Business as usual for Lopez at state meet

Photo from San Marcos Athletics

San Marcos Boys Cross Country

From the outside looking in, no one understands the countless amount of hours that go into an athlete perfecting their craft, especially when one comes just short of their goal.

It has been a year since junior cross country runner Anthony Lopez came up short in qualifying for the state meet. On Oct. 23 last weekend, San Marcos traveled to Grand Prairie and raced in the Region II 6A cross country championships.

San Marcos had a strong outing with Lopez leading the Rattlers in the 5K course. The 16:24, 25th-place finish earned Lopez an individual spot in the state championships on Saturday.

“(Last year) was a close call but it felt great to know I made it in this time,” Lopez said. “Because all summer I’ve just been working at it, so it feels good.”

Cross country coach Michael Morris complemented Lopez for his hard work and dedication to committing to his goal. Anthony consistently set his personal record at the 5K distance all season long. The 16:34 time he recorded on the Grand Prairie course was his second best of the season and 30 seconds faster than his time in the same race last year.

“This comes from a lot of hard work that Anthony started in the summer,” Morris said. “His goal at the end of last cross country season was to make it to the state meet this season and he really dedicated himself more to his running.”

While success comes with recognition, Lopez and his team are staying focused on the task at hand. It has been business as usual for Morris’ group of runners during training this week. Staying focused has been the goal, but it goes without saying that the support of ‘Rattler Nation’ is with Lopez.

“(The support) feels great,” Lopez said. “I know this race is a big deal but I’m going in there relaxed, ready and focused. I know that I should be able to go out and put up some big numbers.”

The state championship is scheduled for  Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Round Rock at Old Settlers Park.

San Marcos Daily Record

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