On Wednesday, September 5 at 2:00 pm, the sun was high in the sky, the temperature was 105 degrees, the wind was still and over 200 athletes from 7 school districts and more than 20 community volunteers were at Mill Pond Park preparing to run and help organize the San Saba Invitational Cross Country Meet. San Saba Varsity Boy’s team finished 3rd overall. Hector Paez stealing first place from a Llano runner in the last 60 meters of the race. The rest of the San Saba team included Ridge Smith at 8th, Vicente Vega at 9th, Daniel Garcia at 15th, Jose Robles at 24th , Jantzen Bell at 28th and DJ Martin who was injured. Our Varsity Girl’s also finished 3rd overall just 11 points behind a perennial 2A cross country power Comanche. Leading the way for the Lady Dillo’s was Liberty Lasley at 3rd, Yicelle Cueves at 10th, Shae Scott at 12th, Gasella Rodriquez, AJ Gamboa, and Alexus Saldivar finished 18th, 19th and 20th respectively. Katie Ingram finished 25th and Andrea Jimenez finished 30th. The JV girl’s team placed 2nd with McKenna Maxcey, Candice Saldivar, Micah Cox and Meagan Rackley all medaling in the race. The rest of the JV team consisted of Isella Parra, Kayla Kutin, McKenzie McBee, Maddie Nettleship, Joy Trujillo and Holly Ragsdale.San Saba Jr. High lone boy runner was Daniel Rosales and he made the most of the opportunity finishing 5th place. The Jr. High girl’s team placed 2nd and were led by Abigail Ingram, Kimeri Moore and Bailey Williams finishing 3rd, 6th and 11th respectively. The rest of the team consists of Savera Vasquez, Raylee PannelI, Raylee Kirk, Baliegh Santefemia, Dynasty Saldivar, Katelyn Blackshear, Juana Macias and Hannah Hibler. Extremely harsh conditions and a challenging course pushed these athletes to their limits. As the coach of these remarkable young men and women, I could not imagine a better way to start the Cross Country Season. Mental and physical toughness, dedication and the desire to succeed have been apparent from the first workout to the meet on Sept 5th. The response for volunteers from parents and school personnel to help make this meet a success was overwhelming. It speaks volumes to the quality of the community and school district. Our next meet is in Hico on Sept. 12th at 3:00pm (HS only) followed by Brownwood on Sept. 22nd at 8:00am and Fredericksburg on Sept. 29th at 8:00am. Come support the kids if you get the chance—special rewards come to those who put out special efforts.