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Cross Country: Bulls break through

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, October 25, 2017
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On to State

ON TO STATE – The Bridgeport Bulls – Jose Huerta, Javier Huerta, Salvador Garcia, coach Dallas Taylor, Eric Aguilar, Manuel Garcia, Nathaniel Phillips and Rigo Alvarez – finished fourth at regionals to earn a state bid. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Entering the final 100 meters of Monday’s 4A Region II 5K, Bridgeport’s Salvador Garcia gave a final kick to get to the finish line.

He finished fifth in 16:37.

“I was trying to keep my spot on the final straight-away. I didn’t want to risk one point,” the senior said.

Each point turned out to be critical for the now statebound Bridgeport Bulls. With Salvador Garcia leading the way, Bridgeport snagged fourth place and the final state spot. Bridgeport finished 113 points – three better than district rival Decatur.

“To make it [to state] as a team shows the pure dedication,” Salvador Garcia, who is making his third trip to state and first as a team. “It was great to go with a couple of friends. To go with the whole team means a lot.”

Duelling Brothers

DUELING BROTHERS – Bridgeport seniors Salvador and Manuel Garcia push each other during the 4A Region II race. Salvador finished fifth and Manuel eighth. Photo courtesy Chance Kirby

Salvador and his brother Manuel Garcia started fast and stayed near the front the entire race. Manuel Garcia pushed into the lead around the first mile mark.

“I had a great start. It’s probably what killed me at the end,” Manuel Garcia said. “I shouldn’t have [taken the lead].”

Manuel Garcia held on to finish eighth in 16:54.

Salvador Garcia passed him in the second mile and continued to push his way toward the front just behind 9-4A champion Bryson Bassinger of Sanger.

Kaufman’s Christian Rivera took over the race shortly after the first mile and went on to win in 15:49. He finished 10 seconds ahead of Melissa freshman Judson Greer.

Bridgeport senior Eric Aguilar was in the top 10 in the first mile. He didn’t fall back far over the last two miles. Aguilar finished 15th in 17:10.

“I tried to pick it up. It was hard, and I had to push through it,” Aguilar said.

Rigo Alvarez took 30th in 17:27. Senior Nathaniel Phillips put Bridgeport on its way to Round Rock, finishing 65th in 18:14 as the fifth Bull to cross the finish line.

“It’s great to finally be able to go to state as a senior after going to regionals four times and falling just short,” Phillips said.

Javier Huerta finished 87th in 18:41 and Jose Huerta 105th in 19:07.

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