nov. 2 in Lubbock.
“I think we will do well at regionals,” Roberson said. “If we run like we did today, we can win there, too.”
Zamora acknowledged the tough field of opponents and hopes to carry the momentum into the regional meet.
“I should have finished way better,” he said. “We will have to keep working hard. I want to say congrats to all the teams out here. Greenwood really challenged us. It was a really good race.”
Big Spring’s Elijah Esparza, Matthew Jiminez and Dennis Torres took the top three spots in the junior varsity boys race.
District 4-3A results
Varsity Girls: Faith Roberson, 2, 12:25.06; Karina Alvarado, 4, 12:36.70; Hannah Alsobrooks, 9, 13:12.13; Kaitlyn Matthews, 11, 13:29.79; Dyrshae Vanderbilt, 22, 15:04.16; Rikki Salgado, 23, 15:04.24; Valerie Goodblanket, 16:16.42.
Varsity Boys: Diego Rodriguez, 2, 16:10; Jose Vargas, 4, 16:31.07; Ian Gonzales, 5, 16:37.79; Izzak Zamora, 9, 17:01.38; Raul Romo, 10, 17:26.80; Richard Martinez, 14, 17:49.30; Ryan Lopez, 15, 17:51.32.
Junior Varsity Girls: Autumn Minter, 6, 16:55.29.
Junior Varsity Boys: Elijah Esparza, 1, 17:30.27; Matthew Jiminez, 2, 18:00.73; Dennis Torres, 3, 18:13.22; Aron Rios, 5, 18:31.83; Alejandro Rodriguez, 6, 18:44.89.
Junior High Girls (7th): Chloe Bustamante, 1, 13:30.98; Jasmine Alvarado, 7, 14:31.12; Cierra Hutchenson, 13, 14:59.15; Alysya Cordova, 20, 16:29.17.
Junior High Girls (8th): Samantha Solis, 1, 13:27.37; Hope Arguello, 10, 15:11.43; Keana Pena, 20, 18:08.44.
Junior High Boys (8th): Eric Stinson, 2, 12:04.46; Juan Lugo, 5, 12:36.08.