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HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: Wink's Smith makes a solo run to state - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: Wink's Smith makes a solo run to state

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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 8:28 pm

LUBBOCK It was a different feeling this time around at the Region I-2A Cross Country Championships for Wink sophomore Autumn Smith.

Unlike last year when her whole team was there en route to making it to the state meet, it was just her representing the Lady Cats in 2020.

Despite the different circumstances, the result was the same.

Smith finished with a time of 13 minutes, 29.2 seconds to finish ninth overall Tuesday at Mae Simmons Park, qualifying for the second straight year.

She was one of the 10 best times not on one of the top three teams.

“It feels good to make it back,” Smith said. “It was really cool making it as a team last year and I wanted to make it as an individual this time.”

Smith will race in the Class 2A UIL State Cross Country Championships on Nov. 24 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

She will be joined by regional champion Kyla Kane of Wellington, who won with a time of 12:26.80 over the two-mile course. She finished ahead of Christoval’s Allison Vaughn (12:47.6) and Sunray’s Katelyn Hernandez (13:09.40).

Sundown won the regional team title for the seventh straight year, finishing with 65 points, ahead of Gruver (70) and Christoval (104).

Smith added that despite the extra nerves going into the race, she was confident that she could find a way to put up a good time against top competition.

“My main goal was just to be in the top and just stay in the race overall,” she said. “I was just trying to catch up to the last girl there in the Top 10 at the end and it just felt like a really big step for me.”

Wink head coach Charlie Stodghill said Smith’s commitment to hard work to achieve that goal was something that he saw in her since the beginning of the season.

“She’s just a great runner to begin with,” Stodghill said. “She is dedicated like no other and had her hope set on getting back to state and she was able to do that. She’s a great runner and a great kid.”

Tuesday’s meet also proved to be a valuable experience for McCamey.

The Lady Badgers earned a spot at regionals for the third straight year after finishing second at the District 7-2A meet last month. McCamey finished 13th Tuesday, led by seniors Denise Quinonez (14:50.3) and Alexandra Mota (15:15.9).

“It’s been a long journey and I’m very proud of myself and all the achievements that we’ve done,” Quinonez said. “It’s a great feeling and I feel proud of the team to see all the hard work pay off.”

Head coach Amy Acosta credited her seniors for leaving the program better than where it was in the past.

“These girls have helped build the program since they were in eighth grade,” Acosta said. “I call them the foundation and they’ve just been building and building and I hope that continues.”

Wink freshman Bryan Wilcox concluded his strong first season with a time of 20:47. Sundown also took home the boys title, claiming the top spot in the region for the sixth straight year. The Roughnecks finished with 59 points, followed by Christoval (69) and New Home (91).

Hayden Stroope of Shamrock (18:08.30) took home the individual crown followed by Panhandle’s Levi McGill (18:15.30) and Sundown’s Brayden Sanders (18:19.30).

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter @OA_TVenegas

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