Slaton, Roosevelt to compete in Regionals

Tiger Cross Country runners

prepare for Regional meet

By Melissa McCaghren 

Slatonite GM

The Slaton Cross Country boys team and Mary Jo Parker, Regional qualifiers, will be competing in the Regional meet Monday (Nov. 9) at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

It has been a couple of weeks since the District runner-up boys team and Parker (10th in District) have competed, but Head Coach Landon Sims said they were preparing for the big meet, even with a few obstacles along the way.

“We used the week that we finished the District meet to go back to running mileage,” he said. “We had planned to go to or host a meet, but the weather and other activities interfered.

“Last week we did a lot of cross-training just to give their legs some rest, these kids have been going since June, so the legs wear down sometimes. This week we are doing several short fast workouts.”

The Tigers are vying for one of the State spots, and in the case of Parker, her fourth time to compete in the State round, this time as a senior.

Sims said more importantly the team is looking forward to competing again. “Just the opportunity to race and compete with other teams, we have not raced in over a month other than ourselves, so we are looking forward to competing again,” he said.

“The goal which we set at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top eight at Regional, I still feel like that is a very likely a possibility.”

The top three teams and the top 10 finishers not on a qualifying team will advance to the State meet at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock Nov. 23.

The meet currently does not allow fans to watch the race, due to UIL COVID restrictions.

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Roosevelt XC runner prepares to vie for State individual spot

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

The Roosevelt Cross Country team saw several major improvements from last year’s team. The boys team finished third, and while this year only the top two teams qualified for Regional, it was a higher finish than the previous one.

Now, the one Regional qualifier, Kassadi Benavides, prepares to try and win for one of the 10 individual qualifying positions to the State contest.

“Every day during fifth period I’m taken out to the track, Ransom Canyon or around the school to run a well put together schedule by Coach (Kim) Clemmons,” she said.

Clemmons said they have been tailoring workouts to her needs for this important race. “(We’ve) also worked around basketball practice, which started a couple of weeks ago,” she added.

They both hope however the juggling of schedules between cross country and basketball will pay off.

“I am excited for Kass to run and represent our school.  It is her senior year, and she is making the most of it.  She has the greatest work ethic and does everything at 100 percent,” said Clemmons.

It is a thought shared as well by Benavides.

“(My goal is) advance to State, and beat my time from District,” she said.

Even if Benavides doesn’t make the State level, Clemmons said she was proud of the senior and the impact she has had on the Eagles team.

“Kass is setting the bar high for all runners for the years to come.  We have revamped the cross country program, and hope this is just the start of a successful program in the future,” she said. “We have a lot of young runners who look up to Kass, and she is the best role model.  She is one of those quiet leaders, who just does things right and leads by example.  Also, our junior high boys’ District champion, Billy Bond, has been working out with Kass and pushing her each workout.

“We both know she has worked as hard as she possibly can, so whatever happens, we can rest well knowing we did all we could.”

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