For Sunray High School student-athlete Katelyn Hernandez, being named to the all-state cross-country team for class 2A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association is such an honor, and she feels it is a testament to her hard work through the year.
Hernandez is currently a junior at Sunray High School and has been involved in cross-country all three years. She also participates in track and basketball at SHS, and is involved in the National Honor Society.
Hernandez attended state last year and this year in cross-country. Hernandez came in 22nd last year and recorded a time of 12:37.21. This year, she placed 42nd with a time of 13:05.93.
Reed is on the all-state committee for track. Time is not the only thing considered for all-state team selection. She said in order to be considered for state, the committee looks at a student's academic contributions, his or her athletic performance, awards received, coach's comments, and overall presence in the sport. It is similar for cross-country.
Only 40 were chosen out of the many participants at state to be selected for the all-state team.
"All I can do is put her in and pray," Reed said. "I knew she should, but I also know what she's up against. … She made it. She made the cut."
Hernandez said she plans to continue her athletic participation through next year. What drives her in these sports is the competition.
"I just like to compete," she said. "I try to do my best in everything."
She does well individually, as well as being a part of a team, Reed added.
"I don't have to say 'Come on, you gotta push,' she's going to push," Reed said.
Hernandez feels blessed to be in Sunray. She said the coaches have been wonderful and attentive to students' needs.
"The coaching staff is very supportive," she said.
Coach Cody McDowell has been a constant is her athletic career from middle school. Other sports have not seen the same stability in coaching in the past few years.
Hernandez feels that has been a great factor in her competitive athletic career. It's something that she hopes to continue in college. At this point she is unsure of definitive plans, but she does plan to attend and is interested in the medical field at this point.
Last year, Ella Strickland and Bryan Mendoza participated at state with Hernandez. This year Sergio Alcantar competed at state and placed 118th. His time was 18:55.45.
"I've got a lot of admiration for him, because he did football also," Reed said.
She said he worked hard to get to that point and picked up some good run times along the way. He also finished well at state, compared to how many runners there were.
"He's ready for next year," she said.