At the Oct. 22, Regional UIL Cross Country Meet, two Timber Creek athletes, Gabi Barrera and Braden Lange, not only qualified for the state competition, but broke two school records.

Senior Braden Lange, placed sixth in the three mile race with a time of 15:10, which now holds the title of the fastest time ever recorded at Timber Creek High School. Lange talked about his thoughts during the race.

“I felt so much relief when I crossed the finish line because there’s a lot of pressure on that big of a stage,” said Lange. “I was feeling a lot of pain the whole race and I just had to ignore the pain and negative thoughts in my mind and stay positive.”

Breaking the school record was also large part of the success of the Regional Meet, so Lange shared his thoughts and feelings about this accomplishment.

“Breaking the school record was pretty emotional for me because I’ve been shooting for that for the last four years, ” said Lange, “I was mind blown.”

Lange also contemplated on what inspired him to run in the first place, and what continues to motivate him now.

“My inspiration comes from always watching cross country when my sister used to run,” said Lange, “I would witness the top guys in the state race when I was only in middle school. I remember always wanting to be that fast one day and that inspired me from day one.”

Lange also said, “I like to run because I love being able to see my improvements throughout the season. I realized early on that it was something that god had really gifted me with, and I felt like that’s what I was meant to do.”

Sophomore Gabi Barrera flourished in the girls portion of the regional meet, finishing the three mile race with a time of 17:57, placing 2nd overall, and qualifying for the state meet.

This is Barrera’s first year running for Timber Creek, so she reflected on the weight of her accomplishments.

“When I crossed the finish line I felt relieved and grateful, because I saw my time and my place, and I knew that I had just qualified for the state meet,” said Barrera, “I’ve been working for the record since the beginning of summer to break the school record and run at state, so I was so excited when I broke the record, and grateful for a great program and people to help me reach it.”

Barrera talked about the impact that her team has on her and how they are apart of her pre-run rituals.

“My favorite part of XC is the people in it, we always hang out and have fun together,” said Barrera, “My special routine before running is always saying a prayer with my team, and thanking God for the opportunity to be there.”

The state meet will be held in Austin, TX on Nov. 3, and both athletes are excited and optimistic for the race ahead.

View photos from the Regional UIL Cross Country meet, by The Creek Yearbook photographers here:

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