SEGUIN — The Gonzales Apaches got to check off goals for this cross-country season.
The Lady Apaches won their third district title in a row while the boys team advanced to regionals.
On Tuesday morning at the Max Starcke Park in Seguin, the Gonzales cross-country teams took on the District 30-4A meet, with all four teams — varsity and junior varsity boys and girls teams — placing top three in their respective races.
Starting with the varsity girls, Veronica Moreno led the way with a third-place finish, timed in at 11:43. Freshmen Krisanta Esquivel and Kaylin Ramirez finished in ninth and 10th, respectively, while Krystalynn Buesing and Maura Gonzales finished 12th and 14th, respectively. Stephanie Reyna finished 17th overall and Shelby Davis finished 27th with a 13:00 time.
“Top girls ran good all the way down,” Gonzales Head Coach Cully Doyle said. “Veronica Moreno deserves a lot of credit, the freshmen deserve a lot of credit, Krisanta and Kaylin. We knew those freshmen were big. Our lone senior deserves a heck of a lot of credit, she pushed really hard today. She knew what she was running for, her last opportunity to win a district championship with the team. So that was huge. We’re excited. If we get people healthy we’ll be fine.”
The Lady Apaches scored 48 points, 17 points better than Geronimo Navarro who placed second. La Vernia came in third with 70 points, edging out Pleasanton who had 73 points.
The Gonzales JV girls also won, with all seven of their racers finishing in the top 15 for a 27-point score. Pleasanton had 42 points while La Vernia had 63.
“Our JV girls won a team championship pretty handily today. Because of them, it makes our varsity much stronger,” Doyle said. “A lot of people don’t have the depth that we have. We brought 29 girls today to race. Only seven get to run on varsity. That means the rest below them are pushing the top seven every day in practice, every weekend, every race and here. For the JV to win, it’s extremely satisfying to know that they’re pushing the top group to win and we expect the top group to win.”
Jordan Williams won the race with a 12:49 finish. Emily Moore placed third overall with a time of 13:15. Genevieve Kelly took fifth at 13:19, M’Kenna Matl took eighth with a 13:28 time, Emily Moreno took 10th with a 13:34 time, Maraia Mathis placed 12th with a 13:38 time and Brooklyn Simper took 15th with a 13:47 time.
On the boys side, a top three finish was always going to be a difficult task. With a banged up Antonio Hernandez, the Apaches still managed to get through adversity and advance to the Region IV-4A tournament as a team with 75 points. La Vernia won with 35 points, Geronimo Navarro took second with 70 and Cuero finished in fifth with 86.
“A lot of credit goes to La Vernia and Navarro, they’re good teams,” Doyle said. “We finished third. We knew we had to run well. I thought we ran well.”
“That as big for them because the boys didn’t get out last year,” he continued. “Their goal this year was to take a step forward and the step forward for that group was to get in the top three. Anything above that was a bonus. I’m a believer in you got to take one step before you take 10, so that’s just what I believe. I’m not going to make false hope for anybody. I think our team can be great, and I think today was a big step in the right direction for them. The sky is the limit if they trust the system. I’m excited.”
Avram Almaguer and Avery Almaguer led the way for the Apaches, finishing 12th and 13th, respectively. Antonio Hernandez placed 15th overall while Daniel Garcia and Ruben Ortiz placed 18th and 19th, respectively. Carlos Mendoza placed 28th and Mark Burek placed 29th.
On the JV side, La Vernia dominated with a perfect 15 score, as they took the top five spots in the race. Geronimo Navarro placed second as team with 57 while Gonzales placed third with 80 points. SA Brooks Academy placed fourth with 100 points.
Leading the way for the JV boys was Angel Pizano who placed sixth overall. Alejandro Reyna placed 14th, Jake Avant placed 21st, Dennis Martinez placed 23rd and Fernando Nava took 25th.
The next meet for the Apaches is the Region IV-4A meet that takes place in Corpus Christi on Oct. 22.
“I want to take the parents,” Doyle said. “I want to take the support system around. I want to thank the cheerleaders and the flames. I want to thank the sponsors. We represented really well today.”