Cross country finishes at top of Midlothian meet

Cross country finishes at top of Midlothian meet

It was a top finish for the boys as they began their season out with a big win in Midlothian. (Erika Torres photo)

They wake up at five o’clock in the morning every weekday. They go to school, put on their shorts and track spikes. Before school starts, they run two miles. Then the Panthers cross country team goes through a whole day of school before going to soccer practice and running some more. The next day is the same routine. This time, it’s a real contest with over 50 other schools.

“It’s never good to have to wake up early in the morning and lose sleep,” cross country runner Scott Pierce said. “But I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

The cross-country team had their third meet of the year last week at Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian. Junior Anna Salazar once again placed sixth in the varsity girls category, along with a few of her other team mates placing in the top 15. Even though Salazar is used to placing, she still admits that she has work to do.

“I stopped over thinking and started thinking more positively,” Salazar said.

This week the story wasn’t all about Salazar. There was a newcomer to the win column, Spanish foreign exchange student James Salas. This is Salas’ first year to run cross-country. Although he did not know what to expect when joining the team, his main goal was to earn his first medal.

“ This is my first year in cross-country,” Salas said. “I’m starting to like it a lot, I can’t wait until I get a medal.”

After his run last week, Salas’ wait was over as he finished in the top fifteen in his race and received his first medal. He passed five runners in the last 100 yards of the race to give him the medal.

“ I am very excited to have my first medal and very proud of myself today,” Salas said.

Camp Hoblitzelle is where the District 5-5A meet will be held later this year. Coach Beale Tolbert says this is probably one of the toughest courses for the runners and that this meet was good for preparing the runners.

“ This course is not running around a soccer or softball field,” Tolbert said. “It is a true cross-country course with hills and elevation changes. The runners have to plan this course very thoroughly.”