The Tornillo boys escaped Region 1 with a third-place finish and a trip to the UIL State Cross Country Championship on Monday at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.
The Coyotes placed two runners in the top 10 – freshman Daniel Romero (fourth, 17:35.90) and sophomore Angel Torres (seventh, 17:42.70).
Scoring for Tornillo where seniors Bryan Garcia (21st, 18:33.00) and Michael Maney (32nd, 19:07.00) and junior Bryan Guzman (60th, 19:58.70).
Tornillo finished with 88 points.
District rival Presidio won the region with 39 points and Tuscola Jim Ned was second with 84 points.
“We were kind of flat in district and then my four guy (Guzman) got hurt during quarantine and finished fifth, but I knew in my gut that we would face another obstacle at regionals,” said Tornillo coach Jesse Garcia. “But considering all the things we had to get through just to get here, I’m just happy we survived.”
Top three teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the UIL Cross Country State Championship, Monday, Nov. 23 (3A, 5A) and Tuesday, Nov. 24 (4A and 6A) at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock
Tornillo was on the verge of shutting it down four weeks ago due to the pandemic.
“Our goal was to just qualify,” he said. “It was a little scary, but we came from behind and pulled through and managed to get third place.”
Tornillo will making its 11th state appearance in the past 12 years.
Also advancing to state is sophomore Kylene Elias who finished fourth on the two-mile course in 13:01.40.
“She said she didn’t feel good today; she just felt off,” Garcia said of the defending Region 1 champion. “She took fourth place and qualified and that’s what matters.”
Holliday junior Hannah Spears won the event in 12:29.10.
The Tornillo girls ended the season ninth best in Region 1.
On Monday, Class 3A and Class 5A raced. Tomorrow, the Class 4A girls will start at 10 a.m. followed by the boys and the Class 6A girl will race at 1 p.m. followed by the boys.
Five runners -three boys and two girls – out of Class 5A also advanced to theUIL Cross Country State Championship.
Burges junior Pamela Ramirez was 23rd in 21:22.10 and Jefferson junior Monique Correa was 27th in 21:32.40 and advanced, as well as El Paso High senior Josep Ferret (15th, 17:22.50), Hanks sophomore Alejandro Tarin (16th, 17:23.30) and Chapin senior Joaquin Ortega (17th, 17:24.30).
No teams advanced.
The Jefferson girls were the top finishing El Paso team, placing sixth with 218 points followed by Bel Air (11th, 262) and El Paso High (12th, 314).
For the boys, Burges was the top El Paso team finishing seventh (223 points), Hanks (11th, 265), Bel Air (14th, 336) and El Paso High (15th, 378).