Marble Falls cross-country runners advance to regionals

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

ROUND ROCK — After the District 25-4A cross-country meet Oct. 25, Marble Falls High School head coach Antony Torns kept using the same word: bittersweet.

Senior Jordan Wright advance to the Class 4A Region IV meet for the second consecutive year, and D’Antony Wall and Darby Hibbs placed high enough to make their first appearances at the regional meet.[tabs style=”default”] [tab title=”PHOTO 1″]

Marble Falls High School varsity runner Darby Hibbs shows the medal she earned for finishing 10th at the District 25-4A meet Oct. 25. As a result, Hibbs qualified for her first Class 4A Region IV meet. Courtesy photo

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Marble Falls High School varsity runners Jordan Wright (left) and D’Anthony Wall finished second and sixth at the District 25-4A meet Oct. 25 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, qualifying them for the Class 4A Region IV meet. Courtesy photo

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The Marble Falls High School girls junior varsity cross-country team won the District 25-4A championship Oct. 25 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. The team is Sydney Gibson (left), Kellee Hill, Maddie Conrad, Emma Sharp, head coach Anthony Torns, Jackie Salazar, Joy Plunk and Serenity Wall. Not pictured is Tincia Ware. Courtesy photo

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But the same couldn’t be said for senior Sarah Stripling, who went to regionals the past two years but missed out returning this year by three spots.

“She had been such a workhorse the last two years,” Torns said. “For her not to have her best day, it hurts. Darby has worked very hard and always came up just short. For her to get to regionals, I’m very happy with her results.”

As a team, the Lady Mustangs finished fifth.[tabs style=”default”] [tab title=”BOYS RESULTS”]

Varsity — 2, Jordan Wright, 15:35; 6, D’Anthony Wall, 16:20; 31, James Ramos, 17:29; 35, Colten Hagood, 17:42. Junior varsity — 6, Christian Marroqin, 17:48; 9, Rafael Villarreal, 18:00; 12, Ishmael Montoya, 18:18; 32, Daniel Mata, 19:26; 38, Cole Woodrum, 20:05; 40, Tate Johnson, 20:16; 49; Aaron Stewart, 21:07

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Varsity — 10, Darby Hibbs, 19:21; 18, Sarah Stripling, 19:38; 25, Nydia Castro, 20:16; 28, Haley Stephens, 20:19; 36, Brittney Deering, 21:02. Junior varsity — 1, Jackie Salazar, 12:03; 5, Emma Sharp, 12:30; 5, Sydney Gibson, 12:30; 10, Tencia Ware, 12:45; 14, Maddie Conrad, 13:12; 22, Joy Plunk, 13:32; 30, Serenty Wall, 13:57; 45, Kellee Hill, 14:29

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Class 4A Region IV Meet at Brooks City Base, 3201 Sidney Brooks Drive in San Antonio, Nov. 2, TBA

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“We’re in the toughest Class 4A district in the state,” Torns said. “Most of our girls would have gotten out and placed in the top three as a team. At 3.2 miles, the top 20 kids were all under 20 minutes.”

Wright was in a car accident a few weeks ago, Torns said.

“Every time I see that kid, he’s a walking miracle,” he said. “I think he’s getting better and better each week. He ran a smart race. He goes out and competes hard. He has a lot more focus. I’m extremely proud of him.

“I gave D’Anthony a strategy, and he executed it,” Torns added. “D’Anthony was one place from (advancing) last year. It’s a big accomplishment.”

Because the Mustangs only had four runners — and not the required five — they could not obtain a team score. But Torns said each one turned in a new personal best.

The girls junior varsity runners are the district champions, earning their second gold trophy in three years.

“It’s what I expected to have,” Torns said. “We have a quality team. The other teams have more kids, but I knew we had a quality, strong team. I knew if we executed our race, I knew we’d have as good a chance as anyone. I’m extremely proud of them.”

The boys junior varsity team finished fourth overall. Each runner turned in a new personal best, Torns said.

“We can’t ask for anything more,” he said. “We got a good look at what we’ll look like for next year. We’ll figure out and see what they do.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com