• December 10, 2019

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: Crane comes away with first place finish - Odessa American: Sports

e-Edition Subscribe

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: Crane comes away with first place finish

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:31 pm

The Crane Ladybirds came away on top Thursday in the small-school (Classes 1A-4A) girls division at the Odessa Invitational, beating out Wink at UTPB Park.

Crane finished with 34 points, while Wink totaled 67.

Despite having injury problems with her team this season, Crane head coach Machele Pahl believes her team is now coming together at the right time.

“I’m really excited,” Pahl said. “We came into the Odessa meet really eager and wanting to do well. We hoped that this could be one of our better meets. We just got a few of our athletes back from injury, so we ran a very good race today.”

The Ladybirds had four runners finish in the top six as individuals on Thursday, led by Railey Rodriguez, who was third overall in a time of 14 minutes, 1.84 seconds on the 3,200-meter course.

“Honestly, it was a hard course,” Rodriguez said. “It becomes easy once you know what you’re going to go through and if you’ve run it a couple of times before, you know what to expect and I knew what to expect from it today.”

Rodriguez was one of the runners for Crane who has been battling injuries throughout the season but is now starting to hit her stride as district looms ahead.

“I think I ran well,” Rodriguez said. “I had problems with my hip at the start of the season, but now coming back from all of that, I feel pretty good.”

“Railey’s done a very good job,” Pahl said. “I’m very proud of her. She’s one of our runners who has struggled with confidence this year, but today she did very well. She got back up to the pack. She didn’t over think the race. She learned to relax and get going. Today’s a great day for her.”

Rodriguez was followed by her teammates Madelyn Bernard, who was fourth in 14:02.06, Angelina Perez (fifth in 14:16.03) and Nalleli Murguia (sixth in 14:25.06).

“We’re really excited because sometimes, we don’t have everyone grouped up at the top like that,” Pahl said. “But they had a lot of confidence to get up there at the top of the pack and now we’re hitting our stride. They showed that they can be up there and hopefully, this is a turning point going forward.”

Staci Vasquez was 18th overall to round up the top five for Crane.

The Ladybirds will host their District 3-3A meet on Oct. 17 and Pahl thinks her team got a boost of confidence from this winning Thursday’s meet.

“We’re very excited because we needed this win today,” Pahl said. “We have a difficult district that we run in with a lot of good teams. I think this will help us go in with a positive note.”

Despite coming in second, Wink had its top two runners finish first and second individually on Thursday.

Autumn Smith won the race, crossing the finish line in a time of 13:32.22.

“It was a pretty good race,” Smith said. “It was pretty hot and windy. It was a pretty flat course. Most of the courses that we’ve run at have been very hilly.”

She was able to use a strong start to her advantage as she spent most of the race leading the pack.

“I was just able to get off to a good sprint at the beginning of the race,” Smith said. “I just got off to a good start. I was kind of surprised but I was happy. It was pretty hot and it felt good to come out strong.”

She was followed by her teammate Maci Garrett who crossed the line at a time of 13:59.91.

Hannah Clark was next for Wink, finishing eighth in a time of 14:46.12.

Greenwood took third as a team, finishing with 92 total points.

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 65%
Winds: NE at 13mph
Feels Like: 28°

Your Extended Forecast


High 48°/Low 33°
Morning showers. Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the low 30s.


High 55°/Low 37°
A few clouds. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 30s.


High 63°/Low 40°
Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 40s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.