Runners from Sundown and San Saba compete at the 2017 UIL 2A stat cross country meet
The UIL 2A girls has evolved into an exciting battle over the last couple of years. This year figures to be another exciting race when the state meet rolls a round.
Sundown is the defending two time state champion. Last year they were running with out their graduated #1 and #2runners Andrea Sanchez and Hannah Jenkins. However, that didn't slow down Sundown! They had a team full of underclassmen step up and continue what they learned to do from their predecessors.
San Saba has had a young team recently as well. In 2016, they were third when Sundown won the first of their consecutive titles. Last year, they were on upset alert and the state race and it really looked like it was going to happen.
San Saba had returned two girls from 2016 that placed in the top ten individually with Kaleigh Ellis (2nd) and Kylee Eckermann (10th). They led the Lady Dillos again last year, but their individual performances weren't as strong as they finished 12th and 13th overall.
San Saba improved from 3rd place in 2016 to 2nd place in 2017, but shirts that say "Not Satisfied" tells a lot about their 2018 goal
Yet, while San Saba would watch and wait for their #5 runner to come in, they would see a barrage of Sundown jerseys come in one after another. What looked like a clear and evident win for San Saba would see a clear change in momentum that seemed almost impossible at the time.
Right behind Cash's finish would be Ashlyn Peralta, the #1 runner for Sundown in 16th place. Then in the 21 and 22 spots, Rebecca Kenley and Alyzah Mcglasson would cross leading to Karigen Garza and Kadince Garza in the 27 and 40 spots.
Sundown runners helped their team to a second straight 2A team title with an awesome 23 second 1-5 split
What was a 20 second point of jubilation period for San Saba when their 1-4 runners came in quickly turned into a one minute and twenty nine seconds of a painstaking watch party for their #5 to come in. Meanwhile, Sundown's tornado like hit of a 23 second 1-5 split closed the door on their second straight UIL 2A girls title as well as the hopes of a state title for San Saba.
San Saba would improve on their 2016 third place finish to climb one spot on the award stand to second.
How will 2018 turn out? Will it be as dramatic and exciting as 2017?
It is very possible as both teams return their entire line ups. There is no doubt both squads are out there somewhere in the hot Texas sun preparing for that one specific race come November 3, 2018.
San Saba sports t-shirts with 11:00, the time of the UIL 2A state girls race on November 3rd
Well, San Saba wants to climb one more spot up the award stand and if Sundown doesn't give it away, the only other avenue is to take it, but can it be done?
The only chance San Saba has is to improve. We know Ellis and Eckermann have the talent as they displayed in 2016. Eckermann, who is still recovering from an ACL injury is slowly working her way back and looks to be rounding out nicely, but how is that going to get it done against a team as strong as Sundown?
Only time will tell and it looks like San Saba knows the only way to the top is through Sundown and it is definitely on their minds.
Be sure to stay tune as the drama will unfold in Round Rock on November 3, 2018 at 11:00 am.