Cross Country Runs strong in opening meets

The cross country team started their season off right with strong runs at the Burleson Elk relays and the UTA Invitational meet this past weekend.

“ We have been working for about a month now, and I finally get to see what they can do,” Cross-country coach Beale Tolbert said.

There are a lot of familiar faces on this year’s squad, but even more new faces. On the girl’s team, they added 16 new runners and three to the boys team. Even with all the new additions to the team, it doesn’t stop veteran Anna Salazar from running hard, as she placed 13th overall of over 200 runners, and third in the district runners competing.

“I actually ran a better time to start the season this year then to end the season last year,” Salazar said.

Salazar was the only Duncanville runner to place in the top 20 of their races.

This wasn’t an easy meet to start off the season for the Panthers as they faced 12 of the top 20 teams in the country and six of seven teams in their district. The Panthers all ran hard but had little to show for it as only one runner out of both teams placed in the top 20 of their race. Veteran runner Mikey Reyes is used to being in the top 20 of his races, but just came up short this time.

“I think I could’ve done better, but it is what it is. I’m going to work harder,” Reyes said.

With their fist meet out of the way, the Panthers are going to train harder not just physically but mentally as well. One thing we know is that our runners will never give up when it goes and gets tough. As we found out when runner Scott Pierce had nothing left to give, but with a little inspiration from Coach Tolbert, he kept pushing.

“I had nothing left, but she said keep your arms moving! And I gave it all, I gave it my all,” Pierce said.

There are men and then there is beast in long distance running. The men will hang with beast for the first mile; they may hang around for the second. But it’s the third that counts.

“The third mile is what separates the men from the beast,” Tolbert said. “ We want the beast.”