GODLEY — The Godley Lady Cats absolutely dominated the District 7-4A cross country meet Tuesday in Stephenville.
The Lady Cats won the district title with a team score of 37 points, 22 ahead of second-place Stephenville, while the Wildcats had a runner qualify for regionals individually.
Godley had seven runners finish in the top 15 to run away with the district championship, including four in the top 10.
Godley coach Keith McFarland said he’s most impressed by the Lady Cats’ commitment and work ethic when it comes to cross country.
“I’ve been working with these girls, most of them since seventh grade, so I am not as impressed with the talent level nearly as much as I am with their ability to stay motivated and dedicated,” McFarland said. “Not one of these girls is a specialized distance runner. They stay involved in every sport and organization we offer. Any one of them could easily focus on other things. The fact that they have made a commitment to this team, and have the maturity to understand what that means, that is what is most impressive to me.”
Entering the District 7-4A meet, Godley had already captured four team first-place finishes. The Lady Cats won the Burleson Elk Run, the Keene Invitational, the Glen Rose Dinosaur Dash and Stephenville’s Thrill of the Hill.
Leading the way for the Lady Cats at district was freshman Andi Burks, sophomore Reagan Maxwell, and junior Sonnie Anderson.
Burks finished fourth overall with a time of 12:53 in the 3,200-meter race.
“We have been waiting for this young lady to get to the high school since we first saw her run in seventh grade,” McFarland said. “She’s a natural distance runner. She is just like the rest of my team, super involved, a five-sport athlete and active in FFA. Her spare time is precious just like the rest of them. She’s learned to handle it very well. She has really come on strong here the last three weeks, and she still has not peaked.”
Maxwell was right behind Burks with a fifth-place finish and time of 12:56 while Anderson placed seventh at 13:01.
Sophomore Taylor McFarland finished 10th overall with a time of 13:08 and sophomore Mikki Coursey placed 11th at 13:13. Sophomore Ryanne Maxwell came in 13th place at 13:38, and sophomore Preslee Johnson finished 15th at 13:50.
With five first-place finishes, including the dominant performance at district, the Lady Cats now move on to the Class 4A Region I meet Oct. 28 in Lubbock.
“Honestly, we’ve not set defined goals as far as wins or medals as a team,” McFarland said of the Lady Cats’ expectations moving forward. “I really try not to put a lot of pressure on them because they juggle so many different activities. I do expect a lot of them when it comes to their commitment. I put a higher price on being at practice and their level of effort than I do winning meets or medals.”
On the boys’ side, Godley junior Ryan Holton qualified to regionals with a sixth-place finish and a personal record time of 18:33 in the 5,000-meter race Tuesday.
“We had a state qualifier last year in Brandon Hutto, and Ryan really sort of ran in his shadow for two years,” McFarland said. “On one hand, he may have went unnoticed but on the other hand he was able to see firsthand what it meant to really work hard and focus on running. So he really took on the role of a protege, and his times have dropped like a stone. I think it’s really going to pay off for him. Watch for him to have a strong senior season next year.”
The Class 4A Region I meet is scheduled for Oct. 28 at Mae Simmons Park, with the Class 4A girls race scheduled for noon and the boys race set for 12:30 p.m.