Rubio uses state meet as a lesson

Gusty wins, hilly course tests Tiger runner
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Sandwiched in between Alvarado’s Kevin Nunez and Lucas Marquez of Andrews, Rockdale’s Juan Rubio (center) jumped out to an early lead at the Class 3A state cross country meet. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Sandwiched in between Alvarado’s Kevin Nunez and Lucas Marquez of Andrews, Rockdale’s Juan Rubio (center) jumped out to an early lead at the Class 3A state cross country meet. Reporter/Bill Martin ROUND ROCK—Juan Rubio’s participation in the state cross country meet wasn’t so much an exhilirating experience as it was a learning curve.

Make that curves.

The junior definitely received an education on the run at the 29th annual UIL Class 3A State Cross Country Championships Saturday at Old Settler’s Park.

Rubio clocked in with a time of 17 minutes, 32.05 seconds to finish in 47th place among 109 competitors.

Rubio was the first Tiger athlete to make an appearance at the state meet since Rozalyn Dixon in 2000.

Favorite Jeff Weisheit of Venus—who was third at last year’s meet—was not disappointed and easily grabbed the gold medal with a time of 15:54.23, 16 seconds ahead of second place finisher Armando Fierro of Port Isabel.

Weisheit’s time was one of the best in the meet’s history.

Kaufman, fourth last year, captured the team title.

The demanding 5,000-meter course featured hills and valleys that challenged the runners like they hadn’t been before.

Not to mention the gusting 40 mile-per-hour winds that were whipping around the course.

“ I learned how to r un the course and now I know what to do,” said Rubio, already preparing for a return trip to state. “It’s not an easy course. I can work on a strategy for next year.

“The wind, it was tough going into turns. You could just feel the dust blowing in your eyes and mouth. You just had to push through it.”

“While Juan was a little disappointed in his performance, I was proud of him,” said Rockdale Cross Country Coach Liz McQuitter. “That’s the sign of a competitor.”


Juan Rubio is the first Tiger since 2000 to make an appearance at the state cross country meet. 
Reporter photos/Bill Martin Juan Rubio is the first Tiger since 2000 to make an appearance at the state cross country meet. Reporter photos/Bill Martin Rubio, the two-time District 23-3A champion, acknowledged he ran his second slowest time of the season. His first mile was clocked at 4:55 and his pace was 5:37 for the race.

“Now I know how to start, start off slow,” he said. “I got off to a fast start, but they passed me at the end. I started out too fast.”

“I think he was over thinking his race,” McQuitter said. “ There were lots of people telling him to do different things and he was a bit flooded with information and race strategies. He took out too fast on his first mile.”

Rubio sped to the front of the crowded pack at the outset of the race and after the first mile he was still in the top 10.


Rubio’s average pace for the race was 5:37 as he clocked in at 17:32.05 for the 5,000 meters. Rubio’s average pace for the race was 5:37 as he clocked in at 17:32.05 for the 5,000 meters. But when t he r unners reappeared after a jaunt through the roughest section of the course, he had dropped back in the pack.

“It was tough in the hills, that’s where they passed me,” said Rubio. “This is the first time I have seen something like that.” Next time, that’s something to work on too, the hills.”

“Juan’s strong kick at the end is his trademark,” McQuitter said. “He did not have anything left at the end. It was a difficult course and difficult conditions, but in the end he did his best under the circumstances.”


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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