GR boys XC finishes 6th at Hico

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — With a bevy of runners new to the sport, first-year Glen Rose boys cross country coach Steve Bryant was happy with the team’s performance Wednesday at the Hico Invitational at Bluebonnet Country Club.

From left: Caden Smith, Aiden Gartrell, Cesar Balderas, Jorge Mendoza; Andrew Clark, Cross Arrington and Zeke Niedziela placed sixth overall at the Hico Invitational on Wednesday at Bluebonnet Country Club.

“This was the first 3-mile race for several of these guys — a senior and two juniors — at that,” Bryant said. “I appreciate their leadership, attitude and willingness to help us build back up the boys cross country program.”

The Tigers placed sixth out of the 12-team field, led by junior Caden Smith, who traversed the 3-mile course in 18 minutes, 56 seconds for a 20th-place finish.

“While we’re not satisfied with a sixth-place team finish, it’s a starting point,” Bryant said. “It was nice just to have a team finish. I’m not sure that has happened for GR boys in quite some time because of a lack of runners.”

Freshman Andrew Clark placed 29th (19:33) followed by junior Cesar Balderas (32nd, 19:49), freshman Jorge Mendoza (38th, 20:29) and senior Aiden Gartrell (45th, 20:52).

“Improvement will naturally come by just knowing how to start, finish, and pace yourself in between,” Bryant said. “More experience will improve all of that.”

In their first-ever 3-mile runs, senior Cross Arrington placed 54th (21:22) followed by junior Bryce Birl (57th, 21:32) and freshman Zeke Niedziela (82nd, 24;14).

“We’re Looking forward to a beautiful run at Squaw Valley Golf Course,” Bryant said of the 9:30 a.m. meet on Wednesday in Glen Rose. “We’re working toward the district meet on Oct. 14. We have the potential to be pretty strong by then.”

Poolville won the Hico meet with 54 points followed by Comanche (71); Eastland (95); Dublin (106); Godley (113); and Glen Rose (137).