There was a time when former Kilgore High School runner Clayton Fletcher was one of few from KHS to have competed in the UIL state cross country meet.
Now it’s becoming a rite of passage for a program that seems to be more and more successful each year.
The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs each finished third as a team in last weekend’s meet at LeTourneau University in Longview – newly-crowned homecoming queen Cristina Rosas was second overall there – and are set for another meet this week, the annual Lindale Eagle Invitational at Texas Rose Horse Park. That will be tomorrow.
Following that, Kilgore competes in the Mosquito Joe Invitational, hosted by Pine Tree and Spring Hill, at Pirate Stadium and at Lear Park in Longview on Oct. 16, and then it’s the district meet, back at the Texas Rose Horse Park on Oct. 26. Regionals are at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in Dallas on Nov. 9-10, and the UIL state meet is, as usual, at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Nov. 23-24.
Rosas’s time of 21 minutes, 29.20 seconds was good enough for second overall at LeTourneau, running that 5,000 meter run behind only Lufkin’s Paula Bautista (21.11.80).
Rosas’s teammate, Emma Taylor, came in ninth overall (22.34.50), and two more Kilgore runners, Vanessa Velasco and Lesly Herrera, were 15th and 16th, respectively. Samantha Rodriguez of KHS was 18th, and Danna Requena, 19th. Jocelyn Serrano was 31st, and Gloria Cedillo was 36th. Forty-three runners placed in the event.
Austin Bain did well for Kilgore’s boys, placing fifth overall (in a time of 17 minutes, 21 seconds). A.B. Herrera was 13th overall at 17:57.80, and Yamir Sanchez was 14th, at 17:59. Max Torres was 20th, Josue Rosas, was 26th and Christopher May, 27th. Zachery Gutierrez was 34th and Chris Martinez, 36th out of 59 runners.
Kilgore’s boys junior varsity runner William Shupak finished first overall in the JV run, in 19 minutes, 17.50 seconds, and the KHS JV boys were second at LeTourneau. Kilgore’s JV girls were fourth at the meet.