HUNTSVILLE – After advancing to the Class 3A, Region III Cross Country Championships by capturing a bronze medal in the District 17-3A Championships last week, Clifton senior Daniella Gaona earned a second straight trip to the State Meet with an 11th place finish at Kate Barr Ross Memorial Park in Huntsville Monday.
“This was Daniella’s fourth year to run the regional meet at this course, and she turned in her best performance in terms of place and time,” Clifton cross country head coach Ryan Hunt said. “I can’t say enough about her work ethic and attitude toward cross country. She’s a very determined individual and to see her run at the level, she is is very rewarding as a coach. She gets to finish off her cross country career in Round Rock at the 3A UIL State Meet, and that’s pretty special.”
At the District 17-3A Championships held at Rex Callicott Park in Keene Oct. 16, the Lady Cubs placed fourth as a team behind the bronze medal effort by Daniella Gaona, followed by sophomore Kasandra Gaona (14th), sophomore Kamryn Zint (17th), sophomore Sadie Sanders (21st) and senior Sutton Finney (30th).
In the tightly contested field, the Clifton girls finished with 81 points, trailing district champion Whitney (61), runner-up Grandview (70) and Maypearl (76).
Behind the 19th-place finish by sophomore Jorge Rodriguez, the young Clifton boys squad finished fifth in the team standings. Also running for the Cubs were freshman Peyton Urbanovsky (28th), junior Cameron Bateson (29th), senior Luke Cockrell (32nd) and sophomore Varlos Villarreal (35th).
“We gave ourselves a chance by coming out and running the best we have all year,” Ryan said. “The girls team missed qualifying by just a few spots. We had some of our best performances of the year by both our boys and girls and that is all you can ask for at this point.”
In the Middle School Divisions, Clifton boys and girls shined as the 8th grade boys won the district title, while the 7th grade girls finished as district runner-up. Clifton medalists included 8th grade boys – Eddie Gaona (3rd), Jesus Lopez (5th), Clay Kennedy (7th), Andres Devora (9th); 7th Boys – Blake Cockrell (2nd); 8th Girls – Laylah Gaona (7th); and 7th Girls – Jocelyn Ramirez (2nd), Hailey Issacs (6th).
“I’m also really excited about the way our Middle School teams performed,” Ryan said. “We have the potential to be pretty solid in the future. As always, I’m proud of the way our kids have competed and worked all year.”
For complete results from the District 17-3A Championships, click here: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/158995/results
For complete results from the Class 3A, Region III Championships, click here: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/168694/results/698591
Photos by SANDRA VASQUEZ GAONA
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