Like athletes in any sport, runners can also feel the effects of a long layoff. The H.M. King cross country teams aren’t exempt and have been shaking off the cob webs of a two-week hiatus from competition.

The Brahmas boys and girls team were to have ran the Falfurrias Jersey meet Sept. 13, but because of Hurricane Ike, the invitation was cancelled leaving both squads with a full week off.

An open date followed last weekend and extended the Brahmas’ leave of absence to two full weeks.

"Due to Hurricane Ike we didn’t travel to Falfurrias or San Antonio for the UTSA meet," head cross country coach Nilda Garcia said. "That left us with two weeks of nothing, but both teams have been training hard during that time to stay on top."

Knowing they had to keep their condition and competitive edge, Garcia and assistant coach David Brock had the teams working at full steam during the 14-day span, and just in time. This weekend, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders meet awakened the slumbering Brahmas to the tune of some good competition.

"The A&M-Corpus Christi meet is a big event for us because there are some very good programs in the Dallas-Forth Worth area that compete," Garcia said. "We like going against good programs because that helps us become better."

The Islanders’ run was at West Guth Park in Corpus Christi. It’s a course the Brahmas are all well to familiar with having competed at once and many times in past years.

"Although the layoff will hurt us a bit, the fact that we have run West Guth many times should help us," Garcia said. "The advantage for us is we’re familiar with the terrain and when and how to hit the hills in the course…our runners feel very comfortable running at West Guth."

The Brahmas’ cross country has had large numbers in previous seasons, but this year are a relatively small program. The boy’s team is seven deep while the girl’s team consists of only two members.

That’s no problem for Garcia, whose girl runners consistently finish in the top 10 and top 20 in meets.

"We’re small, but it’s been good for us," Garcia said. "The girls have been doing well and the boys take turns leading each other…they’re very competitive.”

The recent change in weather has also been beneficial, according to the Brahmas, leader.

"Both teams have also been improving on their times and I think it’s been because of the cool weather we’ve had lately," Garcia added.

The Brahmas next meet is Saturday, Oct. 4, again at West Guth Park in Corpus Christi, at the C.C. Carroll Tigers meet. Their final regular season meet is Oct. 11 at C.C. Calallen. The District 31-4A meet is Nov. 1 hosted by C.C. Tuloso-Midway and is also at West Guth Park.