The past two years have been great for the Borger Boys Cross Country team as they have won back to back district titles and earned trips to the 3A state meet in Round Rock.
With all the runners on the state qualifying team returning on the boys’ side and only losing one senior on last year’s regional qualifying girls team, there is a great deal of optimism that the 2011 season will be one of success for Borger CC program.
The returning runners for the boys varsity team include seniors Grant Boren, Aaron Smith, Jordan Robertson, Josh Gonzales and Caleb Withers, along with junior Lane Newcomb and sophomore Travis Huffine.
Other members of the boys team will include Sterling Shelton, Isaak Montoya, Jose Gonzales, Ethan Felker, Reyes Espino and Dakota Lange.
Borger Head Cross Country Coach Leslie Young knows there is the potential for the boys to win the district title again. However, the team needs to continue working hard to have that opportunity.
Coach Young said, “We have a lot going for us, but when you experience success one of the challenges is staying focused and continuing to work hard to get better.”
One of the factors that should keep the team focused throughout the season is knowing district rival Perryton returns every runner from last year and is looking to win the district title at home come October. Young said, “Last year it was a challenge winning back to back district titles because we didn’t start beating Perryton until the West Texas A&M Meet in Canyon. Perryton is going to be confident and will have the home court advantage with the district meet taking place up their this year. So it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”
Last year, a young Borger Girls Cross Country team achieved their goal in reaching regionals and return a good nucleus that has hopes of earning a state berth themselves.
Young commented, “This group of girls worked hard to reach their goal of qualifying for regionals last year. Now that goal is not enough and the girls know they have to show up and give their best from the first meet in order to put themselves in a position to have success later in the season.”
With Perryton graduating several from last year’s team, the fight for the district title should be up for grabs between Borger, Pampa and Perryton in October.
The high school girls’ team includes Rachel Rickabaugh, Nyshel Pease, Shanna Reeves, Sierra Weber, Cheyenne Putts, Bethany Barnhart, Brittany Rodriguez, Cheyenne Schomp, Sydney Boren, Brisa Balderrama, Sarah Withers, Annalee Pickerill and Mayra Ramos.
At the middle school level, Young has just over 20 runners coming out to run this year, giving her a sense that the future of the cross country program is in good shape.
Young said, “It is seldom that we have students that decide to come out for cross country in high school that weren’t first in the middle school program at some point. Having several runners competing at that level lets me know that we should continue to have good runners competing in the high school program as they get older.”
The cross country season for the high school and middle school teams will begin on Saturday, September 3rd in the Borger Invitational at Bulldog Stadium.