State bound

Riley Parker makes her final push to the finish line to claim the last individual qualifying spot to the state cross country meet.

The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate cross country team finished eighth place overall in the 4A-Region IV cross country meet Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Jack A. Dugan Family Soccer and Track Stadium in Corpus Christi.

Sophomore Riley Parker finished 14th overall with a time of 12:52.85 and qualified for the last remaining individual spot to advance to the 4A State cross country meet.

Tuloso-Midway (TM), Bandera, and Wimberley advanced to the state meet as the top three overall team finishers. Parker will advance individually with nine other runners to represent Region IV in the state meet.

Parker is the first Lady Pirate cross country runner to qualify for the state meet since 2007.

RFHS Head Girls Cross Country Coach Alvira Blue-Roberts said Parker told her before the race she was going to qualify, and did just that.

“I told her, ‘Well, you have to run a good race.’ And that’s what she did,” said Blue-Roberts. “I’m proud of her, and now we’re going to the show.”

Parker was excited she qualified and said it’s a good feeling to know the hard work she put in won’t go unnoticed.

“You put in so much work and to actually see it pay off is really nice,” said Parker. “It’s really nice to have the 30 miles a week pay off and to actually have proof that, ‘I did this, I put in the work, and I’m going to state.’”

While grateful, Parker is still holding herself to a high standard, saying she would still like to place top 10 in the state meet.

RFHS placed eighth overall out of 15 teams with a score of 228. TM, the Region IV team champion, finished with a score of 60 points.

Emilee Sturgeon was RFHS’ second top runner. She finished 49th overall with a time of 13:59.

Marian Almada was RFHS’ third top runner. She finished 55th overall with a time of 14:09.71.

Angela Coronado finished 81st overall with a time of 14:39, Jordan Garza finished 103rd overall with a time of 15:20, Hannah Burney finished 107th overall with a time of 15:27, and Laila Flowers finished 124th overall with a time of 18:40.

Parker will run at the state meet at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24 at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.

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