JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
CORPUS CHRISTI — The Marble Falls High School girls cross-country team continued its historical season by finishing fourth at the Class 5A Region IV meet Oct. 29 to qualify for the state meet for the first time as a squad after the University Interscholastic League began requiring girls to run 3.2-mile courses in the conference.
The Lady Mustangs, who won the District 26-5A crown Oct. 20 by a single point, were paced by freshman Ambrie Lizcano, who was eighth in 19 minutes 39.8 seconds. Her score automatically qualified her for state.
Freshman Jaden Johnson was the second Lady Mustang to finish and placed 19th in 20:27.7; senior Kim Boni finished 30th in 20:57.2; freshman Daijah Torns came in 39th in 21:05.8; and freshman Ashley Rios was 53rd in 21:36.8. Other Lady Mustangs competing were senior Sydney Gibson, who was 63rd in 21:51.2, and sophomore Berkley Powell, who was 73rd in 22:05.2.
Head coach Anthony Torns credited his runners for doing what they were supposed to do: finish in the top four as a team to get to the state meet, which will be Nov. 12 at Old Settler’s Park, 3300 Palm Valley Blvd. in Round Rock.
“They did the best they could today,” he said, “but it wasn’t their (overall) best. Had they done their best, we would have won.”
Torns acknowledged the Lady Mustangs hadn’t competed on the regional course before, but he added they hadn’t competed on the district course either. And while the humid weather in South Texas is a challenge, in short, he said, both he and the runners believe they can perform better than they showed at regionals.
“At the end of the day, we accomplished a lot,” he said. “You always want to end it with a district title. You always want to end it with a regional title. You have seniors who went out as district champions. You want them to go out as regional champions.
“And they know that,” he said of the belief the Lady Mustangs didn’t perform to their standards. “I don’t really have to say that. They know they didn’t do what they could have.”
Boerne Champion was the team champion led by senior Anna Norman, who was the first runner to cross the finish line in 19:32 followed by teammate Kelsie Vicnair, a freshman, who also clocked 19:32.
Dripping Springs was the runner-up paced by senior Sydney Cole, who was fourth overall in 19:35.1, and sophomore Aubrie Caldwell, who was 25th in 20:38.8.
Corpus Christi Tuloso-Midway was third led by freshman Madison Bennett, who had a time of 19:47, and junior Franchesca Gatlin, who was 14th in 20:07.9.
Champion and Dripping Springs were second and third at the District 26-5A meet.
“We’re in the toughest district in the region again,” Torns said.
Marble Falls will continue practicing for the state meet, and Torns said the team will use what happened at regionals as fuel for state.
“We made it to state, that was the number one goal,” he said. “It is what it is. We’ll prepare and move on.”