Runyan advances to State cross country meet

Freshman Brooke Runyan qualified for the State cross country meet with a time of 12:29.8. Photo by KK Calame.

Brooke Runyan, Espi Mendoza, Bri Bernal, Abigail Whitaker, Bri Bowyer, Mari Murillo, Victoria Whitaker, and Colin Rogers along with alternates Jasmine Stricker, Lorena Chavera, and Ismael Vera made the fast trip to the Regional Cross Country Meet down in Corpus Christi this past Monday.
Head Coach Khera Vay, “Cross country isn’t a sport for the weak or weak minded. The physical and mental toll it takes on a body is like none other. The runners run through the tears, the blisters, the 100 plus temperatures and the freezing rain if that is what the demands of the race ask of you.
Runners are some of the toughest people you will ever know and your Devine Cross Country athletes are no different. These athletes started training in the summer long before many even considered the sports they would be playing for the school year. In August, they began team training with two workouts a day in the most excruciating temperatures Texas could provide.
They continued to train through September and October proving to me that they were going to shoot for the stars this season. The athletes accumulated 8-10 miles a day for an average weekly mileage of 40-45 miles, adding up to close to 540 miles over the course of three months. That’s more miles than most of us put on our cars in that time!
Your Devine Arabian team and Warhorse Colin Rogers ran the most amazing races I have seen all season on Monday at the Region 4 UIL championships. Although the Arabians goal was a top four finish and we came up short, there was nothing to hang our heads about. The Arabians improved their team finish place from last year with an 8th place overall to teams who are projected to place high at the state meet next weekend.
Colin has been fighting a nagging injury in his knee, but still proved that he had what it took to run a great race. The first 2 miles were amazing, but due to some tightness in the injured knee he didn’t finish as well as he would have hoped. For a first year Cross Country athlete, finishing 71st of 179 runners with a time of 18:42 he can be proud of everything he has accomplished and learned.
Often times I think coaches get focused on the aspect of winning instead of enjoying the journey and watching the kids learn life lessons that will benefit them far more in life than winning will ever do. This group of athletes have to be some of the most caring, positive, and unselfish kids I have ever worked with.
Watching the joy on their faces when Brooke Runyan, state qualifier, got on the awards stand was absolutely priceless. That moment speaks volumes to the type of kids I get to coach on these teams. Much credit to their parents, grandparents and anyone else in the “village” that is helping raise them.
When I hear a senior has passed down the role of ‘the glue’ it makes me proud to know that we are building a program that will provide these young kids with memories they will always hold near and dear to their hearts. Thank you for anyone and everyone who cheered us on, helped with the invitational meet, and sent well wishes along our journey this season.
Luckily we are one of the few schools who will still be training with Brooke advancing as the 11th place finisher and 5th qualifying individual with a time of 12:29.8, along with the top freshman athlete in our division and region,” said Vay.

From left to right are Coach Khera Vay, Mari Murillo, Abigail Whitaker, Bri Bowyer, Bri Bernal, Espi Mendoza, Brooke Runyan, Victoria Whitaker, Colin Rogers, and Coach Jerel Beaty. Photo by KK Calame.

Region 4-4A girls’ team top 8 (Top 4 Teams are State Qualifiers): 1st-Bandera-43; 2nd-Boerne-118; 3rd-Gonzales-123; 4th-LaFeria-140; 5th-Fredericksburg-158; 6th-Needville-178; 7th-Wimberley-189; 8th-Devine-240.
Region 4-4A top 10 of 178 runners: 1st-Emma Stauber-Boerne-11:55; 2nd-Alia Henderson-Bandera-11:57; 3rd-Dariana Vasquez-LaFeria-12:03; 4th-Ashlyn Royal-Wimberley-12:06; 5th-Jasmine Rangel-Rio Hondo-12:07; 6th-Lizbett Rivera-Progresso-12:13; 7th-Ashlyn Persyn-Bandera-12:18; 8th-Sandy Clarkin-Bandera-12:21; 9th-Caitlin Thrasher-Bandera-12:26; 10th-Bethany Kendrick-Fredericksburg-12:27.
Arabian results: 11th-Runyan-12:29.8; 26th-Mendoza-12:53; 47th-Bernal13:23; 85th-A. Whitaker-14:01; 94th-Bowyer-14:05; 101st-Murillo-14:14; 111th-V. Whitaker-14:25.
Region 4-4A boys’ team state qualifiers: 1st-Progreso-30; 2nd-LaFeria-113; 3rd-Fredericksburg-138; 4th-Boerne-139.
Region 4-4A top 10 of 179 runners: 1st-Everado Espara-Progreso-16:30; 2nd-Devin Robles-Pearsall-16:39; 3rd-Jake Trevino-Orange Grove-16:45; 4th-Anthony Vasquez-Progreso-16:54; 5th-Omar Anguiano-Progreso-16:58; 6th-Rudy Gallegos-Carrizo Springs-17:00; 7th-Adren Soto-Bay City-17:05; 8th-Gabriel Magana-Crystal City-17:10; 9th-Gerardo Gallardo-Progreso-17:16; 10th-Brian Cardenas-Carrizo Springs-17:22.
Warhorse results: Colin Rogers 71st of 179 runners with a time of 18:42.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer