Cross country: Slade, Zaragoza lead Cavaliers at District 15-5A meet
Thursday, October 25, 2012 | | 1
The Lake Travis boys cross country team took a great strides forward this season.
Though the Cavaliers came up short of a regional berth, the team was happy with its performance at the District 15-5A Championships Oct. 19 at Decker Lake.
Mason Slade led the way with a 22nd place finish, coming across in 17:47.90 while Matias Zaragoza took 25th place with a time of 17:57.60.
“Overall, it was great, we tried our best and we didn’t make it, but it was great to be with this team,” Zaragoza said. “It was a team I grew up with for four years; it’s just one big family. This morning, we were really confident. We had our stuff together. We were confident we were going to make it, but in the end, it wasn’t enough, but still we had tons of fun.”
The next three Cavaliers came across one after another as Lake Travis learned to run more as pack this season to spur each other on. Under new coach Megan O’Connor, the team took fifth in the district race with 134 points.
“They’ve been really working on pulling each other in and pushing each other,” O’Connor said. “I’m proud of them and just excited for them. They had a great finish. I think they’re excited; they’re already saying, ‘next year this, next year that.’ ”
Matt Rivera (18:02.50), Casey Wolleat (18:06.90) and Tyler Danes (18:08.40) finished 28-29-30,respectively, to round out the Cavs’ top five.
Evin Dugas finished 37th with a time of 18:41.90 and Tanner Barton came across in 40th with a time of 19:20.00.
With Zaragoza and Barton the lone seniors in the race for the Cavs, things are looking bright for next season, too. Zaragoza said the past four years on the team helped him mature and develop, and he sees the same continuing for the returning crew.
“Next year, they are going to own, they’re going to wreck everything because they have the times and have the skill,” Zaragoza said. “My favorite memory was building this relationship because freshman year, I was the awkwardest kid. I didn’t know anybody, couldn’t run a mile without stopping. Having other people cheer me on and doing the same for others just helped.”
There are a slew of runners ready to come back for next season as the junior varsity boasted big numbers this season.
“They’ve been peaking at the right time, and with the boys we have a lot of depth,” O’Connor said. “All of them improved a lot. A lot of them came up from nowhere and started earning spots and pushing each other. There’s a good competitive vibe on the team that made them all better. We’ve had a couple rough years, just knowing we improved, they’re happy with that. And they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do.”
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