By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tiger Cross Country teams got off to a fast start competing in the Tall City Invitational Saturday morning (Aug. 21) in Midland.
Head Coach Landon Sims said they had a tough competition, but were off to a “good start.”
“It was a very tough meet, we competed against several schools from the Midland/Odessa/El Paso area. On the boys side they had to contend with Presidio which was the defending boys 3A State champions in cross country,” he said.
“The girls had several tough teams such as Andrews and Big Spring, but I was very proud of both teams.”
In the boy’s division, the team placed sixth out of 19 teams. It was also a 5K course, which is longer than the normal three-mile course.
Top runner was Elijah Culver with a time of 18:18 minutes. He received a medal for finishing in the top 20.
Other finishers were Xavier Riojas, 24th place with a time of 19:54; Ishmal Gonzales, 45th (21:00); Ivan Venzor, 58th (21:35); Anguel Lopez, 95th (22:55); and Dausyn Claborn, 128th (24:20).
The boys race had 165 runners.
The girls team finished 11th out of 21 teams.
Top finisher was Kathryn Castillo, 30th with a time of 15:01 minutes.
Other finishers were Kira Cogburn, 57th (15:47); Kaitlyn Parker, 64th (15:59); Kaylynn Salazar, 107th (16:47); Lillian Powell, 116th (17:06); Meagan Hersom, 118th (17:08); Gabby Romo, 121st (17:17); and Presley Alford, 128th (17:25).
Both teams now compete at the LCU Rust Buster Relays on Saturday (Aug. 28) on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.
The high school girls will compete at 9 a.m. and the boys at 10 a.m. Spectators are allowed at the races.
Sims is looking forward to seeing the teams improve each week compared to the last. “Next week we are just looking to go compete and get better, it’s a relay format so it will be harder to compare to Saturday, but it will be a good time for us to get a fast race in,” he said. “Right now we are just working through and trying to get better, we are starting to inject some speed.”
Race information is as of press day Tuesday.