Wildcats welcome return of Ramirez

From Staff Reports

Oct. 15, 2007 - MESQUITE - The Wildcat cross country team got a pleasant surprise at Saturday's meet, and not coincidentally, improved their chances of repeating as district champions next week.

Sulphur Springs finished third overall in the Elite Division of the Mesquite Poteet Invitational on Saturday behind the return of senior Tate Ramirez and the continued strong running of senior Tyler Wilson.

Ramirez, who was sidelined about a month ago with a stress fracture in his femur, returned to the team on Saturday and finished seventh overall on the 3.1-mile course in a time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds.

Ramirez was expected to be out 5-6 weeks, but underwent a bone stimulation therapy that got him literally back on his feet sooner than expected, said SSHS head coach Andy Holt.

"It's great to have Tate back. He's still at the top of the table," Holt said. "He placed seventh and hasn't ran seriously in quite a while now. He started running last Saturday just nice and easy and ran every other day for the last week. The doctor told him if it didn't hurt, he'd be OK."

Wilson and Ramirez are first cousins, and when Ramirez went down with his injury, Wilson stepped up to become the team's No. 1 runner. With them both healthy, the Wildcats are strong contenders to repeat as 11-4A champions at the district meet next Monday at Mount Pleasant.

Wilson came in 19th overall in a time of 17:45, and the Wildcats had four other runners finish in less than 18:45.

Junior Ross Hicks finished 30th in a time of 18:30. He was just one second ahead of sophomore Preston Weaver. Junior Garrett Gray came in 32nd in 18:40, and freshman Jarod Morgan finished 34th in 18:43.

"The guys ran pretty well. That 3-4-5-6 spot changes every week because those guys are competing and battling and pushing each other," Holt explained.

Omar Ortiz was 37th in 19:05, while Victor Gonzalez and Eric Hartin finished in 19:22 and 20:05, respectively.

Sulphur Springs entered another group to run in the varsity division, and the Wildcats finished eighth, with Andrew Wallace clocking a 19:15 and Chris White a 19:18. Triston Crook came in at 19:34, Jesus Torres at 19:41 and Bailey Booher in 20:35. Tyler Usher finished in 20:38 and Tanner Bolton in 20:47.

In the JV boys division, Cody Brown came in at 21:44, followed by Pablo Olquin and Ben Watson.

The varsity girls, who were without Kelsey Evans and Katie Dodd, were led once again by senior Ana Sanchez, who finished 26th in her best time of 13:23 on the two-mile course.

Sophomore Kaci Crowson and freshman Julie Hromcik both also ran their personal bests with times of 14:28 and 14:29, respectively. Samantha Owens came in at 15:40, and Sabrina Hutchings clocked a 15:41.

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