The Decatur Eagles and Lady Eagles will both begin the season ranked in the top 5.
The Lady Eagles were picked as the No. 2 team behind top-ranked La Vernia in the Class 3A Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas’ preseason poll. College Station came in at No. 3.
The Decatur girls return all their runners from a third-place finish at state a year ago. They have reached the winners circle five consecutive years.
“Getting ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls is a show of respect from the previous year,” Decatur coach David Park said. “Nobody really knows. We are tickled to be there and we feel we can race with anybody between here and the end of the season. This is just the starting line.”
Haley Dennard is also off to a good start after joining the Lady Eagles for her senior season.
“She is running really well,” Park said. “She’s running up there with Nicole [Neighbors]. Overall as a team we are faster at this point than we were last year.”
The defending state champion Decatur boys begin their season ranked third in the state. Alvarado captured the top spot with District 9-3A rival Sanger coming in at No. 2.
The Eagles lost three seniors off last year’s squad. Park is still trying to fill those final three roles for his top seven runners.
“I’m excited about the ones we’ve got coming up,” Park said.
Decatur began the 2013 season Friday night competing in the Class 5A race at Lewisville Hebron.