LA FERIA — As the Region IV-4A cross country meet came to a close a few weeks back, La Feria Lionettes head coach Gracie Campos and her team were thankful to place fourth and secure the consolidation spot to the state meet.
The Lionettes finished regionals with a total of 140 points; one of their worst showings of the season.
“Yes, at regionals we were not at our best and we are very grateful that we still made it to state, but we could have done much better,” said Annabelle Rodriguez. “The team has made changes to where our start off in the beginning is more controlled as well as our technique of pacing and moving around the crowd.
“But the team feels great that we are once again going to state because we already know what it’s like. I feel like we’re ready for the challenge ahead and I have been working since July preparing for this meet. This team is very strong this year.”
Last season the Lionettes placed fifth at state with Dariana Vasquez finishing in 14th place overall and teammate Briana Reyes coming in 52nd.
However, despite a disappointing showing at regionals, the Lionettes are excited about the opportunity to compete against the state’s best.
“We have a positive mindset going into this race,” said junior Briana Reyes. “Our focus is to remain motivated, and determined to run hard and cross the finish line. We want to accomplish what we’ve been working for throughout the season.
“It takes determination, hard work, sacrifice and a team that shares the same passion in order to qualify and compete at state. Along with the perseverance and the continuous guidance of our coaches, who have influenced us to be relentless, I feel that our team trained hard and is prepared to take on the state course. Nerves are factor, especially when competing at this level, but as soon as the gun goes off I’m certain that we’ll overcome it.”
In order for the Lionettes to keep pace with the competition, the team will need to stick together. As Coach Campos pointed out, “from one to five, the team needs to stay close to each other” and, most importantly, “have fun.”
“It’s been a true blessing having them this season,” said Campos of her team. “But as I have told them ‘let’s enjoy the ride’ because Saturday at 2:40 it (the season) ends and maybe we don’t get another chance, but we had a blast this year and only time will tell when we will be back again.”