Natalia XC excited, optimistic, and ready to run into the 2021 season

Natalia Cross Country Head Coach Kim Lane is excited about what the 2021-2022 season can bring for her Mustang and Lady Mustang runners. Every year begins anew with new challenges, new goals, and, as every coach in every sport knows, new members of their team.
“We have gotten off to a tremendous, and fun, start to the season,” Lane said. “We have had some tough workouts in preparation for our first meet in Pearsall on August 21.”
Some of that “fun” includes scavenger hunts, breakfast runs, and a hike and swim at Castroville Park. Cross training and long runs are also a part of Lane’s early season workouts.
The 2020 version of Mustang Cross Country had several returning runners that were familiar with Lane and other members of the team. Although there are still a couple of upperclassmen coming back, new runners dominate the 2021 roster, however.
“Most of my 2020 team graduated, but we have some great athletes ready to fill their shoes,” Lane continued. “Noah Gilkey returns as a veteran presence to lead our new runners. I know he is ready and willing to take the boy’s team further than Natalia has ever been. Noah has competed at the state level and knows what type of commitment it takes to reach that level.”
Lady Mustangs
The Lady Mustangs team is more than ready to make a little noise during their 2021 season as well. Natalia would like to move up the rankings at district competition and advance some runners to Regional, if not further.
According to Lane, “The girl’s team is coming together and we have a few athletes that are showing great leadership and work ethic that will lead to huge improvements this season.”
Natalia officially kicks of its season with the Pearsall Invitational Saturday, August 21 followed by meets at Medina Valley (Aug. 28) and San Antonio FEAST (Sept. 4).
The Mustangs and Lady Mustangs have the September 11 weekend off before returning to competition at Ingram on September 18.
The last three regular season meets have Natalia teams competing in Round Rock (Sept. 24), Poth (Oct. 2), and Devine (Oct. 6).
As was the case in 2020, District 27 runs its regional-qualifying race in Poth on October 13, with Regional in Corpus Christi October 25.
If things go as scheduled for Coach Lane and her varsity runners, more than one participant will take the course at State in Round Rock on November 8.
“We have an exciting schedule full of tough meets this season,” Lane stated with enthusiasm about what 2021 holds in store for her Cross Country teams. “With commitment and continued hard work-ethic we are looking to add some Mustangs to the lineup at the State Meet this season!”
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer