Muleshoe’s Ricky Diaz makes State qualifier in cross countryRhea Gonzales October 26, 2018 0 COMMENTS
BY COACH BRIDGETTE WALL
Muleshoe Cross Country
Mighty Mule Ricky Diaz has earned his way to the run in the State Cross Country meet in Round Rock, Texas, on Nov. 3.
Running in a full-out sprint during the last 800 yards, Ricky earned the honor of running at the State Cross Country meet. He ran his best time of a 17:15.30 3 mile course.
The race at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock starts at 12:40 p.m. Sendoff will be announced as soon as there are more details.
All races start out with a bang and 90+ athletes running for what seems for no reason. However, that is not the case with Cross Country runners. They run to beat the person standing next to them and to beat the clock. They must battle the elements: soggy socks, aches and pains that come with training and their own minds. As I watched the students relish a sendoff just for them, the smiles on their faces filled my heart with joy and hope for each one. I just knew something special was going to happen!
Thank you to the Cheer squad, Mrs. Wheat and Mrs. Garza for putting that together with what, I believe, was the first ever CC cheer — “RUN THAT ROUTE!”
Lily Martinez, Ethan Clapp and Ricky were so fired up to get in the Suburban and head to Lubbock. With all of the excitement from the sendoff, the music blaring, laughing and checking their Snapchats, the mood in the car was definitely a different ride to Lubbock than we have ever had.
As I turned on to MLK Blvd. the mood changed very quickly. It became an anxious energy in the Suburban, but I was so glad we had Manager Reina Regalado with us for comic relief and her amazing timing and getting splits skills!
They laughed and walked to set up camp for the day as I went to check us in. Spirits were high and nervous! On the return, there was a level of focus I have never seen in these runners; they knew there was a job to get done and the look on their faces was just that: time for battle!
Lily’s was our first race. At the start, she got tangled with a young lady and had to battle for room. She attacked the treacherous first hill, putting her in the front half of the pack. On the downhill, she opened her stride up and made up ground putting her in the top 20. She ran smart, saving energy when needed and exerting herself through the finish line. Lily left her heart out there on that course; she came up short and was two places away from punching her ticket, finishing with a time of 12:38.40.
Lily has been a varsity runner for four years. She has been a great leader for our cross country program, laying a foundation for our future runners.
Ethan and Ricky had a calmness on the start line that I have never seen before with the look of determination and unwavering willpower. They attacked the first hill with great ease and flew down the second hill like mad men that had just robbed a bank. As they came around the lake, Ethan used his long stride to make up ground, putting him in the top 25 runners. Ricky was running a very smart race as he settled in the middle of the pack, making this coach very nervous!
On the way up the north hill, Ethan climbed his way into the 18th runner, and Ricky found himself as the 32nd runner. As they started the second lap up the north hill, Ethan was running out gas and Ricky had found a new gear! Ricky powered up the hill, passing his foes along the way. He was not going to be denied! Ricky in a full out sprint the last 800 yards earned himself the honor of running at the State Cross Country meet! He ran his best time of a 17:15.30 3-mile course.
Ethan ran his heart out, giving everything to the last bit of the course. It wasn’t enough to move on to the next round, but he ran one of his best times of the year: 18:06.20.
I want to thank our administration for all of your support, allowing me to coach these students and the words of wisdom on a daily basis. I would also like to thank all the parents. You are the real MVP, the most valuable parents! You set up tents, took pictures and helped me keep the butterflies from flying out of my ears! THANK YOU!