HUNTSVILLE – A gaggle of runners descended on Huntsville last Monday, Oct. 23 to see who would qualify to advance to the UIL State Cross Country Meet in two weeks. Runners from Class 2A to Class 6A toed the starting line in Kate Barr-Ross Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. and while many did not fare as well as they would like, several were able to punch their tickets to state.
According to the UIL, “The first 4 teams in each division and the top 10 individuals not already on one of the advancing teams in the regional meet qualify for the state meet. Team scores will be computed by totaling the top five runners’ finish positions. The sixth and seventh runners will count as displacers. Teams with less than five runners will not be totaled in the team scores.”
The Grapeland Sandiettes will be sending a team of runners to the 2017 UIL State Meet at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. The Sandiettes finished third overall with a total of 116. The Crawford Lady Pirates finished second with 82 while the Valley Mills Lady Eagles finished first with 57.
Sandiette sophomore Kenya Woods finished in 11th place at the Regional Meet with a time of 13:44.5. She will be joined at the state meet by junior teammate Ragan Bowie who finished in 14th place with a time of 13:45.2. Freshman Cierra Simon finished 29th with a time of 14:21.1, while junior Hannah Chipman finished 35th with a time of 14:30.7. Freshman Teira Jones finished in 50th place with a time of 14:51.1 and freshman Christi Shepherd finished in 159th place with a time of 19:20.8
The Latexo Tigers and Lady Tigers will also be sending several runners to Round Rock. On the girls’ side, Madison Kelsey finished eighth with a time of 13:18.1. The Tigers just missed out on qualifying as a team as they finished in sixth place with a total of 174.
Latexo’s Carter Catoe and Tristan Curless will be traveling to Round Rock in two weeks after their performances on Monday. Catoe finished fourth overall with a time of 17:59.9 while Curless finished seventh with a time of 18:15.4.
The Palestine Wildcats will also be represented in Round Rock after they won the Class 4A team championship with a total of 63.
Palestine freshman Luis Rangel finished second overall with a time of 17:13.1. Teammates Cristian Guzman and Michael Guzman finished fourth and fifth – respectively – with times of 17:22.4 and 17:23.8. Daniel Sanchez finished 26th overall with a time of 18:19.7, Francis Sis was 43rd with a time of 18:40.2, Garrett Bowden finished 50th with a time of 18:53.2 and Cristian Castillo was 51st with a time of 18:55.8
The girls run a course approximately two miles in length while the boys run a course approximately three miles in length.
While the Class 2A – 6A runners were in Huntsville, the Class 1A runners were in Corpus Christi. The Slocum Mustangs and Lady Mustangs were in competition and will be sending both the girls’ and boys’ teams to Round Rock.
The Lady Mustangs team finished in third place with 127 points. The team members are: Courtney January, with a time of 14:33 and 11th place overall; Maddie Bates, with a time of 14:41 and 15th place overall; Shelby Bowman, with a time of 14:53 and 22nd place; Isabella McNeil with a time of 15 minutes flat and 26th place; Tatiana Watson with a time of 16:08 and 53rd place; Jalyn Fletcher, with a time of 16:11 and 55th place; and Laney Lasiter, with a time of 16:14 and 57th place.
Justin Neal paced the Slocum boys’ team and finished in sixth place with a time of 18:30. The Mustangs’ just missed qualifying for the state meet as a team with their sixth place finish.
The state meet will be held at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Nov. 4. The Class 1A Girls’ State Championship begins at 11:10 a.m. The Class 1A Boys’ State Championship begins at 11:40 a.m. The Class 2A Girls’ State Championship begins at 12:20 p.m. The Class 2A Boys’ State Championship begins at 12:50 p.m. The Class 4A Boys’ State Championship begins at 3:10 p.m.