Open season today in Pasadena

Robert E. Lee cross country is set to begin the season at 8 a.m. today at the South Houston Goehring Invitational in Pasadena.

The Ganders coaches Crystal Aguero and Jay Langlois have teams that could produce some strong results.

Aguero saw the girls finish fourth in the district and did not make it to the postseason, while the boys and Langlois aim to rise up from sixth place in district.

The girls return seniors Johanna McKay, Diana Luna, Evany Flores and Gaby Leija and sophomore Sarah Salinas with hopes of taking another step up the ladder.

Sophomore Emma Licerio could also have a breakout season after showing signs of stepping up during her junior varsity performances a year ago, by having some of the stronger runs in the preseason.

“We are at it every day now, working to be one of the top teams in the district this year,” Aguero said.

Numbers are good for the Lady Ganders, but Aguero notes work has to be done with her younger or inexperienced runners.

“Being able to balance the academic load with practices and missing classes for meets and staying healthy will be the key to keeping everyone competing each week and getting stronger as we make a push into postseason,” Aguero said.

Langlois is in his third year leading the Ganders harriers and returns junior Derek Salinas, REL’s top runner from last year, while Uriel Santillan and Efren Flores are expected to be right behind him on the paths.

“Efren and Uriel should be able to get us some valuable points this year as well as dark horse sophomore Cesar Gonzales,” Langlois said. “Last year was unfortunate for Derek as he was injured in the meet before district.  If he stays healthy, he has the potential to be a regional qualifier this year.”

Langlois also has strong numbers on his roster and expects that to carry the team to a better finish in district.

“After Friday, the guys will get a feel of the pace of a three-mile race,” Langlois said. “The first meet is always an eye opener.”  

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