Cross Country team excited for season prospects

Newcomers and returners shaping team for success

By Chris Cole
On September 18, 2015

The cross country team is now setting its sights upon the Lone Star Conference Championship coming up Oct. 26.

Head Cross Country Coach James Reid said he is looking forward to what’s ahead for the team.

“Any time we line up to race every one of our team members wants to be number one for us,” Reid said. “That’s the kind of attitude we need to have, because if everybody’s trying to be number one then we’re going to be pushing each other and our gap time is going to get better.”

The team began their season at the McMurry Invitational held in Abilene, Texas on Sept. 3. The women’s cross country team placed second and the men’s team came in sixth.

The Rambelles tallied 75 points and had two top ten finishes. The Rams scored 125 points. South Plains won the men’s title with 31 points and Abilene Christian won the women’s team title with a score of 15. This marks the beginning of the season for the Rams and Rambelles and Head Coach James Reid is optimistic about his teams.

“We have a newcomer freshman Devitt Smetana from Veribest,” Reid said. “We’re excited about him and we have a couple of other freshmen in that group and a couple of returners. The guys’ team is going to be solid because they have an opportunity to run real close together. The shorter the gap time between runners, the more points we’re going to score.”

Smetana has done cross country and track throughout high school and junior high. Smentana, who placed eleventh at the McMurry invitation, considers his best contribution to the team to be a charismatic contribution.

“I like to try and be a leader,” Smentana said. “You can’t always be, but I like to try to be. I like to help pick up the team when our times are getting down. Morale and charisma are important and we want to go as far as we can this season.”

Coach Reid also praised his top five runners for the Rambelles: Candida Chairez, Kamie Halfmann, Claudia Ramirez, Kelsey Warren and Chastity King.

“On the women’s side we have a strong leader in Chairez coming back for her senior campaign,” Coach Reid said. “She was an all-conference runner last year and has regional meet experience at the NCAA level, so we’re excited about what she’s been able to do to this point. She opened the year well ahead of where we were last year.”

Halfmann is a sophomore and has been with the cross country team for a year now and placed ninth in the invitational.

“I was really surprised at how well I did,” Halfmann said. “We’re pretty upbeat right now. We’re trying to stay healthy and make it to the conference meet healthy.”

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