Last week, Sealy cross country coach Anthony Branch stressed he would try to change up the team’s practice techniques to better improve pace and times and it seems to have paid off.
The Tigers ran in the Cardinal Invitational meet held at Bellaire High School on Saturday, Sept. 30. The girls finished sixth overall out of 19 teams while the boys finished seventh out of 22.
Sophomore Trinity Hall and freshman Madison Manak set personal records in the two mile with times of 14:40 and 14:52 respectively.
Sophomore James Gassiott ran the 5k in 18:12 while junior Nahhol Ahmed ran a time of 19:13 which was a personal record. Sophomore Colby Kendricks finished at 19:52.
“I thought the kids ran some good times, a lot of them either set personal records or got close to them,” Branch said. “No matter what you run, we’re going to find a positive and look at what went great and what went right and eventually your mindset will be nothing but positive.”
The invitational was Sealy’s last regular meet before heading into the district meet which will be held on Oct. 10 at Brookshire. Branch said the time off will give the team some much needed rest heading into the final stretch of their season.
“Friday we’ll do a team breakfast that the church is doing for us so we won’t run then we’ll get our final workday in on Saturday but then they get two full days off so that should help keep their legs fresh,” Branch said.
Branch said he is confident the team has been training enough to do well in the meet. Part of the changes he implemented in practices recently was cutting the workload back to help keep the runners well-rested and their legs fresh.
As for how the young team will handle the meet mentally, Branch said he has no concerns with that.
“What we’ve done has prepared us and the biggest thing is we can’t focus on the other teams and what they have and don’t have,” Branch said. “We have to focus on ourselves and just worry about the positives on it.”
After the district meet, the team’s next competition will be the regional meet on Oct. 23 in Corpus Christi.