United High School sophomore preparing for State Cross Country meet

Last year, Valerie Garcia had an impressive time of 19 minutes and 24 seconds at the state championships
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 9:37 AM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) -They say everything is bigger in Texas and that was certainly the case for high school cross country runners who recently competed at the regional 5A and 6A Cross Country Championships.

Out of those who qualified to compete from Laredo, one got their ticket punched to advance to state.

This wasn’t the first rodeo for United High School runner Valerie Garcia, she competed along with her teammates but this year it will be a little different as she competes individually.

Garcia says, “Making it to state the place I got was really good considering how I did my sophomore year I wasn’t expecting the top ten.”

Just last year, Garcia had an impressive time of 19 minutes and 24 seconds at the state championships.

Both Garcia and her Coach Benavides know how difficult it can be to qualify for state individually.

Benavides says, “It’s extremely difficult you really do have to be top 10 but I mean in these situations It makes it even harder.”

He said this year the pandemic made it even harder because only the top three teams at regionals qualify to state versus four teams in the past years.

Garcia didn’t let the pandemic get in her way though. Coach Benavides says he is proud of how consistent she has been week in and week out.

Looking onto the championships next week, he knows Garcia will do well.

Garcia, Laredo’s lone qualifier stepping up for the state race showing Texas that there is talent and speed along the southern border.

Garcia is just glad she can finish her senior year knowing she gave it all she can.

The state championship competition is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24 in Round Rock, Texas.

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