Cross country runners running in district meet

Pete Garcia, Alice Echo-News Journal

In the random jibberish and playful conversation that takes place while Alice High School's cross country runners were stretching during practice Wednesday, Miguel Zarate asked his teammates, "Have you ever noticed that everyone who's fast has a cool name? Like Steve Prefontaine. Like…"

Just then and just before Zarate could give another example of a "cool" name, someone blurted out, "Joiner."

"What about Joiner?" said first-year cross country runner Michael Joiner.

The Alice High School senior could have been referring to the Olympic gold medal winning Joyner family, but with the way Joiner's been running, most likely, he was talking about himself.

Nicknamed "Cheeto" because of his red hair, Joiner has consistently been the fastest cross country runner on the Alice High School boys team, and the main reason the team is among the favorite to win the District 31-4A championship Saturday morning at Corpus Christi's West Guth Park.

At last week's Texas Lutheran University Invitational, Joiner turned in Alice's best time and placed 24th. He also led the Alice boys to a fifth-place finish out of 19 teams, the best finish of any of the 31-4A teams, which were in the meet.

Joiner was closely followed by teammate Ryan Cadena. As a junior, Joiner was a member of the regional-qualifying Alice track and field team.

The following are Alice’s projected varsity runners for Saturday's District 31-4A meet:

Alice Boys

Michael Joiner, Sr.

Ryan Cadena, Jr.

Bo DeLeon, Soph.

Miguel Zarate, Jr.

Andrew Munoz, Soph.

Chris Lopez, Sr.

Alice Girls

Felisha Salinas, Soph.

Celina Huestibm Sr.

Andrea Diaz, Soph.

Kassandra Rodriguez, Sr.

Lilly Ramirez, Soph.

Samantha Smithwick, Soph.

Chelsy Sendejo, Soph.