By Gabriella “Neptune” Cruz, Texans Talk Editor-in-chief

For the first time in school history, senior Jeremiah Barrera will compete at the state cross-country meet in Round Rock, Texas this weekend. 

Barrera said it felt unreal to make it to the state competition.

“It felt like a dream come true, to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it since I was a freshman, and to really do it my senior year it’s really crazy and I’m leaving with a bang.”

Head boys cross country coach Jaime Vasquez said it was amazing to be able to help Barrera advance to the top stage of cross country.

“This is my eleventh year as a teacher, but ninth as the head coach of cross country and he is my first one here at Sam to do that,” he said. “You know I’m ecstatic for him, and I’m very proud of his work ethic.”

The varsity boys cross country team has earned five championships in a row and six in the past nine years. Barrera is a back-to-back individual champion.

“These accomplishments are yours as well,” he stated in a school email. “You are their teachers, coaches, administrators, librarians, counselors, security personnel, cafeteria staff, etc. Sam Houston HS is a school of hardworking kids from East Arlington as my good friend Joey Rodriguez (rest in peace) used to say. Thank you ALL for your support these past nine years, since I was given the opportunity to be the head coach of the BOYS cross-country program. It really takes a village to be this successful.”

Gabriella ‘Neptune’ Cruz

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