Center High School runners Bryan Ruiz and Celia Gonzalez topped the Rider finishers on Saturday at the 14th Annual Davy Crockett Invitational cross country meet as the team continues to build toward next month's district competition.
Ruiz led the Roughriders with a 16th overall finish at the competition, while teammate Jose Tello came in 26th.
Daniel Woodhatch also competed for the Center boys' varsity.
In the varsity girls' competition, Gonzalez posted the 17th-best finish, while teammate Elizabeth Bailey wasn't too far behind in 19th place.
Other runners for the Center varsity girls were Maria Tello and Jessica Soto.
The Center junior varsity boys team posted a second-place overall finish in its division. The team competing at the meet consisted of: Luis Perez, who placed third; Eric Gonzalez, coming in 9th; along with Ian Moore and Ren Evans, Jay Berry and Jaylon McCollister, who were battling in their first-ever meets.
The Center junior varsity girls were represented by runners Brianna Suell-Nash and Estefany Robledo.
"I'm so proud of all the kids and the way they competed this weekend," said Center cross country coach Donna Shannon. "The junior varsity boys did an excellent job considering many of them had never competed before. It just goes to show how well athletes can do when they work hard and give it their all.
"There was a lot of good competition at the meet and that will just continue to help us get better and better throughout the season as we get ready for district later on."
The Center runners will be back in action on Saturday when they compete in the Helping Hands 5K in Nacogdoches.
Center teams will also be once again hosting a meet when athletes from all over East Texas participate in the Rider Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 24.
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