ROUND ROCK -- La Vernia’s girl cross-country runners were edged by the slimmest of margins this past Saturday at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park. Sanger nipped the Lady Bears 63-64 for the UIL Class 3A State Championship team title.
Hot and humid conditions with wind gusts of more than 30 mph were an extra challenge for everyone. La Vernia sophomore Olivia Hinojosa picked up her second individual medal in consecutive years, while junior teammate Bailee Vrana garnered her first.
“This is the second year in a row that we have two runners break into the top 10,” said Head Coach Richard Hinojosa. “Olivia and Bailee have been a great one-two punch for us all season.”
In addition to the top-10 finishes, the Lady Bear team ran well as Dakota Guerrero finished 15th, Shaley Trammell finished 30th, Jessica Perry came in 37th, Elizabeth Moczygemba was 89th, and Brianna Kruciak rounded out the field in 100th place. All of these runners helped their team to its second consecutive state runner-up finish, matching the La Vernia boys teams of 2007 and 2008.
The future continues to look bright, since the Lady Bears return their top six finishers next year.
“I couldn’t be prouder of every one of our girls,” Hinojosa said. “They gave it their all. They’ll be back and stronger than ever.”
The Bears also were well represented at state. Senior Robert Guzman turned in his highest placing at state as he finished 13th overall. Junior Dillon Goan also had his best state finish in 30th.
“These guys ran here in 2010 and it was so good to see them back and racing well,” Hinojosa said.
This marks the 13th time since 1998 that La Vernia has qualified a team to the state championships, and it is the fifth podium appearance for La Vernia.
“Getting to state is a blessing, and we never take it for granted,” Hinojosa said. “We realize how difficult it is. Our athletes send out a big ‘thank you’ to family, friends, our school, and our community for the support.”