McALLEN — Edinburg North’s San Juanita Leal and La Feria’s Armando Morales continued their strong starts to the 2023 cross country season Saturday, taking home first in the girls and boys races, respectively, during the Tony Trejo Stampede at Springfest Park in McAllen.
Leal’s victory marked her second of the year in as many tries, while Morales picked up his third straight win and fourth overall.
The Cougars’ senior distance runner cruised to victory by a comfortable margin Saturday, clocking in over 30 seconds faster than the next competitor for a second straight week. Leal clock in at 18 minutes, 8.6 seconds during the win, followed by PSJA Southwest’s Yazmin Guerra (18:39.40).
On the boys side, Morales set his second best mark of the season, clocking in at 15:19.8 for the win. The sophomore distance runner has now finished in the top two during each of his races, with his only loss coming to his twin brother, Anthony, during the McAllen Bulldogs Invitational on Aug. 18.
In Brownsville, Weslaco East’s boys team picked up its third straight team championship and fourth overall this year during the Brownsville ISD Invitational at the Brownsville ISD Encampment.
The shorthanded Wildcats, who were without their top two runners, were led by a first-place finish from Adrianno Gonzalez.
The junior finished in 17:07.4 for his first win of his career. Junior Octavian De La Serna made it a 1-2 finish for the Wildcats, finishing behind his teammate in a time of 17:45.8.
In the girls division, the La Feria Lionettes had three runners finish in the top five en route to their third team win of the year.
Leading the pack was senior Liana Navarro, who clocked in at 19:27.1 for the win. Cierra Garcia (20:12.6) and Mia Trevino (20:38.6) added second and fourth place finishes, respectively.
In Lasara, junior Jose Ventura picked up his first victory of the year, defending his home turf during the Lasara ISD Invitational.
Last year’s Class 1A bronze medalist clocked in at 16:51.7 during the win, with IDEA McAllen’s Enrique Perez (17:21.11) and South Texas Science Academy’s Javier Rodriguez (18:14.26) coming in second and third, respectively.
In the girls division, Roma’s Dariana Lopez led the Gladiators to the team title, finishing in first with a time of 22:42.04. Lopez was one of three Roma runners to finish in the top 10, joined by Marianna Vela (eighth) and Zuleika Sanchez (ninth).