After making the trip to the state meet in 2009, the Alvord Lady Bulldogs found themselves one spot short of a return trip last November.
Alvord took fourth place in the Class 2A race at the Region II meet, 36 points back of a Holliday team it had beaten a week before.
“It was really disappointing,” said Alvord senior Chelsey Steele. “It’s part of it. Because of that ,we’ve worked really hard this year.”
Steele and the Lady Bulldogs, ranked seventh in the latest Class 2A Cross Country Coaches of Texas Association poll, return to Arlington’s Vandergriff Park to try to earn that elusive state bid. Alvord will take the course at 11:15 a.m.
“I’m pretty excited,” Steele said. “We’ve got a good chance to win. We’re focused on winning.”
Alvord dominated the District 9-2A meet last week, putting six runners in the top 11. Freshmen Lacey Watkins and Clara Breashears ran the team’s best times – 12:44 and 12:47. Jordan Ward, who was 12th as an individual at regionals last year, ran 12:58 at district to take fifth. Ariel Rogers and Steele were both right at 13 minutes at district.
Alvord coach Curtis Enis expects a good showing Saturday.
“I like where we’re at,” he said. “We’re healthy right now, and the girls are hungry. We have a good recipe for success with five girls running in the 12s and any of the five capable of going under 12:30. We’ve had a different leader each week.”
With the foot speed of track sprinters Ward, Steele and Watkins, Enis said the mostly flat Vandergriff course sets up well for his team.
“It’s a speed person’s race,” Enis said. “It comes down to who trusts their conditioning enough to attack the course from the beginning. You need to be through the first mile marker in the low sixes.”