2017 Girls High School Cross-Country Season Preview
By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – The 2016 Donna Bravettes Cross-Country Team went into the District 32-5A Meet fired up and excited to be there.
However, that excitement seemed to have got the best of them.
“I felt the girls went into the meet overly excited,” said girls head coach Anna Castillo. “We had a very young team and the only veteran runner was Yvonne Sanchez.”
“We ended up placing fifth and missed out of fourth place by a few points. Also Sanchez fell short of qualifying for regionals and I feel some injuries early on affected her. It was a disappointment because we expected to place in the top three and to qualify for regionals as a team.”
Now with the 2017 season just weeks away, Donna High is doing everything possible to make sure they are prepared for it while trying to achieve their ultimate goal.
“These girls want nothing more than to place in the top three at district and qualify for regionals,” said Castillo. “The girls coming back this year saw the run that the boys’ made while qualifying for state and now know what it takes to compete at a higher level.”
“They have been training very hard and are working on various drills which will make them stronger runners.”
Donna High is bringing back a good sized group from last year as five girls return for the 2017 season. Karen Lopez and Crystal Cardenas will lead the charge for the Bravettes and Castillo is expecting big things from both of them.
“Karen and Crystal will be the number one and two runners for the team this year and I am expecting a lot from both of them,” said Castillo. “Karen has shown up all summer long and I have seen some great things from her so far. I expect her to place in the Top Ten and she should be a regional qualifier.”
“As for Crystal, she has been working a lot more on time and pacing and is going to be a tough runner as well.”
The rest of the team consists of Maritza Miranda, Celinda Yanez and Savannah Tamez who are all seniors.
One girl that Castillo feels could make a nice little push this year is freshman Gisselle Trujillo.
“Gisselle started off strong at the junior high level and placed in the top five in all of her meets,” said Castillo. “Unfortunately, she faced the injury bug as the season rolled on and that slowed her down a bit.”
“But she has healed up and I have been amazed by what she has done so far. Gisselle has been keeping up with Karen and Crystal and I can see her make a big push amongst the other girls.”
Castillo likes what she has seen from her squad over the summer months and feels they have grown and matured a lot since last year.
“I have seen a big difference in the girls from last year and feel they have matured so much,” said Castillo. “These girls have their sights set on their goals and won’t stop until they are achieved.”