Cross Country: Eagles fall short of state bid

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, October 25, 2017
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Fighting to Finish

FIGHTING TO FINISH – Decatur senior Sergio Sanchez battled to a 27th-place finish in the 4A Region II race. Decatur finished fifth as a team. Photo courtesy Chance Kirby

With senior lead runner Alan Rangel hobbled with an injury, the Decatur Eagles couldn’t close the gap on the competition Monday.

The Eagles’ hopes of making a return to the state meet fell three points short. Decatur finished fifth with 116 points in the Region II 4A race.

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t advance as a team. We lost our No. 1 and still were nearly the first team with five in,” said Decatur coach David Park. “Our other five guys really stepped it up. The fact we got fifth is a story that will get lost.”

Melissa won the region title with 62 and was the only team to get its fifth runner across the finish line before Decatur.

Center finished second with 105, Kaufman third with 110 and Bridgeport fourth with 113.

Decatur will be sending a pair of individuals to state – Matthew Ashmore and Gabriel Embree.

Ashmore ran 17:11 on the 5K course to finish 17th. He moved up a few spots in the final 500 meters.

“I always save a little energy for the end,” he said. “I wanted to get that last point.

Embree finished 24th in 17:17 to grab the final individual advancing spot.

“I started off farther back and made up more ground,” Embree said. “It’s amazing [to go to state]. I wish I could bring the team as well. It’s what we’ve worked for all summer and fall.”

Charlie Doubrava took 26th in 17:23 with Sergio Sanchez a spot and second behind him. Christian Isaac was the Eagles’ fifth runner in 31st in 17:30.

Triston Read was 35th in 17:37. Rangel finished 166th in 21:02.

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