By Jay Hinton
The Glen Rose High School boys and girls cross country teams will open the 2020 season Wednesday when they travel to Keene.
The girls team returns two runners who made it to the regional meet last season, while the boys team is looking to build on the tradition set the last couple years behind Orrin Miller and Carson Osborne.
Jocelyn Mims and Mignon Miller made the regional meet for the Lady Tigers, and girls cross country coach Ramsey Ghazal said they are a great base for possible team success this year.
"We really just were too inconsistent around Jocelyn and Mignon," Ghazal said. "Zitlalli Mascorro and Delaila Gomez are returning letter-winners who could really give us some of the consistency that we need."
Mims has made three trips to the state meet, and Ghazal said she has her sights on getting back again this year.
"She has really done a great job keeping herself in great shape," Ghazal said. "She set her PR in the mile (5 minutes, 42 seconds) the other day in practice."
In addition, the Lady Tigers have Madeliene Kirkley and Randi Chatham, who, Ghazal said, are running really well. Bianca Contreras, Hannah Balkenbush, Hadlie Parker and Laura Balderas are also looking to make a splash for the varsity as incoming freshmen.
"We have been having morning runs since the middle of June which some girls made consistently," Ghazal said. "Then we have some other girls who are just now getting a couple of weeks of conditioning behind them, so we are trying to work ourselves into shape."
On the boys side, the Tigers have a trio of sophomores in Cesar Balderas, Adan De Reza and Ryan Templeton, along with junior Aiden Gantrell.
"As of right now, we have a small boys team that consists of four varsity runners," said first-year boys cross country coach Jake Bell. "They are all very solid and compete for the best time daily during workouts. I look for each one of them to take big steps in the coming weeks and look forward to seeing them compete during the events."
Despite the small squad, Bell has big goals.
"We want to continue the success of previous seasons and build new traditions as well. I love the term that ‘success breeds success,’" Bell said. "I truly believe that when you experience a certain level of success in a sports program, that can become contagious for kids to want to continue."
Following the meet in Keene on Wednesday, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will compete in Hico on Sept. 9 before running in the Glen Rose meet on Sept. 16 at Squaw Valley Golf Course.
The district meet will be held Oct. 28 at Lampasas High School.