Runyan finishes 36th in State cross country meet

Arabian runner Brooke Runyan finished 36th of 152 with a time of 12:33.78 on the 3200m course at the State Cross Country Meet at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock Saturday, November 3rd. Brooke finished 8th among Region 4 runners, bumping her up 4 spots from her 11th place finish at the Regional Meet in Corpus Christi on October 23rd.
“State was a completely different race than Regionals,” said Runyan. “At State, if you aren’t one of the top runners, then you get stuck in a huge group which makes it difficult to move or to pass anyone. I can use this experience to help me at state competition next year.”
Head Coach Khera Vay on Brooke’s State experience and what lies ahead for the freshman runner, “Saturday was an exciting day. Watching Brooke run her final Cross Country meet of the season was one I will never forget. Going into state competition, Brooke was sitting 42nd in class 4A. After Brooke looked at all incoming times, she set the lofty goal of finishing in the top 25.
We trained long and hard at a pace with that goal in mind and she performed with great determination each practice. Espi Mendoza did a fantastic job of setting paces and simulating race situations for Brooke in preparation for the meet. Soon after the race started, Brooke came around the corner at the 800m mark in a huge pack of runners, sitting somewhere in the 60-70 range. Initially, I felt it was a position in which she could not get out.
At the mile mark, Brooke had made an impressive move to 45th; her face showed determination to keep moving forward. Because the state course layout has many opportunities for a runner to become boxed in, I was still concerned for her finishing position. But Brooke proved by the 2000m mark that nothing was going to stop her.
An outstanding last 1200m pace vaulted her to 36th. Her time of 12:33.78 accomplished on the toughest course in the state of Texas is approximately three seconds off her personal best.
I can say this experience for Brooke as a freshman is significant. Brooke learned a lot about strategy and now has extra motivation to get herself into the top 10 the next 3 years. She understands what a race of that caliber will hold.
I am very proud of the season she has had. Brooke is an outstanding runner, but more than anything, she is an outstanding person. Although Cross Country is officially over, I promise all that Brooke and the other Cross Country kids are already preparing for State next year. After all it is only 362 days away!”
Brooke’s outlook for 2018, “Next season, I should be able to accomplish my goal of running a 12-flat. Hopefully, our whole girls’ team will be able to go to state too!”
4A Team top 5: 1, Bandera, 73; 2, Fort Worth Castleberry, 105; 3, Alvarado, 124; 4, Kaufman, 149; 5, Decatur, 167.
4A Individual top 10: 1, Emily Garcia, Alvarado, 11:28.65; 2, Caitlin Buendia, Fort Worth Castleberry, 11:33.47; 3, Lizbeth Rivera, Progreso, 11:41.23; 4, Emma Stauber, Boerne, 11:51.26; 5, Tatum Fish, Bushland, 11:52.31; 6, Kaytlyn Kuta, Huffman Hargrave, 11:52.92; 7, Jaci McGregor, Salado, 11:53.29; 8, Rachel Allen, Midlothian Heritage, 11:54.15; 9, Alia Henderson, Bandera, 11:54.63; 10, Dariana Vasquez, La Feria, 11:54.75.
The other District 29-4A representative in Round Rock was Yanel Garza of Carrizo Springs who finished 95th with a time of 13:21.53. Ms. Garza finished second at the district meet in Lytle but was awarded 1st ahead of Runyan.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer