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The Mavericks freshman boys push hard and fast out of the gates right as the gun goes off. (Photo: Vikram Shah)
The St. John’s Mavericks Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams started out the season with a bang. Friday Night Lights, a season opener with over 1,600 high-school aged participants, was the first meet of the cross country season that the Mavericks participated in. The race, at an athletic complex in the Woodlands called Bear Branch Fields, proved to be a challenging way to start off the season. Combining a day of light storms with the pounding strides of the participants resulted in a muddy course and many runners with grubby running shoes.
After a summer of increasingly demanding training, and a week spent team bonding before the start of the school year on retreat, the Mavericks were ready to go.
“As the first meet, we wanted FNL to set the tone for the season, and based on our performance, I would say we are in really good shape,” girls cross country captain and senior team member Julia Jones said. “Despite the mud and sharp turns, we ran together, encouraged each other, and tried to close the gap between our first and fifth runner.”
Ava Hicks, a sophomore, won the girls Junior Varsity race with a personal record of 14:08:70. In an interview with Mile Split TX, Hicks mentioned that she was a bit apprehensive at first that she was going to burn out while trying to catch the girl in first place. After taking the lead, however, she thought “this is where I need to be.” The girls team was there for each other and the team is eager to race harder and faster this season.
“The meet went well. We went out there after a long day of school and showed some of the top teams in the state what we’ve got. I’m excited for the season,” the boys cross country team captain and senior Davis Thames said.
Emmanuel Sgouros, a sophomore and veteran runner, ran hard and got second place in the Boys Varsity B race with a time of 13:20:30. Overall, the Mavericks took first place in the varsity race team standings.
After a long and rigorous day of school, the Mavericks were excited to get out on the course and run the race as best they could. Both teams are looking forward to improving over the next few meets and breaking high school records this cross country season.