Rayburn runners nab 2 Region III berths
As expected, the color blue was well-represented near the front of the pack at the District 22-6A varsity cross country races at Atascocita High School Thursday morning.
But surprisingly, not all of it came in the form of powerhouse Kingwood High School’s blue.
Sam Rayburn High School’s shade of blue was well-represented near the front of the 3.1 mile boys and girls pack as the two teams clinched berths to the Region III race on Oct. 22.
With the top three teams qualifying for the next-to-last step before the state championship run, the Texans were the only Pasadena ISD club in both divisions to earn a regional berth.
Sam Rayburn traveled 4-6-10-25-31 for 76 points to claim the boys’ second-place prize and the girls collared 84 points after traveling 8-16-17-21-22 into the finish chute to snag third place.
“It was a real good day for Sam Rayburn High School. For the boys, it’s the first time in a long time that they were able to get runner-up and it’s an improvement from our third place last year and going against some stiff competition,” Sam Rayburn coach Brandon Coslor said.
Stiff competition to say the least. Like all the other sports, there was the very real threat that the Humble ISD programs might celebrate all the team accolades.
But Rayburn pulled off its best cross country success in recent memory.
“Running against Kingwood, Summer Creek and Atascocita, they’re year in and year out, very competitive. It was good to see Sam Rayburn compete against those guys,” Coslor said.
Rayburn’s strategy was to forget about pulling on Superman’s cape (aka Kingwood) and focus on keeping the others at arm’s length.
“I told my best guys, they’re in a different league. We’re not going to worry about them. We can only control what we can control. Let’s run smart and let’s run our race and that’s what we did,” Coslor said.
It was huge that Nick Cisneros (16:32.67), Raul Lopez (16:36.44) and Jair Pina (16:56.20) were all into the chute by 11th place for 23 quick points.
“Nick ran a real smart race. He ran a PR, running a 16:32. That’s his fastest time in a 5K by almost 20 seconds. That’s a good way for him to end his senior year. That’s the highest finish he’s ever had in a meet,” Coslor said.
“Raul Lopez, he’s a guy who worked all off-season to improve. Compared to last year’s district, he ran a minute faster. I told all my guys that hard work pays off and they saw the results today,” Coslor said.
But if one’s looking for a real hero from the Rayburn scorers, look no further than William Aguero, who was the team’s fifth scorer at 18:01.15.
“He had been a JV runner all year but I needed a seventh runner and he came through for us today. That was a big stage to come on, the district meet day,” Coslor said.
And thanks to the team’s fourth scoring runner, Justin Sanchez (17:43.51), the Texans held a 45-61 advantage on Summer Creek and a 45-62 lead on Atascocita. Summer Creek and Atascocita each got their fifth man in before Rayburn, but thanks to that double-digit lead and Aguero hustling in for 31st, the Region III prize was assured.
Kingwood traveled 1-2-3-5-8 for 19 points. Its sixth and seventh runners were 9th and 11th.
Summer Creek scored 83 points to keep its season alive, holding off Atascocita and its 88 points.
Also qualifying for regionals was Pasadena High School’s Alonzo Corral, who conquered the course in 16:21.90, good for third overall.
Memorial traveled 17-20-24-29-33 for 123 points for fifth place, while Dobie (173) and South Houston (187) finished sixth and seventh. Pasadena failed to field a complete team.
RAYBURN GIRLS COAST TO PRIZE
The Lady Texans went 8-16-17-21-22 for their 84 points, 22 points fewer than fourth-place Summer Creek.
Jazmine Martinez (20:24.54), Adilene Gonzalez (20:52.50), Alexandra Balli (20:53.49), Caitlyn Cruz (21:08.12) and Galilea Rodriguez (21:09.94) did the honors.
Kingwood won the district title with 42 points and Atascocita placed second with 53.
“The girls kind of fed off that energy. They saw the boys run,” Coslor said.
With the team’s usual No. 2 runner, Jocelyn Olivarez not feeling well, but who still ran, Coslor had extra reason to be proud of the team’s accomplishment.
“I don’t think Humble ISD really knows about Sam Rayburn cross country. It’s a program we’re still trying to build and we’re headed in the right direction,” Coslor said.