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Freshmen LadyBulldogs bring home McNeil gold

By Sandy Jennings BCC Contributor

Sandy Jennings photo
Freshman Sullivan Wilke finished second with a time of 13:05 at the McNeil Invitational.

The Bandera LadyBulldog Cross Country team divided and conquered at the McNeil Invitational Meet at Round Rock this past Saturday, with a Freshman Team Championship and a varsity team placing of eleventh out of 44 teams.
"Generally, eleventh place is not what a varsity team desires at a cross country meet; however, an eleventh place finish in a field of 44 teams is really not that bad when one takes into consideration the fact that two of the normal top six varsity runners were competing in the freshman division, and a third varsity member team was taking a college entrance exam on Saturday," Head Girls Cross Country Coach Steve Golemon said. "Inserting the top two LadyBulldog freshman times into the varsity division results would have moved the LadyBulldogs into a battle for second or third in the Class 1A-4A division. While the LadyBulldog varsity team finished eleventh, the freshman team won that division."
The lone individual varsity medal winner was senior Mercy Yermo, who recorded 11:58 for her fastest 3200M of 2015 season, earning her ninth place varsity medal.
Although no other varsity team members earned medals, six other varsity runners ran well enough to finish in the top half of the field of 403 varsity runners.
Sophomore Sandy Clarkin ran 12:17 to finish nineteenth, while junior Kaitlyn Rodriguez ran 12:34 to finish thirty-fourth.
Following Rodriguez were senior Allie Denham (139) with a time of 13:40, sophomore Abbey MacMillan (160) with a time of 13:52, junior Monica Mata (163) with a time of 13:53, and sophomore Madison Brzezinski (179) with a time of 13:59.
"Worthy of note is the fact that all but two of the 14 LadyBulldogs who ran the entire race placed in the top half of their division," Golemon said. "In addition, the LadyBulldogs returned home with a total of five medals earned in the two different divisions."
There were four freshman division individual medal winners. Leading the freshmen LadyBulldogs, Ashlyn Persyn ran 12:27 to win the freshman division.
Sullivan Wilke finished second with a time of 13:05, and capturing the bronze medal was Sydney Graves with a time of 13:32.
Salma Gutierrez ran 13:46 to earn the seventh place medal. Meghan Mangold (13) did not medal, but did finish in the top half of the field of freshman runners with a time of 14:12, and Mattie Morrison recorded a time of 14:44.
For four of the Lady Bulldogs, the McNeil Cross Country Invitational was their final invitational cross country meet of the 2015 season. The remainder of the LadyBulldog team will be running in the 2015 Bandera Bulldog Pre-District Cross County Meet on Monday, October 12, at Bandera City Park.
"This should be an interesting and intense competition, since at least one, if not three, of the top seven spots on the varsity must still be determined before the 2015 District 29-AAAA Cross Country Championships, that will be run in Hondo on Monday, Oct. 19," Golemon said.