• December 15, 2019

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY; Permian, Odessa High qualify for regional meet as Tascosa takes 2-6A crown - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY; Permian, Odessa High qualify for regional meet as Tascosa takes 2-6A crown

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2019 8:03 pm

Thursday turned into a pretty good day for the Permian and Odessa High cross country teams.

The Panthers and Bronchos finished second and third, respectively, at the District 2-6A Championships at UTPB Park to earn spots at the Region I-6A meet on Oct. 28 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.

Amarillo Tascosa won its second straight team title and had the top two finishers of the race in district champion Demetrius Guerrero (16 minutes, 17.47 seconds) and Kaden Navarrete (16:28.28). Tascosa finished with 39 points, while Permian scored 65 and Odessa High had 79.

Adrian Lujan (16:31.34) finished third to lead Odessa High and Permian’s Christian Chavez (17:04.09) finished fourth as the Panthers’ top finisher. Michael Ledbetter (17:16.09) of Permian and Joseph Flotte (17:23.02) of Odessa High earned Top 10 finishes, finishing sixth and eighth, respectively.

Wolfforth Frenship’s Zach Martinez (17:04.31) and Jalon Jackson (17:28.62) along with Midland Lee’s Alvin Avila (17:22.23), and Logan Rutledge (17:32) of Midland High all qualified for regional as individuals.

“I felt pretty good with how I ran today,” Lujan said. “I pushed through in the first mile at 5:01 and just kept going. The finish just got me at the end.”

Lujan was able to separate some during the middle of the race and had the lead before Guerrero came back and eventually pulled away for the win.

Lujan said he started feeling some pain on the downhill stretch near the end but was proud of how he finished. He’s also looking forward to heading to Lubbock as part of a team entry after qualifying as an individual last year.

“It helps a lot to be able to qualify as a team,” Lujan said. “I feel better knowing that I won’t be the only one out there like I was last year.”

As for Permian, the Panthers put together a solid showing following their fifth-place finish last week at the Odessa Invitational. With a number of new faces being thrust into a more prominent role, head coach Cody Taylor wanted to make sure that the team conserved enough energy to get the finish it wanted.

“I think we came out and executed the plan that we had,” Taylor said. “Our goal was to win, but we came out last week trying to set some tempo and run conservative and make sure we didn’t have any injuries. We only had five guys for this and we had a lot of guys run well today.”

Chavez took one of the biggest steps forward with his top-five finish after finishing 17th the week prior.

“We all pushed hard as a team,” he said. “We just had to trust in the training and we were able to get there.”

Getting back to regional is a special accomplishment for Ledbetter, a senior who finished in the top 10 at a district race for the first time in his career.

“It’s very rewarding to be able to do this my senior year and get to regionals,” he said. “It’s a good way to finish my last district race.”

As for the district champs, Tascosa continued its impressive run in district meets, having won 13 of the last 14 titles. Like the other district teams, the Rebels ran in the Odessa Invitational the week before and said that proved to be very beneficial.

“It helped a lot because none of us had run this course before,” Guerrero said. “It would have been tougher this week knowing where to go and kind of getting us an idea of where we needed to make our move.

“I relied a lot on that last 800 meters and I knew that if it was still close at that point, that would work out for me the end.”

Making the move at the right time proved to be the difference for Guerrero and the Rebels and his head coach came away very proud with the team’s efforts.

“It was a really good day for us,” Tascosa head coach Sean Hargrove said. “We had been up and down all year long and to come down here and get a win for us was great, especially since we knew both Permian and Odessa High would be right there as well.”

All three teams were right there at the top again and they’ll all line up against each other in Lubbock to try and earn a spot at state.

Odessa, TX

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