More than 20 different schools from around the state descended upon the St. Pius X campus for its annual Cinco XC Cross Country Challenge. First year Head Coach Harold Zuni brought down five runners to represent Socorro during the event.
The course was 2.75 miles long and began on the main Fighting Sartans field. From there athletes of all age classes took off around the school with the toughest challenge being the long winding dirt field track just north of the private institution. Hundreds of parents and fans lined the final stretch of the course that brought competitors across the finish line where all team tents were set up.
Former Head Coach Alex Johnson stepped away from coaching duties after taking over as SHS Athletic Director. Harold Zuni stepped in late this summer with his son sophomore Hunter Zuni being part of the team.
“We’ve got a small team here,” Zuni said. “But they’re a resilient team and work hard. We came out here to play with the big boys in Albuquerque. We wanted to be here and show them what Socorro can do. It was a late start in the season and there wasn’t a lot of practice time. But these guys are all dedicated and I love having the chance to coach them. With the ability and potential these runners have we can make a go at winning district. I’d like to take home a cross country trophy for Socorro.”
St. Pius X coach Jeff Turcotte was running the finish line, constantly having to use the loudspeaker to navigate the distracted crowd crossing along the course while also handing out trophies and medals for athletes during the staggered structured run which began early in the afternoon with Socorro starting its main competition at 4 p.m.
As of press time, final times for the multitude of athletes have not been finalized. You will be able to find race times in the coming week on athletics.com. This was the second invitational for the Warriors after its opening Fort Stanton invite in Capitan where they were topped as a team by Silver City in their grouping. Their final three meets will take place at Laguna-Acoma, East Mountain and Rio Rancho. The 3A Cross Country State Championships will finish the season off in Rio Rancho on November 9.