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It was a successful season for the Barbers Hill boys cross country team which celebrated a district title before seeing its season end at Monday’s Region 3 meet in Huntsville. From left, are Nick Korenek, Zach Ferrigno, Gabe Villanueva, Daniel Armenta, Jonathan Ferrell, Caleb Wampler and Logan Salazar. (submitted photo)

The Barbers Hill boys cross country team finished 12th at the Class 5A Region 3 meet Monday at Sam Houston State University to lead an area contingent of teams.

The Eagles were followed by the Goose Creek Memorial girls who ended up in 13th place, the Barbers Hill girls who took 16th place and the GCM boys that finished their season in 20th place.

Robert E. Lee’s Derek and Sarah Salinas also ran as individuals at the meet.

Barbers Hill’s boys were led by Gabe Villanueva (17:28, 32nd place) while Daniel Armenta (18:22), Jonathan Ferrell (18:22), Caleb Wampler (18:35), Zach Ferrigno (18:39), Logan Salazar (18:47) and Nick Korenek (20:20) also ran for the Eagles.

“One of our top runners, Daniel, got tripped about 300 meters into the race, and then got stepped on and kicked, but he got up and finished the race,” Barbers Hill head coach Cody Knight said. “I was pleased with him for pushing through a tough situation and competing.” 

GCM girls coach Roman Huizar got a strong performance from a squad that mostly comprised of freshmen.

Senior Tania Rodriguez was the Lady Patriots best runner (21:49.9) while Hailey Pequeno (21:55.7), Kayleen Figueroa (22:12.4), Vanessa Mendoza (22:30.1), Gloria Martinez (22:39.5), Nyree Mendiola (23:00.5), Yaeli Alaniz (23:01.2) also competed.

“We will unfortunately lose two seniors from this team - Vanessa Mendoza and Tania Rodriguez,” Huizar said. “However, we will be bringing back a very strong group of young runners and look to add a couple of pieces. So this season has been the best overall season in the history of this program so we are in good shape moving forward.

“To have five freshmen running in the regional meet valuable experience for them so they get a chance to compete against some high level runners and understand what it takes to continue to improve and mature as runners.”

Senior Jessica De La Fuente finished 43 for the Barbers Hill girls and paced the team’s efforts.

“We did not finish as high as we would have liked or all run as well individually as we wanted, but that is the way it goes sometimes,” Lady Eagles head coach Stacy Tucker said. “I am especially proud of my lone senior on varsity, Jessica.  She ran the fastest time she has ever run in her career.  She is a hard worker and encouraging leader and I am very happy that she had such a good day in the last cross country race of her Barbers Hill career.”

Makayla Johnson (21:49.5),  Bailee Nguyen (23:53.9), Grace Mathis (24:15.2), Briana Palmer (24:19.7), Alexis Galavis (24:45.1) and Christina Vasquez (24:50.9) finished for Barbers Hill.

Head coach William Freeman was disappointed in the GCM boys results.

“We did not reach the expectations I had for the meet,” Freeman said. “We knew the times would be extremely fast, but going in, I knew what my guys were capable of.  It was a bad meet for us.”

Freshman Moses Ridley led GCM with a 19:01.5, good for 116th place, while Edgar Trujillo (19:51.8), Cabrales Cristofer (20:23.7), Oscar Aguirre (20:26.2), Ozvaldo Santos (20:30.1), Gabriel Lopez (21:17.6) and Daniel Perez (21:24.3) also ran for the Patriots.

REL’s Derek Salinas (18:04.35) and his sister Sarah (22:09.2) both finished with personal bests, finishing 57th and 65th respectively.

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