SAN BENITO — Brownsville Rivera’s Andrea de la Rosa and Mercedes teammates Dominique Cavazos and Jonathan Reyes dominated the field at Saturday’s 17th annual Dog Pound Invitational cross country meet on the San Benito High School campus.
The meet marked the first action of the 2016 season for a majority of the participating teams.
De la Rosa, a sophomore and defending District 32-6A champion, surged to an early lead and maintained a lively pace as she cruised to a decisive first-place finish in 19 minutes, 48 seconds in the girls 5-kilometer race. Her time was almost a minute better than second-place finisher Kelly Aguinaga of Edcouch-Elsa, who came in at 20:41.
“I kept thinking (going into the race) ‘You know what? They’re going to be right behind me the whole time,’” de la Rosa said. “But when I got a big lead, I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to come through (and win),’ so I just kept running and running (hard).
“For the first meet, I thought my pace was pretty good,” she added. “This is a good start to my season. I’m just a little tired right now. This win just means that I can do better.”
Rounding out the top five for the girls were Mayra Bernardo of Edinburg Economedes in third place (20:43), Jennifer Lopez of Rivera in fourth (20:57) and Jasmine Rangel of Rio Hondo in fifth (20:58).
In the boys 5K race, Cavazos and Reyes, past state meet qualifiers in track and cross country, were just as dominant as de la Rosa as they finished 1-2 for Mercedes. Cavazos, a junior, won in 16:46, while Reyes, a senior, was close behind for second place in 16:50. Third and fourth place went to Rivera teammates Jonathan Herrera (17:03) and Ruben Chapa (17:08). La Joya High’s Adrian Flores was fifth in 17:12.
“I don’t feel like I did my best,” Cavazos said. “I just came out here and placed wherever I could place. Jonathan and I weren’t really expecting to build such a huge lead, but we were definitely expecting to place in the top three, so it was a good experience. This feels good. I wish my time had been better, but it’s a tough course.”
Reyes was fairly pleased with his showing as well.
“My teammate Dominique and I went at it,” Reyes said. “We were expecting to come in 1-2. It’s great to have a teammate there to push me. I’ll take second place any day (if it means Cavazos comes in first). I’d rather not lose to anybody but him. It feels good knowing we’re going to be there pushing each other at the end (of a race). I would just say be ready for me and Dominique because we’re going to be ready.”
Sparked by Flores, La Joya High was the boys team champion with 91 points. Harlingen High was second with 104 points and Brownsville Veterans was third with 112.
La Feria was a narrow team winner over San Benito in the girls division. The Lionettes triumphed with 91 points, while the Lady Greyhounds were second with 94 points. Brownsville Hanna finished third with 112 points.
Dog Pound Invitational results
At San Benito High School
Team standings (top 10) — 1.La Feria, 91 points; 2. San Benito, 94; 3. Brownsville Hanna, 112; 4. Edinburg Economedes, 157; 5. Valley View, 160; 6. Brownsville Rivera, 187; 7. Los Fresnos, 215; 8. Harlingen High, 229; 9. La Joya High, 264; 10. Brownsville Veterans, 268
Individual finishers (top 20) — 1. Andrea de la Rosa, Rivera, 19:48; 2. Kelly Aguinaga, Edcouch-Elsa, 20:41; 3. Mayra Bernardo, Economedes, 20:43; 4. Jennifer Lopez, Rivera, 20:57; 5. Jasmine Rangel, Rio Hondo, 20:58; 6. Lizbett Rivera, Progreso, 21:00; 7. Tina Sierra, La Feria, 21:07; 8. Mya Price, Harlingen South, 21:15; 9. Lauren Rodriguez, San Benito, 21:18; 10. Teresa Castillo, Economedes, 21:20; 11. Nadia Sifuentes, Hanna, 21:30; 12. Monica Hernandez, San Benito, 21:38; 13. McKayla Guerra, San Benito, 21:44; 14. Leslie Alvarado, E-E, 21:55; 15. Katrina Villarreal, La Feria, 21:57; 16. Cecilia Tellez, Hanna, 21:58; 17. Ashley Ortega, Valley View, 21:59; 18. Gio Ventura, Valley View, 22:00; 19. Darina Vasquez, La Feria, 22:01; 20. Clarissa Tellez, Los Fresnos, 22:05
Team standings (top 10) — 1. La Joya High, 91; 2. Harlingen High, 104; 3. Brownsville Veterans, 112; 4. Rivera, 153; 5. Hanna, 176; 6. Progreso, 183; 7. La Feria, 232; 8. Los Fresnos, 250; 9. Harlingen South, 271; 10. Brownsville Pace, 273
Individual inishers (top 20) — 1. Dominique Christian Cavazos, Mercedes, 16:46; 2. Jonathan Reyes, Mercedes, 16:50; 3. Jonathan Herrera, Rivera, 17:03; 4. Ruben Chapa, Rivera, 17:08; 5. Adrian Flores, La Joya High, 17:12; 6. Edward Ramos, Harlingen High, 17:15.42; 7. Fernando Escobar, Harlingen High, 17:15.84; 8. Art Benavides, Harlingen High, 17:18; 9. Joe Gabriel Lopez, Brownsville Veterans, 17:19; 10. Reyes Rodriguez, La Feria, 17:22; 11. Mark Cordova, E-E, 17:23; 12. Ricardo Torres, Los Fresnos, 17:26; 13. Juan Castellanos, Harlingen South, 17:33; 14. (no name, school turned in to meet officials), 17:36; 15. Jorge (no last name turned in to meet officials), La Joya High, 17:39; 16. Julio Dragustinovis, Hanna, 17:42.23; 17. Brandon Ramirez, Sharyland High, 17:42.56; 18. Lionel Pena, Hanna, 17:44; 19. Daniel Rivera, Hanna, 17:45; 20. Joe Michael Lopez, Brownsville Veterans, 17:46