By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ JR
Special to the PRESS
This past Saturday, Sept. 2, the Port Isabel Cross Country teams competed in the RGV Cross Country Classic held in Edinburg, Tx.
The men’s cross country is a young, but experienced team comprised of Cleveland Smith (Jr.), Christian Smith (Jr.), Oscar Arona (Jr.), Julio Cortez (Jr.), David Olmos (Jr.), Jesus Gaitan (Jr.), Joaquin Rodriguez (So.), Quinton Flores (Fr.), Jorge Garcia (Fr.), and Mikel Sosa (Fr.).
The team competed in the 5,000 Meters Run and won first place in the 4A And Under division. Cl. Smith led the group, setting the pace for the PI runners. He came in first individually with a time of 17:37.10 minutes – setting a new personal record. The next PI runner to cross the finish line was newcomer Garcia who secured fifth place with a time of 18:14.60. Coach Chris Ortiz, sees a lot of promise in Garcia.
“His determination and tenacity have been embraced by his older teammates, who see in him the potential to reach the pinnacle of their sport,” said coach Ortiz.
Coming in right behind Garcia was Ch. Smith who finished in sixth place with a time of 18:34.30. Other results included J. Gaitan (19:24.30), O. Arona (19:29.00), J. Rodriguez (20:54.00), J. Cortez (21:08.10), M. Sosa (21:47.00), and D. Olmos (22:27.90),
Ortiz said the varsity team is still undergoing changes and is looking ahead to how they perform in the upcoming meets.
“I am extremely proud of them for everything they have accomplished, and look forward to seeing what they are capable of achieving in the future. Their recent victory at the R.G.V. Classic was just a glimpse of the potential they hold,” said coach Ortiz.
The team’s goal is to qualify for regional competition for the third year in a row and to send another PI CC runner to state competition – a feat last accomplished by Armando Fierro in the early 2010s.
“What’s truly impressive about this young Port Isabel squad is their unwavering commitment to improvement. There has been a noticeable shift in their confidence and work ethic, driven by their collective belief that they not only belong at the regional level but are capable of soaring even higher. This newfound resilience and determination are bound to take them far,” said Ortiz.
The women’s CC team finished second overall in the 4A and Under division. Results are as follows: Lizbeth Perez 7th, Julieta Ruiz 11th, Daniela Hernandez, Madilynn Zamarron, Emily Ramos, Alisson Solorio, and Evelyn Gonzalez.
Women’s CC coach, Nancy Hernandez, is proud of how her group has competed in the last few meets.
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