From Staff Reports
The Eagle Cross Country teams took to the course at Warren Park last week looking for redemption after finishing seventh place on the girls’ side and fourth on the boys’ in 2012. What a difference a year makes. The Lady Eagles are the 2013 District 9-4A champions. The boys also had a great day as well and bumped up a spot to earn the third-place trophy and qualify for the Regional Championships.
In the JV Division, the boys finished second and also brought home a trophy.
The girls started the day off as they returned the site of the Frisco ISD Invite, where they won the first meet earlier this season. At the gun, a large part of the field sprinted out fast, but the Lady Eagles girls were patient and ran their race. Through the first mile, they were all in the 20-30 place range but at that point, they went to work on the field. With a mile to go, the top four had moved into the top 15 and were attacking.
They blazed up the hill on the last mile and finished with four girls in the top 10.
Sophomore Kyra Drobny and junior Kristen Howell led the charge for the ladies with personal bests of 19:16.8 and 19.16.9 respectively to finish fourth and fifth (they ran 20:12 and 20:33 on the same course in August).
Freshman Allie Taylor and junior Carnley Graham finished eighth and ninth, also with personal best times. Allie finished in 19:26 (20:16 in August), and her efforts earned her the District 9-4A Newcomer of the Year Award.
Carnley raced her first 5k since August after battling an injury most of the season and still ran a best time of 19:31 (19:56 in Aug). The breakthrough performance of the race goes to freshman Alexa Boushey, who took almost 2:30 off her time in August to run 20:14 for a 24th place finish to put the stamp on the scoring for the Eagles. Senior Eleanor Jahant also ran a personal best for the course to finish in 20:25 for 31st place, over a minute faster than August. Freshman Abby Williams also ran a personal best of 21:35 to finish 43rd, almost a minute faster than the previous race.
Over the last month of the season, the boys’ team has really started to come together and race as a unit. Today, they continued to show that improvement as they ran a strong pack race to finish in the third place and final regional qualifying spot from 9-4A.
Senior Ryan Cleary once again led the way for the Eagles. On this course back in August, Ryan posted a time of 16:43 and was over 30 seconds back from the runner from Frisco Heritage. This morning, Ryan ran a 15:55 and was within 13 seconds to snag second place and the silver medal.
The second runner across the line for the Eagles was senior Tanner Mann, who finished in 14th and took 46 seconds off his previous course best to run 16:54 and break 17:00 for the first time. Senior Colton Barnes was just 10 seconds back from Mann in 17:04 (18:21 in August), a huge personal best of his own for 15th place. Senior Alexander Toops also ran a fantastic race and was 17th in 17:09 (personal best, was 18:32 in August), and senior Adam Hornyak finished up the scoring for the varsity boys with another huge best of 17:19 in 21st place (18:04 in Aug). Junior Nelson Morrow and sophomore Justin McCoy finished 23rd and 24th with personal bests of their own in 17:32 and 17:34. The guys also advance to Regionals a week from Saturday.
In the JV Girls division, Junior Rachel Birmingham was the top finisher for the Lady Eagles, taking almost a minute off her time from last year’s meet and finishing in 29th place. Sophomore Mary Korth also had a good race, finishing seven spots back in 36th. Senior Jessica Mora ran her first 5k of the year and broke 24:00 to finish in 41st. Sophomore Miranda Dymond finished 64th, and senior Erin Taylor also ran a great 5k to finish in 85th. The JV Girls were missing a couple of runners who have been sick, but they still managed to tough out a 6th place finish.
After finishing No. 8 for the boys’ team at the Melissa meet (only 7 are allowed to run varsity), Junior Aaron Meraz had something to prove, and he did just that. Aaron won the JV boys’ division in the time of 17:28, which was 26 seconds clear of second place, making a huge statement. Meraz’s performance set the tone for the rest of the squad, as senior Hunter Mann finished in fifth place in a personal best of 18:14 (he ran 22:01 in August), and freshman Cutter Nielsen finished in 6th, also right at a personal best of 18:16. Junior Jared Rickman finished 15th overall, and freshman Ryan Shirley finished 21st to round out the scoring for the Eagles, who earned the runner-up trophy in the JV boys’ division. Freshman Scott Owens finished 41st and ran 20:02, which was 55 seconds faster than back in August. Sophomore Cowdy Staton ran a strong race for 63rd place, and freshman Grant Turner finished right at another personal best in 106th place.
The Eagles cross country teams will be back in action Saturday, Nov. 2 at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie for the Region II-4A Championships to try to punch their ticket to the UIL State Championships.