JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — Before Marble Falls High School senior runner Nydia Castro signed her letter of intent to compete for Ranger College on March 11, she scanned the room of familiar faces that included her family, teammates, friends and school officials.
And she thanked them for their sacrifices, competitive spirit, guidance and support.
“Even the people who were running with me, I appreciate you,” she said. “You running with me, pushing me, getting me more competitive.”
Then she looked at cross-country teammate Kim Boni, who ran at the Class 5A Region IV meet in October, and thanked her for making her better.
“I didn’t like being in second place,” Castro said.
That hard work and attitude is what earned her a chance to run for Ranger College’s cross-country team and distance races on the track squad. The school is located in Ranger, which is 90 miles west of Fort Worth.
Marble Falls head cross-country and girls track coach Anthony Torns recalled meeting Castro as a freshman and witnessing her mature into a strong runner able to help her team.
“She’s worked hard at cross country to try to get her timing as low as possible,” he said. “Nydia is a competitor. If she works hard, she’ll be fine.”
Castro was 22nd at the District 25-5A meet with a time of 20 minutes and 35.30 seconds on a course 3.2 miles long. She wasn’t enrolled at Marble Falls for the 2014-15 school year.
The daughter of Javier and Gabriela Castro will major in agricultural science with the goal of working in the Coast Guard.
She smiled when asked what she learned from Torns.
“I’ve learned how to manage what I eat each week, to drive the block I’ve had and how to push through, how to overcome workouts and overcome challenges,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve learned how to successfully not injury myself.”
Castro will join fellow Mustang James Ramos, who signed with the Rangers on March 2015, and spent his freshman year there.
Torns said Ramos’ success was one reason Ranger coaches recruited Castro.
“This is one of the reasons I do what I do,” Torns said. “Help young people to compete in high school and help them with their future education without spending so much money.”