Cross Country Runs into Season


Junior Landen Espinoza, Nicholas Salazar, and Kevin Ramos race to the finish line at Teauge meet. Photo by Braden Bossier.

Braden Bossier, Sports Editor

Cross country teams went to Teague for the Lions Invitational on September 14. The varsity girls placed 1st and the boys placed 4th. The JV girls ran, but there were not enough runners to place as a team. They will compete on September 21 in Ennis.
Last year, head coach Katie Wade resigned, and people questioned if assistant coach Tarasha Graves would fill her position.
“When I found out Coach Wade was leaving I was really sad,” Graves said. “I didn’t know if I would get the head coaching position so I didn’t know what to expect for the year.”
Due to her close exposure to Wade’s program, Graves was hired for the head coach position at the end of last year.
“I have enjoyed this year so much so far and love working with the girls and boys this year,” Graves said. “The best part has been watching the team bond and cheer each other on at the meets.
The senior girls are Natalia Salazar and Brooke Leatherman. Last season was successful mainly due to the seniors on that team which included Morgan Coleman and Ashlyn Partain along with Madison Smith who continued her career at Harding University in Arkansas.
“My role as a senior is to have fun and work hard,” Leatherman said. “I aspire to be like Morgan and Ashlyn because they were a lot of fun but they also knew when we needed to be serious,and I want to be able to motivate everyone including myself when running so everyone can be in a positive mindset.”
Junior Erica McQuinn has run cross country since she was in 7th grade.
“I feel like a lot of things have changed from how they were last year like we lost a lot of good people, but we’ve also gained a lot of new talent,” McQuinn said. “So our main focus is just staying positive and showing the young ones about all the positive experiences that come with being in the team.”
Last year, the team would practice at six in the morning, but Graves decided to switch to afternoon practices.
“I decided to change the practice times to the afternoon because when we run at Regionals and State, it will be during the heat,” Graves said. “So the change was to get acclimated to the heat and hopefully give a better performance.”