Coyotes cross country runner heads to regionals

Pete Garcia, Alice Echo-News Journal

Three Alice High School runners finished the District 31-4A cross country meet in the top 10 and that combined with a handful of other strong individual efforts gave the Coyotes their first boys district title in more than 10 years.

The Alice boys won the District 31-4A championship Saturday morning at Corpus Christi's West Guth Park.

Senior Michael Joiner fueled Alice's charge Saturday with a third-place finish. His time of 16:59 was his best of the season on the West Guth Park course.

Michael Zarate was sixth with a time of 17:26. Sophomore Bo DeLeon placed sixth with a time of 17:29. Alice's other three runners included Chris Lopez, 12; Ryan Cadena, 20; and SooIn Ma, 24.

"They looked very good," Alice cross country coach Liza Almaraz said. "They're very excited. They just ran so well."

In the team standings, Alice finished ahead of second-place Robstown and third-place Calallen.

In the girls' division, sophomore Felisha Salinas advance to the regional meet individually by placing seventh. The top 10 individual finishers advance to the regional meet.

Salinas' finished helped the Alice girls place fourth in the team standings.

The Region IV-4A meet is Saturday at the University of Texas-San Antonio campus.

The Alice boys competed in the regional meet last year after placing third in the district meet. The team finished last year's district meet tied for third, but advance via a tiebreaker.