“This is our first time. We’re excited about that.”
Those are the words of Palmview Lobos’ cross-country coach Claudia Bazan, referring to the first-ever clean sweep by the Palmview boys and girls XC (cross country) teams Saturday at the 30-6A District XC Meet.
It was quite a feat that the Lobos pulled off with their feet, and with their legs of course. Not only did Palmview take both team district championships, but the Lobos also took the two individual championships, had the boys and the girls runner-ups and the girls third place finisher. That’s two team championships, two individual championships and three of the four remaining top individual finishers – all Lobos!
While the Palmview girls were expected to take the meet, the boys had their work cut out for them going up against the favored Juarez-Lincoln Huskies boys.
“Going into the meet I knew that it was going to be more difficult with the boys,” Bazan said. “Juarez-Lincoln has an extraordinary program. Going in there and walking away with both titles was great.”
In XC the lower the team score, the better. The Palmview boys team score of 48 was ten points ahead of the Huskies boys score of 58 and 22 points ahead of the third place Mission Eagles boys score of 70.
In the girls division, the Lady Lobos easily took the district title with their score of 25. The McAllen Lady Bulldogs came in second with a 72, while the Nikki Rowe Lady Warriors finished third with 78.
The time that earned Palmview sophomore Brianna Robles the individual district championship was 18:50.5. As a freshman last year, Robles placed third at district and 28th at regionals.
“I felt really relaxed going into the race; like it was any other race,” said Robles. “I took off with a quick lead at the gun and I led the whole way. I won by 400 meters.”
Palmview junior Victor Bocanegra won his first district championship with a time of 15:58.5. While the results were the same, Bocanegra used a different strategy to win his race.
“I started out the race in the back,” explained Bocanegra. “Then at the mile-and-a-half mark I knew I had to do something, so I took off. I worked my way up to the front and once I was leading the race I kept pushing the pace.”
“I was confident that I was going to win the race because of all the hard work I had put in. I just kept telling myself, “I have to win this, I have to win this, and I did,’” added Bocanegra.
Even though she was not feeling her best Saturday, Lady Lobos’ senior Naila Flores matched her second place finish last year with a second this year.
“I wasn’t my usual self Saturday because my mother massaged and iced my legs the night before and she went too hard,” Flores said. “As a result I had all these bruises on my legs. I ran as best as I could, but I wasn’t looking forward to the race as much as I’m now looking forward to regionals.”
As a result of their two team championships, all 14 members of the Lobos boys and girls teams have earned the right to advance to the regional meet being held Monday in Corpus Christi.
Like Flores, Palmview junior Eliseo Rodriguez was not feeling his best Saturday. However, his problem was a stomach flu that hit him earlier in the week. Even so, he finished second at the district meet with a time of 16:06.2.
Last year, Rodriguez won the district championship and went on to qualify for the state meet. When asked what his goals are for this year Rodriguez said, “My goals are to place in the top three at regionals, return to state and then place in the top 10 and medal at state.”
Diamondbacks Win District 31-5A
In the 31-5A District XC Meet, which was held Saturday at Pioneer High School, the Diamondbacks boys team took the championship with a score of 56. Veterans Memorial placed second with a score of 59 and Sharyland finished in sixth place with a score of 156. Individually, Pioneer’s Jose Aleman took the district championship with a time of 16:08.68.
In the girls division, the Lady Diamondbacks placed second with a score of 67. That was five points behind the Vela Lady Sabercats’ district championship winning score of 62.