• December 10, 2019

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: OHS wins in final preparation for district - Odessa American: Sports

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GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: OHS wins in final preparation for district

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:36 pm

In a final preparation meet before starting the championship portion of the season, the Odessa High girls cross country team got exactly what it wanted as the Lady Bronchos finished first at the Odessa Invite in the 5A-6A race on Thursday at UTPB Park.

Odessa High finished with 37 total points, beating out second place Lubbock-Cooper by 24 points as the Lady Pirates finished with 61 points, while Midland Lee took third with 76.

“My girls did very well,” Odessa High head coach Ricky Santiago said. “They’re starting to do a better job on their pack running. Some of my JV girls stepped up and did a good job as well.”

Running on the five-kilometer course, the Lady Bronchos were led by Nathalia Escontrias, who finished second overall with a time of 20 minutes, 45.34 seconds and was also breaking in her new running shoes.

“I was breaking in my new shoes today and got a couple of blisters, but I felt good about this race,” Escontrias said. “It hurt. But my shoes feel really light and I feel good.”

She was followed by her teammate Odalis Lujan, who took third with a time of 21:02.41.

“This win means a lot to us because it showed what we can do for district and since we won, we have a great chance at winning district and making it to regionals,” Lujan said.

Aleisha Ford was next for the Lady Bronchos, finishing 10th in 22:11.94.

She was followed by Kayla Mendoza and Mariana Murillo who were both 12th and 13th respectively.

Odessa High will be back at UTPB Park for next week’s District 2-6A championships.

Odessa High coach Ricky Santiago and his runners are feeling confident about being back at their home course for district.

“It feels good,” Santiago said. “It really does. The last couple of meets that we’ve had, we’ve finished off with a win. We’re slowly getting better and the girls are very excited.”

Escontrias said Thursday’s run was a good preview of next week.

“District is next week so I wanted to make sure that I can beat everyone from my district so that I can be the number one runner,” Escontrias said. “I feel pretty prepared. I feel like we’ll have a good advantage next week. It’ll be great to run this course again.”

Santiago was also pleased with the way his girls handled the competition.

“The competition was there, but the girls ran a lot better than they have,” Santiago said. “They ran pretty relaxed.”

He was also proud of how Escontrias ran on Thursday.

“Nathalia ran relaxed and ran well,” he said. “She can still run faster, but with the heat she may have been holding back a little bit but she’s going to do well. I have a good feeling that she’ll win next week at district.”

Lubbock-Cooper’s Cammy Jenkins was the overall individual winner in the 5A-6A race, finishing with a time of 19:33.53.

“Every time I get to run, it’s a blessing because I get to have fun with my teammates and that’s more important than winning,” Jenkins said. “I was really just trying to stick with the gator in front of me and run to the best of my ability and get stronger today.”

For Jenkins, who is a senior, it was her last race at UTPB Park, a course she knows all too well and took first at last year’s Odessa Invite.

“It feels really good,” Jenkins said. “I know I have a lot of work to do in that meet and the coming meets after that. It feels good but I was just mainly glad to get to run with my teammates here for one last time.”

The Permian girls finished last out of the six total teams with 136 total points.

Nydia Brito was the leading Lady Panther, finishing with 20th in a time of 23:15.78. her teammate Raely Howard was next, finishing 23rd in a time of 23:40.84. Trenity Faulkner was 32nd in 24:35.34.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

Odessa, TX

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