SPORTS HEADLINES

Cross Country is all in the family

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, November 3, 2012

{{{*}}}Decatur is taking sibling rivalries to a whole new level.

READY TO RUN – Decatur coach David Park will have three sets of siblings competing at the regional cross country meet Saturday. They include brother and sister Travis and Jessica Kyle along with twins Daniel and Michael Smyers and Georgina and Paola Palomo. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

When the Decatur cross country teams take the course Saturday, three sets of siblings, including two sets of twins, will be helping the Eagles try to advance to the state meet in Round Rock.

Twins Michael and Daniel Smyers along with Georgina and Paola Palomo will join brother and sister, Travis and Jessica Kyle.

It’s a unique situation that even long-time Decatur coach David Park had never seen.

“I’ve had a lot of cross country teams here, and in Keller, but I’ve never had three sets of brother and sister combinations on the varsity,” Park said. “[Including the junior varsity] We have six on the whole team.”

The Eagles and Lady Eagles will be on the course at 10:25 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. competing in the Class 3A Region II meet at Vandergriff Park in Arlington.

Away from the sporting venue, most brothers and sisters fight over the smallest things, but this group puts those things aside when they hit the course. They aren’t trying to beat each other as much as they are trying to push each other.

“Off the course we fight a little bit,” senior Travis Kyle said about his sister. “But it has been cool to watch her grow and excel on the course as a freshman.”

Jessica Kyle added: “We support each other when we run. It’s cool to watch him get better with his team.”

Travis had to hear about it after the district meet when she finished second and he finished seventh.

The rivalry is a little bit more intense for the twins, who have to compete against each other in every race.

“It’s not too big, but it’s sort of there because it’s brother against brother,” Daniel Smyers said about the rivalry. “I kind of get mad if he doesn’t do better than me, because I know he can.”

Parks says that competitiveness against each other is usually a good way for them to feed off each other, and motivate the other.

“There is always that little bit of competitiveness to beat your brother or your sister,” Park said. “If one has a good race, you don’t see the other one having a bad race. They seem to step up at the same time.”

If Decatur continues to see the success they’ve seen in the past, then both teams have a great chance of advancing to the state meet.

“It would be awesome for us to both go past regional and on to state,” Travis Kyle said. “It would be kind of a Cinderella story for us both to go to state.”

The state meet is nothing Decatur isn’t used to, and Park feels good about another run. The Eagles are looking really strong after a dominating performance at the district meet, and the Lady Eagles will be back at full strength with sophomore Nicole Neighbors back after a hamstring injury.

“I feel good about our teams,” Park said. “The commitment and consistency are going to be confidence builders. I know that they know they are ready. Main thing we need to do is just go out and run our race – and let the rest take care of itself.”

WISE COUNTY REGIONAL CROSS COUNTRY QUALIFIERS

GIRLS

ALVORD

Clara Breashears … 13:08
Ariel Rogers … 13:24
Savannah Williams … 13:59
Marissa Schedcik … 14:10
Lauren Hart … 14:25
Cory Schlomach … 15:13
Sarah Nichols … 15:32

DECATUR

Jessica Kyle … 12:28
Paola Palomo … 12:34
Georgina Palomo … 12:39
Nancy Torres … 12:42
Morgan Haney … 13:17
Hope Fuller … 13:26
Lluvia Ramos … 13:36

NORTHWEST

Kellee McCann … 18:13
Katherine Chavez … 18:14
Taylor Bohr … 19:42
Ivy Diefenbach … 20:18
Sydney Benes … 20:30
Micah Soloman … 20:39
Deserae Kirkland … 21:28

PARADISE

Bailey Sides … 13:11
Ashley Sparks … 13:16
Emily Corbin … 13:20
Kaylee McConnell … 13:22
Emily Brinson … 13:24
Makayla Neighbors … 13:34
Aliyah Read … 14:30

SLIDELL

Caitlin Pruett
Lacey Edge
Kylie Franklin
Caitlin Ward
Fernanda Martinez
Nicol Verdugo

BOYS

BOYD

Marco Martinez … 18:09
Aaron Hammett … 19:10
Blake Rhuman … 19:43
Josh Singleton … 20:32
Cameron Hammett … 20:33
Eric Esquivel … 21:36
Isaac Vang … 22:39

DECATUR

Taylor Clayton … 16:01
Daniel Smyers … 16:51
Michael Smyers … 16:57
Austin Poole … 16:58
Travis Kyle … 17:35
Brandon Rivera … 17:44
Joaquin Aldape … 18:21

NORTHWEST

Zach Kirkland … 16:11

SLIDELL

Jarrett Tinsman
Khristian Talamantes
Jessie Bowen
Gracjan Pietryka
Colton Perkins
Heyden Crane
Dustin Davis

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