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Lady Bulldog Cross Country crowned 2013 UIL Region IV Champions

by Sandy Jennings BCS Editor

With a story that seemed to be scripted from a Disney feel-good movie, thirty young girls gathered on a steamy August morning with one dream--to earn a coveted spot on the extremely successful Varsity Cross Country team.

With five consecutive District Championships, Regional and State berths, their biggest competition was...themselves. Thirty young women vying for one of seven competitive spots
definitely builds excitement, but it is the inspiration and admiration felt for each other, exuding from this team--this band of sisterhood--that makes their story magical.

"When I came to the last mile, I was thinking about my team and I knew I had to finish in the top to place our team," sophomore Mercy Yermo said. Yermo was the first runner in (5th place medal), and the
first LadyBulldog cross country runner to ever run under 12 minutes (11:46.0).

"I felt myself like flying right by the LaVernia girl," Yermo said. "I thought about the girl from
Fredericksburg who fell, I wish I could have stopped and helped her; and I thought about Kate, our
teammate who was injured this season--I wanted to win for her."
Yermo was followed across the line by teammates junior Karla Presa (11th at 12:00), freshman Jewell
Weed (24th at 12:27), junior Sarah Butler (30th at 12:30), freshman Kaitlyn Rodriguez (37th at 12:40),
freshman Tealen Butler (53rd at 12:49), and sophomore Caitlin Lenihan (54th at 12:52). There were over
170 runners. Of the seven Bandera runners, six recorded their best time ever.

"I am so proud of our freshmen," Yermo said. "Jewell started late in the season, but worked really hard
to make up for lost time (third runner in for BHS). And Kaitlyn, who we call the "party of the team," has
stayed focused at practice and meets, improving each time."

The runners circled as they listened intently to Yermo's sincere praise. Yermo reached her tired arm
around Taelen Butler's shoulders and squeezed. "Taelen has been focused and driven since the very beginning," Yermo said. "There were days when
she could skip practice because she had volleyball games, but she didn't, she never missed a practice."

Yermo continued to speak of the years of experience Presa, Sarah Butler and Lenihan brought to the team. Countless miles run in the dark, before the sun rose, bonding them forever as friends. She spoke
of time spent with her coach Steve Golemon.

"He's (Golemon) the best coach in the world," Yermo said. "He's like the grandpa I never had. He
motivates and pushes us to strive harder than we think we can. I like winning because it makes him
proud and it puts a smile on his face."

Golemon will have plenty to smile about as he travels with his fifteen strong team to Round Rock this
Saturday, November 9, for the UIL State Cross Country Meet at Old Settlers Park. This will be his third
trip to State in the last four years with a qualifying Lady Bulldog team.
The girls are already preparing for the state race.
"We train everyday, staying focused on hydration, nutrition and our four-lap cool down," Yermo said.

"Most of all, I put it in God's hands. I focus on Joshua 1:9. I'm looking for all PRs' for our team and for everyone just to turn it loose! If we can do that, I know at the end of the day, we'll be celebrating on top of that awards stand."