Perez turns in personal best at Elkins
ELKINS -- Berryville's Oliver Perez needed a good performance Saturday at Elkins to shake off hitting a wall in last week's cross country meet at Shiloh Christian.
In that race, Perez fell to the ground with 100 yards left and did not cross the finish line. He vowed after the event that he would be back, stronger and faster.
He accomplished that goal this past Saturday at Elkins, turning in a personal-best 16:51.3, crossing the finish line first in 3A-4A competition and third overall with only two 6A-7A runners ahead.
Perez led the Bobcats to a team win as well as Elijah Smith was fourth, Luke Mock was seventh, Dylan Holman was 15th and Mario Diaz was 34th. Berryville coach Andrew Killingsworth said the Cats would not have won with Diaz's performance.
"Mario was in the number five spot and ran what was probably one of the bravest runs I've ever seen" he said. "He told me afterward he almost dropped out of the race due to a twisted ankle. He pressed through it and we wouldn't have won without his impressive last mile finish."
The Lady Cats placed third overall with Misty Rhymer finishing sixth. Kayla Gonzalez was 13th, Margie Tom finished 15th, Melanie Beristain was 20th and Gail Cisco 24th.
"The girls have been plagued with injuries unrelated to running," Killingsworth said. "It has greatly affected their ability to compete. Still, they were third overall and three came home with medals. Misty Rhymer lead the team.
Kayla Gonzalez had a gutsy race coming off of an injury.
And Margie Tom showed her spirit by kicking it in at the end and narrowly clenching a medal."
Eureka Springs' Nathan Andress and Edan Randolph took first place in the 1A-3A event. Andress finished in 17:27.9 while Randolph finished in 21:44.8 for the Lady Highlanders. Andress led five Highlanders to the line in the top 20 with Jake McClung in third, Ryan Sanchez in sixth, Mathew McClung in ninth and Juan Luis Palacios in 18th.
Randolph was the lone Lady Highlander.
Gabriel Ramos led Green Forest with a time of 18:45.3, good for seventh place overall. Gavin Nelson was 10th, Rhett Williamson was 15th, Alex Lafarga was 16th and David Nelson was 17th.
For the Lady Tigers, Celeste Lemus led the way with a ninth-place finish while Jocelyn Perez finished 10th, Kristin Youngblood finished 15th, Magali Rivera 17th and Mabelin Hernandez 19th.
"They ran well for their first meet.," Green Forest coach Bradley James said. "I enjoyed watching them. I think it worked out the way I thought. A couple of guys surprised me, a couple of freshmen. It was nice to see them do that."
Green Forest runs again today at Heber Springs.
"I am excited to see them get better," "We will see in a couple of months if we can get faster for the state meet."