After taking second at their first meet of the season, the Lady Tiger cross country team took the top spot in the team competition at the Bellville meet last Saturday morning at Bellville Country Club.
In addition, Daniel Medrano finished atop the individual male results to help Sealy’s boys’ team finish second.
“Definitely everybody ran better than they did last week,” head coach Anthony Branch said. “As far as their times, I thought we ran really well. There was a couple that were right around the same maybe just a little bit slower but for the most part, everybody ran much better times than last week.”
Branch said he was especially pleased with the finish from the Lady Tigers’ top four runners to take third through sixth consecutively. Madison Manak, Annabelle Williams, Allyson Guerrero and Bailey Lopez all finished within two seconds of each other.
“The thing that I was really impressed with was before the turn and you go downhill to the finish, they were still all four together,” Branch said. “They were sitting in sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth and they had chances to go pick off a few more and they picked off three other people and then just killed it downhill.”
Not only that, but a 26th-place finish from Coral Becerra scored enough points to edge Boling by two points in the team competition.
“Catching those people at the end (was big); I tell them all the time, ‘The race isn't won in the first mile, but you sure as heck can lose it,’” Branch said. “I think because we stayed to the plan of what we wanted to do and communicated we were able to catch them at the end and then had enough energy to surpass them, and that Boling team is good.”
The coach’s advice rang true in the boys’ race as well where Medrano was patient and waited for his spot to take the lead later in the race instead of right off the bat.
“Medrano ran good, he got in behind the guy from Bellville who took off and tried to take the lead early on,” Branch said. “Daniel just stayed true, waited until a little bit over the mile mark, that's when he started overtaking him.”
Xavier Olvera and Fernando Garza joined him in the top 10 and with Julius Aguilar (16th place) and Logan Eschenburg (33rd place) also scoring points, the Tigers were able to retain second place over Bellville by nine points.
“(Olvera and Garza will) say they didn't run as good, but they still ran solid,” Branch said. “I thought Julius Aguilar ran really well today and even though we had Logan Eschenburg as our fifth runner, he didn't run what we wanted him to but in the end he ran a lot better than he did last week.”
The Sealy cross country teams will have this weekend off ahead of hosting a meet on Friday and Saturday of next week.
“This week we got a chance to do some things different, we'll get some hill work in and I'd like to try to get an interval training day if possible,” Branch said. “Then we'll come back the following week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and prepare for our meet. We’ll host the varsity runners on Friday and the JV and junior high on Saturday so that'll be the junior high's first meet as well.”
Senior night celebrations
It was senior night all over Tiger town last Friday night as each fall sports team celebrated the members of the Class of 2021.
The cross country teams were honored alongside the football players, trainers and spirit squads ahead of the football season opener. Madison Manak, Coral Becerra, Cameron Eschenburg, Cody Prause, Brayden Ashorn and Dakota Jones represented the Sealy runners.
Branch spoke highly of the group of six seniors and thanked them for the impact they’ve had on the program.
“Now we're starting to get seniors in the program where we haven't had but a few here and there. That means the program is in good shape,” Branch said. “This is my fifth year as the head cross country coach so all these kids, I saw them as eighth graders. We'll miss them, they'll all be successful when they graduate high school and wherever they go, they're gonna be successful.”