The Sealy cross country team saw its season come to an end Oct. 23 when they competed in the UIL 4A Region IV Championship meet. The boys’ team ran in the meet after placing fourth during the district meet while junior Celeste Garcia ran as an individual.
The boys' team placed 20th with a score of 519 while Garcia ran the two-mile with a time of 14:50. Unfortunately, neither performance was good enough to advance to the state meet.
Junior Nahhol Ahmed ran the best time on the boys' side for Sealy in the 5,000-meter with a time of 19:09 while senior Jesus Barroso and sophomore James Gassiot finished with times of 19:37 and 19:40 respectively.
“I don’t think we ran as well as we would’ve liked to finish the season up,” Head Coach Anthony Branch said. “They were disappointed by that but that means that they really want to do better.”
For Garcia, Branch said he was impressed with her motivation and drive she displayed throughout the season and is confident her performance will continue to improve next year as well as her role as a team leader.
“She’s made an impact on her sister and the rest of the team in just a lot of great ways,” Branch said. “I’m excited about the leadership she’s given and those girls are all back next so we’ll be a lot better next year.”
Branch said he still thinks that the team’s season was a success despite the disappointing feeling many of the runners felt. The team lost several runners throughout the season forcing some of the younger JV runners like Vladimir Hernandez to step up and perform. A feat Branch said they accomplished.
The team is losing one senior on the boys' side in Jesus Barroso who Branch said has made huge improvements throughout his career.
“He really made good strides this year running in the 18 and 19-minute range which is big because he was in the 21-minute range last year,” Branch said.
Branch said he expects the runners to be accountable for themselves during the offseason in terms of training and should they follow through, the team’s future is a bright one.
“We’re going into next season with the mindset of ‘just do it’ because we can’t go backward and we know we have to keep improving,” Branch said.
Branch said the girls' team that was eliminated in the district meet helped trained with Garcia in the days leading up to the regional meet and it is that kind of camaraderie and effort that will put the team in contention for the district title.