Marquez makes top 20 finish

JACKSBORO— Olney High School sophomore cross country runner Anahi Marquez looks to continue building momentum during Saturday’s home meet following a top 20 finish at the Jacksboro Invitational.

Marquez finished the race 17th (14:23) out of 65 participants and credited her success to her sister, Marisol Marquez, who Anahi said forced her to keep a strong pace.

“I just push myself even more than I did last year,” Marquez said. “... My sister runs with me and she pushes me to get ahead. We kind of compete with each other just to push each other.”

Marquez also attributed her success to improving her nutrition program and recent changes to the team’s conditioning program. 

“I feel a lot better about my times since the first meet. I feel like we’re improving very well. It’s us conditioning the way [Coach Dickie Scott] keeps teaching us ... I’m seeing a lot of progress from my first race and this time I know I did a lot better.”

The Lady Cubs will next turn their attention to their home course for Saturday’s race and feels the team will benefit from a bit of homefield advantage.

“I feel good about the course. I think we’ll do well since we run it a lot,” Marquez said. “When you get done with the first mile, you really have to push it on the second because you get really tired.”

Marquez was not the only Lady Cub to find success last Saturday. Marisol Marquez finished  27th (14:52), Abbey Harrison finished 31st (15:06), Kodee Scott finished 38th (15:21) Baylee Young finished 46th (15:40) and Leslie Acuna finished 51st (16:06) to earn the Lady Cubs second place overall. Scott believes his team’s improved times bodes well for the rest of the season and believes the home course plays to his team’s strengths.

“It’s a flat course that is friendly,” Scott said. “There are not hills, it’s a change of scenery. It offers a bit more entertainment. They will do good. It’s a fast course. The main thing is that we do not have to get up at 6 in the morning. The girls can sleep in. That is the big deal, the amount of rest they will get the night before.

“In Jacksboro, we did really well. We made some changes in training about two weeks ago. We really saw it popping Saturday in Jacksboro ... My philosophy is let’s get better every week and try not to peak too quick.”

Saturday’s race is set to begin at 8 a.m.