The Lady Panther and Panther Cross Country teams traveled to Warren October 11 for the 2017 3A District Cross Country Meet. Seven teams competed in the district meet: Anahuac, Kirbyville, Kountze, East Chambers, Warren, Buna, and Hardin. To qualify for the Regional Meet in Huntsville competitors had to get a top 10 individual medal or a top 3 place as a team.
“We knew going into the meet that the competition would be tough and that even after a short period of rest from last Saturdays meet we would have to be focused and fully prepared to run hard,” said Coach Ashley Sherman.
“These athletes did just that!”
The Lady Panthers started out the races of the morning. Sophomore Jessey Staner again, for the 4th week in a row, came in first for the Lady Panthers, placing 3rd place medaling and earning her ticket individually to Regionals in Huntsville.
Jessey ran an amazing race from the gun – she secured a spot in the top 5, from the top 5 the last 800 meters of the race she gradually made her way to the 3rd place position. This is the second year in a row that Jessey Staner has qualified for the Regional meet. In last season’s District meet, she placed 10th.
Not only did Jessey make the regional meet in Huntsville when final results were announced – the Lady Panthers placed 3rd as a whole to qualify them as a team for the meet!
“Again these girls definitely deserve to advance to the next level,” said Coach Sherman.
“This year has been a rebuilding year for our program. These girls are really connecting as a team and family of friends. They come to practice every day, never complain and always give me a 100% effort.”
The Lady Panther team consists of Jessey Staner, Karissa Jircik, Jessica Gonzalez, Cecilia Palacios, Olivia Sierra, Samantha Lopez and Jai’laia Landry.
The Panthers Boys’ team had the second race of the morning after a successful morning for the Lady Panthers. The Panthers were determined to follow in their footsteps and advance to the Regional meet.
Frankie Martinez was the first Panther to cross the finish line with a 5th place finish. Frankie ran an outstanding race. From the beginning of the race Frankie started out strong and paced with the top 5 the whole race. Last year Frankie started out the season with a stress fracture and struggled with recovery from that injury.
“This year, he was determined to come back strong,” said Coach Sherman.
“Throughout the season, you could see his determination to become faster and he definitely accomplished his goal this district meet.”
Anthony Ramirez was the second Panther to cross the finish line placing 7th overall. Anthony, as he did last year, started out the race in the middle of the pack about 20th position. During the last mile, he kicked it in to end up in 7th place. Anthony qualified for the Regional meet last year with a 10th place finish.
“Anthony is an outstanding runner and runs a really smart race,” said the coach.
“Not too many athletes can stay in a 20th position spot and move up to a medalist position like he does.”
Although the Panthers did not qualify as a team, these guys ran very well and put in an outstanding effort. The Panther team consisted of Anthony Ramirez, Frankie Martinez, Chase Herrington, Christian Vargas, Terrell Cargo, Jayvan Russell, and Adrian Delacruz.
“I am so proud of each of these athletes,” said Coach Sherman.
“If you see them around the school or community please congratulate them on a job well done! Regional Qualifiers will compete for a chance at the State Meet October 23 in Huntsville. The Girls’ race starts at 12:50 p.m and the Boys’ race starts at 1:15 p.m.