After strong performances at regional cross country meets held statewide Monday, Johnson County will be represented by two teams and five individuals at the UIL cross country state championships on Nov. 9 in Round Rock.
The Alvarado Lady Indians are headed to the UIL state meet after dominating the Class 4A Region III championships Monday at Kate Barr Ross Memorial Park in Huntsville.
The Lady Indians were on another level compared to their Class 4A Region III opposition, taking the regional title by 42 points over the second-place team and by 80 points over the third-place team.
Alvarado finished with a team score of 51 while Huffman Hargrave placed second with 93 and Lorena finished third with 131.
It was the Lady Indians’ first-ever regional cross country title — and the school’s third after the boys won regional titles in 2012 and 2013.
“I am very impressed with what the girls were able to accomplish in the Region III cross country championships,” Alvarado coach Darryl Bishop said. “As their coach, I am blown away by the way in which these girls competed. It was a strong race by all of the girls from start to finish. As I had mentioned previously, the goal was to ‘race well,’ and I think the girls did just that. I cannot say enough about how proud I am of each one of the young ladies on this team. They have come a long way, but still have a way to go. ‘We ain’t done yet!’”
Alvarado senior Emily Garcia captured the individual regional title with a first-place finish and time of 11:50 in the two-mile race. Garcia, a two-time individual state champion her freshman and sophomore years, will look for a third state title in her four-year career after not competing in cross country a year ago.
“I do believe it has meant a great deal to the girls — and to me — to have Emily back for this season,” Bishop said. “With Emily being back in the mix, what it does mean is the team is better. I truly believe, and I teach the runners, the team is bigger than any one person; so, with each individual on the team we work to make it better for all.”
Alvarado senior Judith Manzano and junior Dacie Clark each recorded top-10 finishes; Manzano placed seventh with a time of 12:33 while Clark placed ninth at 12:38. Sophomore Luci Finn placed 13th with a time of 13:01.
Three other Lady Indian runners finished in the top-40; freshman Abby Olaque came in 31st at 13:29, sophomore Alondra Silva placed 39th at 13:37, and sophomore Lesli Olalde checked in at 40th at 13:42.
Also representing Alvarado at the state meet will be sophomore Jayden Svetlecic, who qualified individually with a 14th-place finish and time of 17:13.8 — just one second behind 12th place. Svetlecic earns the state berth because he finished among the top-10 runners not on state-qualifying teams.
“It is huge for Jayden Svetlecic to qualify for the state competition,” Bishop said. “We began working on this plan at the start of summer workouts in June. Jayden also raced well, giving a massive effort which propelled him to a qualifying spot for the state meet. We must remember, Jayden is only a sophomore. Going to state at this point in his running career only sets him up for future success. I am very proud of what he has accomplished this season and I can truly say the future looks very bright for this young man.”
Also qualifying for state out of the Class 4A Region III championships are a pair of Venus runners. Senior Roberto Maldonado placed eighth with a time of 17:07 to qualify for state for a second year in a row while sophomore Ixciry Rodriguez advanced to state with a 14th-place finish and time of 13:01 in the two-mile race.
The Keene Chargers advanced to their third consecutive state cross country meet by finishing third in the Class 3A Region III championships Monday in Huntsville.
Keene finished with a team score of 105, behind regional champ Eustace (43) and second-place McGregor (83).
Keene junior Cooper Bryant continued his stellar career with a fourth-place finish and a time of 16:56 in the 5,000-meter run.
Fellow junior Alexis Garcia placed 11th with a time of 17:42 while junior Elijah Chacon placed 28th at 18:26, followed by sophomore Juan Trejo’s 30th-place finish and time of 18:31.
Rounding out top-50 finishes for the Chargers include senior David Lopez (41st place, 18:46) and sophomore Denzel Ramos (44th place, 18:47).
On the girls’ side, Keene freshman Laila Vasquez placed 81st with a time of 14:50 in the two-mile race.
At Monday’s Class 5A Region I meet at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock, Burleson Centennial senior Nick Newby placed 13th overall to qualify for state.
Other regional cross country results by Johnson County runners include:
The Godley Lady Cats placed seventh at the Class 4A Region I meet in Lubbock with a team score of 275. Canyon took first place as a team with a score of 47 with Argyle (89) and Hereford (97) rounding out the top-3 team finishes.
Freshman Andi Burks led the Lady Cats with a 36th-place finish and time of 12:55 in the two-mile race. Junior Sonnie Anderson (44th place, 13:07) and sophomore Taylor McFarland (49th place, 13:12) round out the top-50 finishes for Godley.
On the boys’ side, Godley junior Ryan Holton finished 97th overall with a time of 18:24 in the three-mile race.
At the Class 3A Region III meet in Huntsville, Grandview junior Chylar Greer finished 34th with a time of 13:54 to lead the Lady Zebras, who placed ninth as a team. Grandview freshman Zoie Gutierrez finished 49th with a time of 14:13.
Rio Vista sophomore Elizabeth McClanahan placed 96th with a time of 14:58.
The UIL state cross country championships are scheduled for Nov. 9 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. The boys Class 3A championship is scheduled for 11:20 a.m.; the girls Class 4A championship is set for noon; the boys 4A race is set for 12:30 p.m.; the girls 5A race is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.; and the boys 5A championship will be at 1:50 p.m.