Texas Poll shows Pirate Cross Country at the TOP

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer
The Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas released its first poll of the 2023 season and to no one’s surprise the Lytle teams found themselves at or near the top of each list.

The Pirates top the charts at numero uno followed by Eustace, San Antonio Great Hearts Northern Oaks, Jim Ned, Holliday, Presidio, East Bernard, Commerce, Cameron Yoe, and Universal City Randolph.
The Lady Pirates come in at 5th behind Whitesboro, Poth, Holliday, and Quitman but ahead of Jim Ned, Dalhart, Rogers, Pilot Point, and East Bernard.
Congratulations to all coaches and runners as they look forward to a terrific season!
Lytle XC begins their push for Round Rock
Head Coach Gilbert Ruiz and his Lytle Cross Country teams got their season started on the right foot in Floresville. The Pirates and Lady Pirates are looking to return to Round Rock this season, and early returns show they seem to be going in the right direction.
“This Saturday we came back from Floresville with no trophies but plenty of medals and knowledge. All of our returning varsity runners (7) from last year’s State teams finished in the Top 15 and medaled along with nine other Lytle Pirate XC runners,” Ruiz stated.
Ruiz ran some of his runners with the 5A/6A division to challenge them just a little more than the others.
“Only four of the returning five from 2022 ran Saturday and all had great races. Abel Sanchez tested himself Saturday and went out with that first group and got close at the end to one of the five returning 6A/5A/Home School State runners. We are hoping he can finally stay healthy this year. He has yet to have a full XC season and we hope his senior year is that year.”
Sanchez was 6th of 99 runners with a time of 16:35. Johnny Rey Alvarez was 9th at 16:50, Tristan Lopez 13th at 17:19, and Yandel Esquivez was 15th at 17:23.
“The three sophomore boys (Diego Reyna, Lucas Salazar and Bryan Montes) along with senior Daniel Mercado ran in the Varsity 1-4A Division. These sophomores went 2nd , 3rd and 4th and are trying to work themselves up the ladder.”
Montes ran 18:03 which was :20 behind the individual champion. Reyna crossed the line at 18:03, Salazar came across at 18:08, and Mercado placed 35th at 19:44.
Lady Pirates
The Lady Pirates ran three runners at the varsity level, followed by a slew of JV runners.
Frances Scotello showed out running 12:48 to come in 4th place individually out of a field of 148 runners. Samantha Mujica had a terrific run as well coming in 6th with a time of 13:02. Klayre Cook was 14th at 13:35.
“The varsity girls also were up for the challenge. Frances was our top finisher and she defeated one of Poth’s great runners who last year placed 16th at the State Meet while Frances finished 96th a year ago. She has been working really hard with Klayre and Samantha while juggling varsity volleyball as well.”
The JV Lady Pirates placed second in their first meet of the season, scoring 43 points to champion San Antonio Reagan who tallied 21. Medina Valley was third with 84 points, Hondo was fourth with 124, and Corpus Christi Carroll was fifth with 147.
Laleina Reveira paced Lytle, placing 5th overall with a time of 14:15. Svetlana Lopez was also top 10, finishing 9th at 14:25. Isabella Sewell and Vanessa Ayala were 12th and 13th respectively with times of 14:40 and 14:45. Addison Wagner finished off her team’s scoring coming in 15th with an even 15-minute two-mile time.
Annika Robles (20th-15:42), Avery Sanchez (52nd-17:59.18), and Payton Devaney (53rd-17:59.94) also competed for the Lady JV Pirates.
The Pirate JV came in third place in their division, scoring 103 points to finish behind runner up Medina Valley who scored 79 and team champion San Antonio Regan who scored 32.
Lytle was led by Nathan Garza who placed 8th with a time of 20:50 followed by Andres Rodriguez who came in 17th at 21:09. Jaden Castro was 25th at 21:40, Kaden Aguinaga was 30th at 22:20, and Ezekiel Morin was 63rd at 24:13.
Ruiz’s final say
Coach Ruiz is excited to have a week’s worth of work behind him, and is ready to tackle the obstacles that may lie ahead.
“We had a great first meet and we hope that we can stay healthy and overcome some mental blocks. We are young on both sides and do not have the numbers like last year, but they are working hard and slowly learning what it takes to be a great runner.
This week at Medina Valley, we will be fielding four full high school teams with three varsity groups (Boys 5A/6A, Boys 1-4A, Girls 1-4A) and a JV girls’ team.
The junior high will also join us at MV, and I am excited to see how they perform after also having a great summer. We will field both 8th grade groups and we hope to soon field a whole 7th boys and girls team as well.”
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