The Decatur Eagles couldn’t capture their second straight Class 3A Region I crown Saturday, but they did survive to get one more race this season.
The Eagles finished third with 132 points at the regional meet at Lubbock’s Mae Simmons Park. Decatur was 18 points ahead of fourth-place Clint to secure the final berth into the Class 3A race at the University Interscholastic League’s cross country state championships Saturday in Round Rock.
“We got through it, but we did not perform very well,” said Decatur sophomore Taylor Clayton. “We thought we had it in hand and went into the race with the biggest heads. To have [the title] stripped from us hurt, but we still have a chance on the big stage.
“How a champion is defined is how they respond to adversity. We’re going to need to respond.”
Andrews claimed the Region I title with 115 points. Borger was second with 124, eight points ahead of Decatur.
“We learned a valuable lesson very cheap,” Decatur coach David Park said. “Any other sport, we’d be going home. Now, we need to take advantage of the lessons learned. I think you’ll see a whole new mindset this weekend.
“But like Tom Landry said, ‘the mark of a great team is when you could perform poorly and still accomplish the mission.’ And for them to perform poorly, it’s my fault for not having them ready.”
Jeff Weisheit of Venus won the individual title, running 15:44 in the blowing dust and 30-plus mph gusts on the 5K course. Andrews’ Lucas Martinez finished second in 15:51.
Clayton turned in Decatur’s top time, running 16:59 for 15th.
“Coming off the first hill, I jammed my quad,” Clayton said. “It gave me trouble the entire race.”
Daniel Smyers finished 23rd in 17:17. He was two spots and two seconds ahead of his brother, Michael.
Travis Kyle was 28th in 17:24. Remington May took 46th in 17:46 as the fifth Eagle finisher.
Brandon Rivera ran 17:47 for 49th, and Tyler Wilson 18:11 for 64th.
CLASS 3A BOYS
1. Andrews 115
2. Borger 124
3. Decatur 132
4. Clint 150
5. Perryton 159
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
1. Jeff Weisheit, Venus, 15:44
2. Lucas Marquez, Andrews, 15:51
3. Fabian Mercado, Perryton, 16:04
4. Kevin Nunez, Alvarado, 16:18
5. Gustavo Lugo, Big Spring, 16:20
6. Thomas King, Big Spring, 16:33
7. Xavier Fernandez, Andrews, 16:39
8. Ari Aquirre, Venus, 16:40
9. Cameron McLaughlin, Brownwood, 16:46
10. Trent McAnear, Pampa, 16:47
DECATUR INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
15. Taylor Clayton, 16:59 23. Daniel Smyers, 17:17
25. Michael Smyers, 17:19 28. Travis Kyle 17:24
46. Remington May, 17:46 49. Brandon Rivera, 17:47 64. Tyler Wilson, 18:11