The Prosper boys and girls varsity cross country teams competed and accomplished a historical milestone at the Texas UIL State Meet in Round Rock on Saturday, Nov. 4.

A total of nine Prosper athletes ran at the meet, including seven from the boys team, which placed 13th among 5A schools. It was the first time the Prosper boys had competed as a team at state in school history. Senior Emily Patterson and sophomore Tatum Castillo raced as well, representing the Prosper girls team.

“I was incredibly proud as a coach that they reached their ultimate goal,” Prosper coach Jennifer Gegogiene said. “It was great to watch them move forward after all the training and the progression to the end of the season. All their hard work paid off.”

Individually, both girls impressed given the circumstances. Patterson finished 24th among 150 total runners, finishing the 5,000-meter race in 18 minutes and 39 seconds. Castillo finished just outside the top 100 after dealing with nagging injuries in the week prior to competition.

On the boys side, junior Wyatt Landis was Prosper’s top performer, finishing 67th overall with a time of 16 minutes and 31 seconds. Following Landis was senior Sam Rizzo and sophomores Alex Velez and Adam Schofield, who all finished in the top 100.

Ultimately, making it to state was the biggest accomplishment for the boys. The team’s state appearance comes after a ton of hard work and improvement. Two years ago, the Prosper boys finished sixth in District 14-5A. Last season, they improved to sixth in Region II. Now, they have even more to build from heading into 2018.

“For us, it’s just exciting to see the ground work that’s been laid and all the possibilities that will be happening now that they have experienced such an amazing task,” Gegogiene said. “There’s quite a few boys that are working just as hard that are looking for that opportunity next year.”

Since early June, Gegogiene has had her team running at 6:30 a.m. every morning to prepare and maintain a high level of performance for the season. She said kids have been highly motivated to strive for their goals at every school she’s been a part of, and especially at Prosper.

“It was amazing to see the kids put in so much hard work dedication and sacrifices to be the best that they can become,” Gegogiene said. “As a coach, that’s the most rewarding thing.”