Cross Country returns to State for first time in 22 years


Kaylah Hollembeak, Staff Writer

The cross country season has come to a successful end with the Arabians placing 12 as a team at the State Meet.

“I think we did great as a team overall,” senior Maria Murillo said. “I couldn’t be more proud of us and I know that the Arabians will be able to do great things in the future and Devine might even have a State Cross Country championship plaque in the years to come.”

At the beginning of the season, the Arabian Cross Country girls made it their goal to advance to state as a team. That goal was met Monday, Oct. 22 at the Regionals meet in Corpus Christi.

“Going to state as a team is something really special to me,” sophomore Brooke Runyan said. “We want to prove that Devine Cross Country is truly great and that this sport allows for so many opportunities.”

Many early mornings and late afternoons of practice and training contributed to the teams’ record-breaking success at the Regional meet. Cross Country requires time, dedication and lots of hard work.

“Practice means getting better, always working towards the goals that we set and having the mental mind set that you need to work just as hard as you are when racing,” freshman Kelli Geyer said.

This is the second time for Arabian Cross Country to advance to state as a team. The only other time this has happened was in 1996.

“It’s an amazing honor to be able to represent Devine by being the second Arabian team to ever qualify for state,” sophomore Brianna Bowyer said. “I’m happy that we can make our community proud of our accomplishments.”

The Arabians began running at noon on Monday, Oct. 22 at A&M Kingsville in Corpus Christi. Results immediately followed. The Arabians placed third place in the Region Meet.

“When I’m approaching the finish line I focus on passing as many people as possible,” Runyan said. “I know that each of our individual places determine whether we advance or not.”

Not only is hard work and motivation from each girl the reason for the success at the Regional Cross Country Meet, but also their team bond and love for not only the sport, but for each other.

“Our team bond could never be broken,” freshman Yessika Garza said. “We are getting to know something new from each other every day and reaching out of our comfort zones.”

Each girls’ individual time contributed to the overall placing of the team as a whole. Along with team goals, individual goals from the girls were met as well.

“Individually I broke 12 minutes and placed in the top five at district,” junior Esperanza Mendoza said. “Those were my main goals throughout the season.”

To celebrate the success at Regionals, many people and supporters from the community lined the streets of Devine, waving and cheering on the cross country bus as they headed back home after the Region Meet.

“So many parents and students support us,” freshman Audrey Longoria said. “I truly appreciate it.”

To show the schools’ support, they hosted a send-off  Friday, Nov. 2, where runners and coaches waved good-bye and headed to Round Rock.

“I’m very thankful to have the Devine community supporting us,” junior Brianna Bernal said. “It really means a lot knowing that they are there wishing us luck and congratulations.”