Area runners from 1A schools competed at the regional cross country meet on Tuesday at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.
While no teams were able to finish among the top four to advance to the state meet, there were five individuals who qualified from three schools.
From Saint Jo Collin Thomas qualified for his third straight year. He was joined by teammate Devin Stewart. From Prairie Valley, Eli Croxton and Linzie Priddy qualified. From Gold-Burg, Isaac Renteria qualified.
Individual state qualifications are for the top 10 runners who were not part of the four teams that qualified. The top finishers in the boy’s race was flush with runners from the top four teams, meaning the last state individual qualifier, Saint Jo’s Stewart, finished 26th.
It was the opposite case in the girl’s race. Only two girls from teams that qualified for the state meet finished among the top 10.
The Panther boy’s team did the best of the day, finishing just outside of the top four in fifth place, but by a margin of 66 points.
Thomas was the team’s top runner finishing fifth overall with a season best time of 17:49. Stewart finished 26th overall, but it was good enough to qualify for the state meet. Teammate Kile Thurman just missed the cut a few places and seconds later in 29th place.
Joshua Vogel (46) and Logan Hoover (94) rounded out Saint Jo’s top five runners. Representing the Lady Panthers, Aubrey Morman finished 77th.
Coach Lyndon Cook was lamented one of his top five runners was out and how it would have affected team standings more, but was pleased with Thomas and Stewart for qualifying for state.
“Collin ran by far his best race of the year to take fifth place and Devin stepped up in a huge way to qualify for state as a freshman,” Cook said. “Both of these kids really impressed me with their grit and determination to qualify. Kile Thurman also ran his best race of the year and I’m very proud of him for this season coming off a torn ACL just seven months ago.”
Prairie Valley had both its boys and girls teams compete. The boy’s team finished ninth overall. Top runner Eli Croxton finished 16th overall with a time of 18:43.
The team’s top five runners also included Tyler Winkler (40), Micheal Cole (41), Tyson Easterling (93) and Isaac Yeargin (103).
Coach Seth Stephens was proud of how his team did overall since it was the first time they had been on that stage in several years as a team. He was most pleased Croxton was able to qualify for state.
“Obviously, we’re excited about Eli advancing to the state meet next week,” Stephens said. “I thought he had a good shot at advancing this year, but he reached another gear at this last meet, posting his fastest time of the year by far. He’s looking forward to competing again next week.”
The Lady Bulldogs team finished 15th overall. Top runner Linzie Priddy finished ninth with a time of 13:02. Prairie Valley’s top five runners also included 48. Karagan Ritchie (48), Veronica Gutierrez (103), Natalee Young (119) and Makaylee Gomez (120).
Coach Jeannie Carpenter was pleased with how her team ran and for Priddy for advancing to the state meet.
“All of our runners ran well,” Carpenter said. “We are very proud of Linzie Priddy for advancing to the state meet. While we do have some seniors on the team that will be missed, the core of it is very young and I expect them to keep getting better each year.”
The only Gold-Burg runner that qualified for the regional meet, freshman Isaac Renteria, made his first trip worth it. Renteria finished 19th overall with a time of 18:48 and qualified for the state meet.
Coach Jessie Vaughn thought Renteria had a good race.
“Isaac ran really well, finishing over a minute faster than his time at the district meet,” Vaughn said. “He has a promising future making it as a freshman.”
The Bellevue Lady Eagles finished in 16th place. Top runner Grace Martin finished 18th with a time of 13:28. The Lady Eagles top five runners included Austin Ford (75), Patience Ramsey (94), Cirstin Allen (112) and Callie Martin (114).
Coach John McGee was proud of how his girls competed overall in a tough field.
“I believe we did well overall and I’m very proud of my girls for their commitment to the team. Grace Martin was our top runner. I believe she will make it to state next year.”
The state meet is scheduled for Nov. 5 at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock. The girl’s race is set to start at 8:30 a.m. and the boy’s race right after at 9 a.m.
To see individual results from all of the area runners, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.