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Warrior cross country comes home

By Todd Fuqua

Ruidoso cross country fans won’t have to go far to watch their team perform this weekend, as the Warriors will be running on their home course at RHS on Oct. 22 in the Warrior Invitational.

Coach Trevor Rabourn expects a good turnout of teams, even if his team will be short a few runners.

“A lot of people won’t be able to run this week due to ACT testing,” Rabourn said. “As a result, we’ll have just five girls and four boys running. But we’re excited. There will be 23 or 24 teams there.”

Ruidoso is coming off the Rio Rancho Jamboree on Oct. 15, the largest cross country meet in the state outside of the state championships.

As a team, neither the boys or girls were able to turn in a good pack time, thus they weren’t very high in the team standings.

But there were a few very good individual performances.

“Nalley (Gomez) didn’t have her best race, but she did really well,” Rabourn said. “She wasn’t as pleased with that race as she was at the Pecos Valley race (in Roswell).”

While Gomez may not have ran her best, teammates Uriah Hornedeagle, Naomi Chavez, Gaby Diaz and Maria Escalera stepped it up.

“The nice thing about having such a balanced team, we’ve got a lot of girls that are running fast,” Rabourn said.

Speaking of running fast, Tyler Davis followed up his fourth place finish at Roswell with a ninth-place showing in the big schools division at Rio Rancho, competing against more than 150 other contestants.

“He was within 15 seconds of his fastest time on that course,” Rabourn said. “We always expect a 20-30 second bounce from the Jamboree to the state meet. If he improves his time that much, he should be under 17 minutes. That would be the fastest time we’ve had on that course since I’ve been a coach”

Rabourn said the real benefit of the Jamboree was to give him an idea of where his runners stand in relation to other Class 4A/1A teams in the state and in their district.

“We’re not trying to peak there. The goal is to run our best at the district and state meets,” Rabourn said. “We’re confident in how we’ll do going into those meets because of the trajectory we’ve been on. The times have been coming down, and we’re right there when it comes to the district meet.”

Before that, though, Ruidoso hosts their meet, starting with a middle school/community run at 9 a.m. The girls varsity sets off at 10 a.m., with the boys immediately following that race.

“The Warrior meet is important for us. We host it and love to run on our home course,” Rabourn said. “Sitting right in front of district, sometimes we look ahead a little too far. But it’ll be a great opportunity for people to come out and see the team run. It will be a beautiful day. We encourage people to come and watch and enjoy it with us.”

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