HS Cross Country: Andrews boys prepare for 9th straight state appearance

ANDREWS, Tx (KOSA) -- The UIL State Cross Country Meet will be held this weekend, but for one area team, the trip to Austin is nothing new. The Andrews boys qualified to run at state for an incredible ninth year in a row.

“It’s become a tradition,” senior runner Jasson Marquez said. “And just like anything you hate to be that team or that person to end the streak. So it just makes you that much more motivated to keep the streak alive.”

Marquez and fellow senior Derik Lujan know all about what it takes to get back to state. Saturday’s meet will be the fourth trip for each of them.

“We’ve already had two state runner-ups,” Lujan said. “We had one my freshman year and one this past year as a junior. This year I’m looking to have a gold [medal] as well.”

Coach Wade Floyd is in his third year at Andrews, and knew his job was to keep the cross country powerhouse running.

“When you come into a position that has multiple state qualifying teams, it’s a completely different pressure,” Floyd said. “But I feel like it was easy for me to step into, not because of anything I was doing, but what the program has done and the kids’ mentality and determination to make that a yearly trip.”

Floyd and the runners said one thing that makes this team special is its depth.

“We ran last Monday at Lubbock,” Floyd said, “And our #7 runner was 25 seconds faster than any other team’s #6 runner.”

Those seven runners -- Marquez, Lujan, Matthew Villareal, Greg Gonzalez, Devan Lujan, Ambrosio Mendez, and Damian Trevino -- will look to out-run the Andrews teams that came before them.

“This team we just have that next level to work hard,” Marquez said. “We’re never satisfied with our times. We’re never satisfied with just being team champions at a meet. We’re always looking to improve. I believe we can all do great things on Saturday.”