Rubio redux at state meet as Mays makes up ground
Rubio is making his second consecutive trip to the University Interscholastic League’s Cross Country State Meet, held Saturday at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.
Rubio becomes the first male Rockdale cross country runner to make consecutive trips to the state meet since Lee Nichols and Leonard Garza in 1984-85.
The senior’s clocking of 17 minutes, 13.6 seconds is nearly a minute slower than his regional runner-up timing of 2011.
The top 10 runners go to the state meet; Rubio finished 10th, at the Class 3A, Region III Meet at Humble Atascocita in a field of 160 runners.
He and Amanuel Tesfay from Stafford crossed the finish line simultaneously.
Pollock Central’s Scotty Sprinkle— who edged Rubio last year for the regional title—finished second Saturday to Coldspring’s Christopher Speaks in a runaway, 16:31.1 to 16:51.9.
“Juan started off in the top ten pack and never fell out of that pack,” said Rockdale cross country coach Liz Galloway-McQuitter. “We knew Juan was going to finish in the top ten, it was just a question of what place.”
He f luctuated from third to seventh the entire race.
“He continues to cut minutes off of his time, and hopefully will do so again at the state meet,” McQuitter said.
Rubio improved his time on the state course earlier in the season when he participated at the McNeil Meet, which is held at Settler’s Park.
Rubio finished 47th at last year’s state meet with a time of 17:32.05. Jeff Weishert of Venus captured the gold medal in 15:54.23.
Rubio is wrapping up his cross country career in high style as a four-time regional qualifier, three-time district champion, and two-time state qualifier.
He also made a trip to the state track meet last season in the 3,200-meter run.
In a Mays
Thorndale senior Keon Mays will join Rubio at the state meet and like Rubio, he clocked in at 10th place to earn his spot at the Class A, Region IV Meet at Texas-San Antonio.
The 5-foot-7 Mays finished with a time of 17:28 out of 107 runners, improving on his 18:13 time from last year when he finished 27th at the Class 2A regional meet.
“He started out in the middle of the field through the first half mile, by the one mile mark he was somehwere around 30th position, with a lot of ground to make up through the next two miles to get into the top 10,” said Thorndale cross country coach Lee Hafley. “This is when Keon decided it was time to go.
“He picked up his pace, picking off each runner in front of him one by one until he was in the top 15. At this point there was no doubt he could get in the top ten, he only needed five more spots to qualify for state, but had less than a mile to go.
“Although he had already used a blistering pace to gain 15 positions, he needed to really dig down and find one more gear. He did, leaving the next five runners in the rear view mirror to finish 10th overall.”
Mays will have a busy weekend. He’s a two-way starter for the Bulldog football team which faces Holland Friday night.
Other Bulldog runners included, Aaron Laurence (30th-18:43), Gabriel Salinas (48-19:52), Isidro Hernandez (51-19:58), Ray Stewart (66-20:37), Eric Hinistroza (97-21:47) and Jack Marr (104-21:58).
For the girls team which finished sixth, Kristen Butterworth led the way with a time of 13:16, good enough for 17th place.
Other participants included: Shelbi Schneider (49th-14:06), Marlene Hall (56th-14:13), Faith Onstot (65th-14:29), Hope Onstot (71st-14:37), Taylor Smith (77th-14:42) and Lizzie Marr (95th-14:58).
The Milano boys team finished seventh out of 23 teams and the girls 15 out of 23 teams at the Region IV meet in San Antonio.
Efrain Flores led the way with a 26th place finish with a clocking of 18:29.
Other runners were: Kain Dodd (51st-19:31), Derek Walton (61st -19:46), Treyton Steinbecker (66th-19:58), Sabian Pugh (95th -20:53) and Jason Paniagua (99th -20:56).
For the girls: Megan Pendergrass (18th-13:18), Victoria Garcia (82nd-14:48), Melodie Jones (83rd-14:48), Sarah Pedroza (111th-15:22), Fallon Ferguson (154th-16:43), Nikki Herring (169th-18:43).
state cross country
Who—Juan Rubio of Rockdale and
Keon Mays of Thorndale.
What— 40th UIL State Cross
When—Saturday, Nov. 10. Rubio
runs at Noon; Mays runs at 10:20
Where—Old Settler’s Park, Round
Rock (off Highway 79).