By TONY EIERDAM
Although it is not “old hat” for the Mineral Wells High School cross country teams to compete at the regional meet, the teams, qualifying for the meet for the second year in a row, are looking at more than just making it out of district.
The Class 3A, Region I cross country meet will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. The girls’ race will start at 11 a.m. followed by the boys’ race at 11:30 a.m.
The top three teams and top 10 individuals qualify for the state meet in Round Rock.
But also note additional individuals will not be moved into the top 10 qualifiers if any of the first 10 qualifiers are also on a qualifying team.
For the second year in a row, the Lady Rams will come to the regional meet as District 6-3A champions.
Also for the second straight year the Lady Rams will have the 6-3A champion running at the meet, Karessa Fowler, a junior who won the meet as a sophomore. Classmate Alex Pearcy placed second behind Fowler this year and in 2012.
The pair, along with returning regional qualifiers Katlyn Rivera, Natalie Ragland and Taylor Otwell and first-time regional qualifier Yesenia Martinez give the Lady Rams a good chance to qualify for the state meet.
Fowler said she will not stray from her strategy that helped her defend her district championship despite a course that features a huge hill at the beginning of the race.
“The course is a little bit more harder and there are more hills then we are used to,” Fowler said. “My strategy will be to get out in front and stay ahead of the group.
“But that is my usual strategy for all races. It feels good to get back to the regional meet as a team.