Cross country – like any sport – is an endeavor of attrition and stamina. The longer the season goes the more (hopefully) the athletes will be able to endure and the better their performances will be.
But cross country is all about endurance. There’s no one on the bench coming in to give you a break, there’s no huddle in between plays, there’s no walking the ball down the court to take time of the clock.
For three to four minutes, all you’re doing is running, and the Ruidoso harriers have been doing a lot of that in the last two weeks.
On Sept. 17, the team was at district opponent Cobre’s invitational, site of this year’s District 3/4-4A meet.
“It was a really tough meet, we had to be up and gone by 3:30 in the morning in order to get there in time, so that puts a lot of stress on the kids,” said Ruidoso coach Trevor Rabourn. “But we had some impressive results from both the boys and girls.”
Rabourn was also happy to see how the Warriors did against district opponents Cobre and Silver at the meet.
The girls were third overall, two points back of Silver, while the boys were also third, but a bit slower than their coach would have liked.
“The times weren’t necessarily what we would consider top performances, but the effort level was really good,” Rabourn said.
At the Las Cruces Oñate meet last week, Ruidoso turned in much faster times on a faster, flatter course.
“The times were dynamite, and the performances were really good, too,” Rabourn said. “We would have been able to beat Silver’s full team, although they didn’t have everyone there.”
With three meets left until district, and four until state, the Warriors have entered that point in the season when they’re starting to wear down.
That’s part of why Rabourn decided to switch the schedule around and make this weekend the team’s off-week. They were originally scheduled to be at the Artesia Invite today with a week off from competition next week.
Instead, the Warriors will train and rest in preparation for the Pecos Valley Invitational on Oct. 8 in Roswell.
“It’s also good to have a meet after the off week before we go to the Jamboree,” said Rabourn, referring to the Rio Rancho Jamboree, the biggest meet in the state besides the state meet.
Incidentally, Rio Rancho is where the state meet has been held for several years.
“Since we have some runners that are new to the sport, that will be the first time they’ve been on that course,” Rabourn said. “I hate to go from an off week to one of the most important meets of the season.”
Individually, Rabourn singled out a number of runners that have been coming on in recent weeks.
“We’ve had some people step up and do a really good job. Tyler Davis is doing really well for the boys, serving as a benchmark for them,” Rabourn said. “We’ve also had good performances from sophomore Gavin Garcia and Wes Moore. Freshman Corey Flores has just come on the team and he’s progressing really fast.
“For the girls, Nayelli Gomez continues to progress, and she’ll be a runner to watch,” he added. “Gabby Diaz had one of her better performances of the season at Onate. She works really hard in practice, and it’s taken a little time, but it was great to see.”