Rubio, Betanzos win individual gold at 19-6A championships

By Tyler Tyre, Times Sports Editor
Posted 10/12/21

“It felt really good to win because three years ago as a freshman I got first place in the freshman race,” Rubio said. “That feeling of finishing my senior year off by winning district was really good.”

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Rubio, Betanzos win individual gold at 19-6A championships

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Isabella Rubio and Ruben Rojas Betanzos went both went into Tuesday’s District 19-6A cross country meet with one goal.

Win a district championship.

The two runners had consistently placed high in their respective meets this year and both came into the meet confident.

Both met their goals, as Katy’s Rubio and Seven Lakes’ Betanzos went on to win gold at the meet, with Rojas coming in 17 seconds faster than any other runner and Betanzos outpacing his nearest competitor by 22 seconds.

“It’s really my teammates that have got me here,’ Betanzos said. “I’ve had amazing teammates throughout my four years. Every year I’ve had really good teammates that have helped me.”

Rubio was motivated by the fast start by some of her competitors, and continued to stay the pace with them, eventually passing and taking the lead.

“I wanted to go out there and stick with whoever was in front,” Rubio said. “I was actually surprised by who was in front in the beginning, but I was like, just stick with her, don’t lose her. I just kept pushing and eventually got in front. I didn’t really have a strategy, I just wanted to get out there and run.”

Betanzos finished with a time of 15-minutes, 39.3 seconds, while Rubio had a time of 18-minutes, 23 seconds.

Betanzos, who finished seventh at last year’s district meet, improved his time from last year by over 22 seconds and credited the result to hard work.

Rubio, who finished fifth last year, was happy she was able to win her final district meet as a senior.

“It felt really good to win because three years ago as a freshman I got first place in the freshman race,” Rubio said. “That feeling of finishing my senior year off by winning district was really good.”

The top three teams and top 10 runners overall advanced to the Region III-6A meet at Kate Barr Ross Memorial Park in Huntsville on Oct. 25.

On the boys side, Tompkins claimed its fourth district championship in five years while Seven lakes and Mayde Creek also advanced. Cinco Ranch won the district team title on the girls side for the second straight year while Katy took second and Seven Lakes finished third.

“My strategy was to go out hard and try and tire out some other guys,” Betanzos said “We knew that Tompkins, Mayde Creek and Cinco all had good teams, so if I could go out hard and take some of those guys and make them go at my pace, then our guys could come in later on and beat them with their late kicks. That was the strategy, and I think it worked. Our No. 2 Reese Sullivan ran really well today and had a big part in that.”

Both Rubio and Betanzos are going to enjoy their victories, but have bigger goals in mind than the regional meet.

“I want to try and get in the top three again the way I did last year,” Rubio said. “Hopefully I can get first, I’m just going to keep training and get good sleep and prepare for that day so I can be at my best.”

“the nice thing is that it’s too the point where and I’ve worked hard enough to where I feel like this is a steppingstone for me,” Betanzos said. “My main goal is to get to state and challenge for a state championship there.”

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