By ERIC VICCARO
Montague County has been shut out of possible qualification for the University Interscholastic League state meet set for Nov. 12.
The closest the area came to a qualifier was Saint Jo freshman girl Paityn Holley in a time of 14 minutes, 2.55 seconds over the 3,200-meter course at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.
“I think as a freshman, it was a new experience for her,” said Saint Jo head coach Taylor Klement. “The level of competition was up, the quality of the field. But, I am proud of her. She held her own.”
Paityn Holley was unable to run earlier this season at Lynn Creek Park due to an illness the same weekend of the Gerald Richey Invitational.
This marked the final scholastic race for three Lady Panthers as Coletta Holland was 70th, Ashley Reyling 78th and Destiny Diaz 97th. Paityn’s older sister, Caitlyn, was 43rd and Saint Jo finished eighth as a team with 266 points.
All of the cross country coaches commented on how warm it was on Saturday with temperatures at race time in the mid-80s both in the Metroplex and where Nocona’s Joan Gomez ran at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.
Despite that, coaches were encouraged by the results.
“I think we did well, guys and girls,” said Prairie Valley’s Zac Tabor, another first year coach who saw his alma mater Graford qualify for state on the boys’ side – coached by his father,
Ty. “It was a big change seeing for them, seeing how big the meet was.”
Tabor said he expected better times; but, everyone in the running battled that heat – which was unnerving for the final weekend of October.
Both Prairie Valley and Saint Jo have bright futures in cross country, with plenty of junior high school students prepared to come through the ranks. Read more in the Nov. 2 Bowie News.
Saint Jo’s Ashley Reyling competed in her final scholastic cross country meet at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie. (News photo by Eric Viccaro)