By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tiger Cross Country teams made the most of their home meet Saturday morning (Sept. 4) during the Slaton Invitational at the Old Slaton Golf Course.
Coach Landon Sims said the meet went well, and they learned a lot while hosting the meet.
“The race course was very challenging. It had grass, hills and sand. It definitely was not an easy course. The coaches from the other schools seemed pleased. Obviously we had some errors in the meet at times, but we adjusted very well and made to best of it,” he said. “It was nice to be able to host this meet after a long time, since I have been the cross-country coach in Slaton. I have gotten to know Dale Underwood really well and he was a big help in consulting with me during this meet.”
The boys’ team won the meet with 30 points, while Roosevelt finished second with 61 and Brownfield third with 65.
Elijah Culver won the boys’ race, finishing with a time of 16:56.
His time was nearly a minute and a half faster than the second place finisher, Justice Jackson of Roosevelt, who finished with a time of 18:34.
“The boys did a great job, winning the meet was very awesome, they looked really good on Saturday,” said Sims. “Elijah was determined to win this meet, that was his goal all week.”
Other finishers were Xavier Riojas, fourth place (18:58); Isaiah Chapa, fifth place (19:06); Ishmal Gonzales, ninth place (19:39); Curtis Holland, 11th (19:59); Thomas Cardenas, 20th (20:56); Aungel Lopez, 21st (20:57); Ivan Venzor, 22nd (21:03); Dausyn Claborn, 27th (22:36); Alberto Luera, 34th (24:07) and Trevor Cearley, 35th (25:11).
The girls’ team finished fourth with 84 points behind Brownfield (55), Sudan (57), Roosevelt (69) and ahead of Lamesa (121).
Top runner was Kathryn Castillo, ninth place with a time of 16:40.
Other racers were Kaitlyn Parker, 12th (17:20); Kaylynn Salazar, 20th (18:05); Kira Cogburn, 21st (18:09); Kamryn Barrera, 22nd (18:20); Meagan Hersom, 32nd (19:33); Lillian Powell, 33rd (20:02); Gabby Romo, 34th (20:13); Giselle Mendez, 42nd (23:22) and Jocelyn Santos, 43rd (24:07).
In spite of a fourth place finish, Sims was very pleased with how the girls’ team was progressing. “The girls are getting better each week. They are young and it takes time to get used to competing at the high school level, but they ran with a lot of heart on Saturday. I can see the growth each week,” said Sims.
This Saturday (Sept. 11), Slaton will race in the LCU Invite, which will be conducted at the LCU Golf Course.
Sims said he was looking forward to the meet, as it will help him decide teams as District draws near. “We are just looking for who will be on JV and Varsity. We have more numbers this year than we have had in the past,” he said. “Also, we will see Abernathy, Idalou and Shallowater, so its a good chance to see how we are compared to them.”
He also thanked those who helped make the race a success this past weekend. The first one in a long time for Slaton.
“I am very thankful for the following people, Mr. (Jim)Andrus – he mowed parts of the course for us, he did not have to do that. I don’t know many superintendents who are willing to give up their time to do that,” he said.
“I am also thankful to : Lawrence Johnson, Dr. (Kim) Perry, Erika Sims, Amanda Langston, Marla Harbin, Stephanie Jones, Rebecca Castillo, Tammy Crabb, Liz Gilliam, Sherri Rodriguez, Bailee Garcia, Shane and Shelly Parker, Teylor Abel, Josh Satchell, Jett Hartley and Ty Kinch. I am also thankful to the City of Slaton for working and helping us set up this meet, especially Trevor Barnes, Mike Lamberson and Tony Linker. None of this would’ve been possible without their help.”