Presidio school runners earn accolades

PRESIDIO — In sports competitions, Presidio students continue to make waves.

First, at a state cross-country meet in Round Rock last weekend, the Presidio Blue Devils Cross Country team qualified for the UIL State Cross Country Championships.

With a total of 150 runners and 16 teams, it was the fastest cross-country meet since 2014, according to a news release from Presidio Independent School District.

Marco Rey, the 2019 varsity district champion, finished with a time of 15:49 — beating a school record and his own personal best record of 16:17. He’s the first cross-country male athlete to win a medal in a state competition. He finished in fifth place, breaking the previous best place finish from 2016. (That year, Jesse Ortiz won 11th.)

The team itself finished in fifth place, with five runners scoring personal best times.

“There is nothing else we could have asked from these athletes,” Marco Lujan, a school sports coach, stated in a news release. “We are very proud of these young men.”

In the release, he also thanked seniors Emiliano Valenzuela and Angel Leyva for “running with a lot of heart and pride” and “being great role models.”

Lujan did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The varsity girls team also participated in the meet, where they finished in eighth place. Daniela Valenzuela, a senior, finished with a personal best time just under 12:45.

“It was a season of great accomplishments,” Coach Alonzo Samaniego said in an email — noting that team was district champions for the third straight year and was one of the top three in the region.

“Please congratulate these girls on an outstanding season,” Samaniego wrote.