3A cross country teams run at district meet

The Bowie boy’s cross country team won the district title at Holliday on Wednesday while also qualifying for the regional meet.

The Bowie boys, the Nocona girls and one Nocona boy qualified for the regional cross country meet Wednesday at the district meet in Holliday.
The Jackrabbits won the district title while the Lady Indians finished an authoritative second. The Indian’s Hank Ulbig qualified individually since he medaled among the top 10.
All of the runners braved the nasty, cold and wet conditions for a chance to continue their season. With the district’s only allowing the top two teams this year instead of top the three due to COVID-19, the margin for error was thinner than usual.
The Bowie boys were led by Nathan Rogers, who finished second overall with a time of 17:36. Sid Mayfield, Alex Castro and Ignacio Saucedo joined him in the top 10 finishing sixth, ninth and 10th. Ethan Malone was the fifth runner for the Jackrabbits, finishing 19th.
The team avoided the close mashup of teams finishing behind them, winning by 23 points. Coach Andy Atkins was proud of his young team for the accomplishment.
“When we got here we talked about how we can’t control how other people run or how fast anyone else is, but we can control our confidence when we walk in and our effort when we leave,” Atkins said. “I was concerned when we got here because they were talking about the cold, but when the race started they shut that out.”
The Nocona gir’s team was led by Kylie Rose who finished fifth overall with a time of 12:18. Raylee Sparkman and Jayce Rose joined her on the medal stand finishing eighth and 10th. Madilyn Ferguson finished 12th and Cobi Womack finished 22nd to round out the team’s scoring.
The Lady Indians finished a distant second place to the defending state champs and meet host Lady Eagles. Still, there was little drama as Nocona finished 28 points ahead of third place.
Coach Kyle Spitzer was proud of how his team ran overall. With a streak that reaches back longer than a decade of regional tournament appearances, this team will not be intimidated by the tougher field.
“Our expectation at regionals is to run like we belong, because we do,” Spitzer said. “This group has put in so much work and they have earned everything they’ve gotten. I am so proud of this team and I cannot wait to see what we do at regionals.”
The Nocona boys were led by Ulbig, who finished seventh overall with a time of 18:15. The top five runners for the Indians included Noe Estrada finishing 11th, Alex Stephens finishing 13th, Ivan Hernandez finishing 21st and Frank Espinoza finishing 23rd.
The standings ended up being a crushing blow for Nocona. The Indians finished fourth, only one point behind Breckenridge and two points behind second place Henrietta in an unprecedented result.
Coach Colby Schniederjan was extremely disappointed with the result, but proud of senior Ulbig for qualifying for regionals.
“I’m extremely proud of Hank, but in our discussions before the season started, this was an expectation for Hank,” Schniederjan said. “Our push will be at the next level and being competitive at regionals.”
The Lady Rabbits finished fourth overall as a team. They were led by Samantha Clarke, who finished 15th with a time of 13:48. Kaydee Jones finished 19th, Jojo Villarreal finished 21st, while Hannah Craddock and Desarai Ryes finished 24th and 25th.
Coach Joe Crabb was proud of how his team ran overall. With a district that includes the defending state champs and some tradition rich programs, it was always going to be a tough proposition to break into the top two this year.
“I thought we ran really well in tough conditions, posting some of our best times of the year,” Crabb said. “The district is really tough and we weren’t fortunate enough to advance anyone to the regional meet.”
The regional meet is scheduled for Nov. 9 at Lubbock.

To see individual results for all high school runners from Bowie and Nocona, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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