Harlingen, La Feria, Rio Hondo runners qualify for state meet

Monday’s regional cross country meet left many area athletes planning trips to the 2017 UIL state meet. Harlingen, La Feria, Rio Hondo and Progreso are all well represented on their march to state.

CLASS 6A: District 32-6A champion Harlingen High finished a respectable sixth place out of 24 teams at the Region IV-6A meet. Unfortunately, only the top four teams advance to the state meet.

The top four finishers were: Spring Branch Smithson Valley with 94 points, SA Antonio Brandeis (2nd, 142 points), Del Rio, (3rd, 163 points), and Austin Lake Travis, which finished fourth with 190 points. Harlingen finished with 235 points.

While the Harlingen Cardinals just missed out on the team qualifiers, Edward Ramos stepped up and finished in 13th place to secure a spot at state. Ramos finished the race with a time of 16:11.4.

“Edward ran a great race,” said Harlingen High head coach Efrain Ambriz. “He finished strong the last mile and this really ended up putting him in the best position to qualify for state. We couldn’t be more proud of him.

“Getting to state has been the ultimate goal since we started training this summer and we look forward to seeing him perform his best in Round Rock.”

CLASS 4A: The La Feria cross country program received a huge boost at regionals as both the boys and girls teams qualified for the Class 4A state meet.

The boys placed second behind only a strong Progreso team that completely dominated the meet. The Red Ants had four runners finish in top 10 leading Progreso to a regional championship. Everardo Esparza finished first for Progreso with a time of 16:30.

On the girls side, the Lionettes finished in fourth place with 140 points, just behind first place Bandera, which finished with 43 points. Boerne was second with 118 points and Gonzalez was third with 123 points.

Individually, Dariana Vasquez led La Feria with a time of 12:03.3 followed by District 32-4A champion Jasmine Rangel, who finished fifth place with a time of 12:07.3.

Rio Hondo runner Jazaline Ayla, who finished 13th, also qualified for state.

“Dariana led the Lionettes as she has done all year,” said La Feria head coach Gracie Campos. “She ran with great determination and I told her and the team ‘great job of making it to state, but we still have two more weeks of cross country.’”