Cal­houn girls, boys sweep in first home meet at New Echota

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Alex Far­rer

The Cal­houn cross coun­try teams made it one of their big­gest goals this sea­son to go un­de­feated in their home meets, whether they be at New Echota or the Re­saca Bat­tle­field. They have now com­pleted the first step in achiev­ing that goal.

The Jack­ets and Lady Jack­ets swept a home meet on Thurs­day at New Echota fin­ish­ing first in the team stand­ings in both the boys and girls races against Sono­rav­ille, Mur­ray County and Spray­berry. The Cal­houn boys placed four run­ners in the top 10 and had a team score of 34 to take first over Sono­rav­ille (47), Mur­ray County (57) and Spray­berry (70). The Lady Jack­ets had all five of their scor­ing run­ners fin­ish in the top 10 to give them a team point to­tal of 24 for a first-place vic­tory over Mur­ray County (61), Spray­berry (64) and Sono­rav­ille (83).

Cal­houn coach Justin Lind­sey, who is in his se­cond year at the helm, said he was pleased with what he saw from both teams in their first home meet of the sea­son after four on the road to open the sched­ule.

“I was very im­pressed with the over­all ef­fort,” said Lind­sey. “We had a bit of an un­ex­pected break early this week with school be­ing can­celed due the weather so that meant no prac­tice after we ran last Satur­day. But we knocked some of the rust off to­day. We’re still im­prov­ing and still have a ways to go, but the ul­ti­mate goal is to win and that’s what we did to­day.

“One of the first goals we set be­fore the sea­son started was to go un­de­feated in ev­ery home meet. That goal can’t be com­pleted with­out win­ning here so I’m proud that we were able to make that hap­pen to­day.”

The boys race was first on Thurs­day, and two Mur­ray County run­ners, Jesse Martinez and Bryan Martinez, fin­ished first (17:37) and se­cond (18:19), re­spec­tively. But Cal­houn’s run­ners stayed close to­gether in the stand­ings to earn the team win. Lead­ing the way for the Jack­ets was Felipe Bar­rios who took third in­di­vid­u­ally with a time of 18:56. Jonathan San­tana fol­lowed in fifth with a 19:27, Brody Blalock was just be­hind in sixth with a 19:29 and Julio Lopez had the third top-10 fin­ish for Cal­houn tak­ing eighth with a 19:45. Daniel Isep com­pleted the team score with a 12th-place fin­ish and time of 20:26 just in front of team­mate Mario Mar­ro­quin in 13th (20:30).

In the girls race, Cal­houn’s Mari Mo­rales set a fast pace, lead­ing for al­most the en­tire course be­fore cross­ing the fin­ish line first with a time of 23:43. Her team­mate Adama­riz Perez was close be­hind, fin­ish­ing third with a 24:35. Mur­ray County’s Anna Trejo squeezed in be­tween the two Lady Jack­ets for a se­cond-place fin­ish at 24:07. The other three scor­ing fin­ish­ers for Cal­houn were: Emily Driscoll in sixth (24:48), Teresa Nguyen in eighth (25:34) and San­dra Ramirez in ninth (26:46). Kimy Cabr­era and McCamy El­lis also ran well for the Lady Jack­ets.

“Our fo­cus in these early-sea­son meets are to get a mea­sur­ing stick to build on for these run­ners,” said Lind­sey. “The fo­cus is al­ways gear­ing up for Re­gion and State so we sched­ule hard cour­ses and good com­pe­ti­tion to see where we’re at and what we need to work on. We’ve seen a tremen­dous work ethic even be­fore the sea­son started in the sum­mer with our team, and how hard they con­tinue to work will de­ter­mine how far we can go. We see the tal­ent and po­ten­tial of this team. It’s go­ing to come down to how hard we work to try to reach that though.

Sono­rav­ille’s boys had four run­ners place in the top 10 to push them­selves to a sec- ond-place team fin­ish. Nahum Trenti was the top fin­isher for the Phoenix in fourth place with a 19:05. John Graves placed sev­enth (19:37), Ben Ste­wart was ninth (19:45), Mau­rilio Se­gura took 10th (19:49) and Spencer Ford fin­ished 17th (21:07) to round out the scor­ing for the team.

The Lady Phoenix were led by two strong fin­ishes in the top 10. Ri­ley Triplett had the best day for the Sono­rav­ille girls, earn­ing a fifth-place fin­ish with a time of 24:47, and team­mate Mag­gie Hamil­ton took 10th with a 27:18.

Sono­rav­ille coach Butch Burch said he is happy with where his team is cur­rently, as this is only their se­cond meet of the sea­son, but there is con­stant need for im­prove­ment.

“I’m ex­cited about our team…this is the big­gest group we’ve ever had,” said Burch. “You can al­ways im­prove. There is al­ways some­thing in a race that you can look at and say that you need to work on. Ri­ley and Mag­gie had good per­for­mances on the girls’ side. We’re still look­ing for oth­ers to step up and help us with the team score for girls. And the boys had sev­eral run well to­day.

“I’m ex­cited about things. For a lot of our run­ners, this is their first time com­pet­ing in cross coun­try. They’ll get more ex­pe­ri­ence as we move along. But I’m en­cour­aged on the day. We re­al­ize there is work to do so we’ll hit the grind again to­mor­row and con­tinue to work hard.”

Sono­rav­ille was back in ac­tion on Satur­day, com­pet­ing in the Run at the Rock at Wood­land High. They will next com­pete in the Unity Run in Cal­houn on Sept. 26. Cal­houn will have a week off be­tween meets be­fore once again be­ing at New Echota on Thurs­day to host Gor­don Cen­tral, Pep­perell and South­east Whit­field.

LARRY GREESON / For the Cal­houn Times

Cal­houn’s Mari Mo­rales looks to ex­tend her lead dur­ing the girls’ race on Thurs­day at New Echota.

LARRY GREESON / For the Cal­houn Times

Cal­houn’s Felipe Bar­rios ap­proaches the fi­nal stretch dur­ing the boys’ race on Thurs­day at New Echota.

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