By: Marin Murray

After a decisive victory in the district championship, the Lady Eagles cross country team advanced to regionals and sent two athletes to the state meet last Saturday. They plan to continue their success after this season.

“I feel like these young ladies have done a very good job of working together and pushing one another,” head coach Rosemary Martin said.  “I think that each person has done a good job of just getting better and improving their times. They all have used each other in order to get better as a team. I’m excited to see what they’re going to be capable of doing.”

The Lady Eagles claimed the district title on Oct. 15 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock, with a score of 32 points. Freshman Mason Murray took first overall with a time of 19:06, while sister Marin Murray earned second place with a time of 19:33. Freshman Zoe Vann came in fourth overall, while seniors Elvira and Elisabeth Estrada placed ninth and 16th.

“I think we did a very good job of just improving every week,” Martin said. “I felt like the girls did a good job of meeting their goals and PRs [personal records]. But I’m most proud of just the teamwork and the hard work that the girls have put in day in and day out.”

The Eagles then went on to take eighth place as a team at the regional meet on Oct. 25. Mason Murray and Marin Murray took 14th and 21st, respectively, and took two of the ten individual qualifying spots for the state meet.

The Murray sisters went on to run in the state championship on Nov. 6 in Round Rock, six months after the team first began workouts together. Mason took 33rd, while Marin took 42nd. Both athletes ran the best races of their seasons with personal best times under 19 minutes.

“It’s a long season, starting in June to where we are now, in November,” Martin said. “So that’s six long months of wear and tear on your body, but I think the determination and commitment has definitely paid off.”

The last runner the Lady Eagles sent to state was Ashton Endsley in 2016 who later went on to run at the University of Arkansas. Perseverance paid off for the entire team in the long run. The team won a total of four meets leading up to their district win.

“It’s not an easy thing to do,” junior Molly Bessent said. “So, when you finish a workout or a race, it’s really rewarding knowing that you accomplished something that is really difficult, and you put work into it and now you’re getting stuff out of it.”

Going into next year, the Lady Eagles will have a district title to defend, as well as the potential to qualify for the state championship. However, the wins and the medals aren’t what will define the program.

“It’s not always about winning,” Martin said. “It’s about helping each and every one of them improve individually, and then winning and times will take care of themselves. We do have a good group coming up from both of our middle schools. I look forward to how we’ll incorporate them in order to keep a winning tradition.”