Talented Freshmen Face Championship Season Learning Curve


Every year, we get some young kids who come out of nowhere to be impactful during the cross country season.

Last year, we saw freshmen that were talented enough to handle the transition from middle school to high school running and they impacted Texas running on the state level and even the national level.

On the girls side, we saw London Culbreath, Gracie Morris, Vera Thompson, and Emily Garcia make impacts at the UIL stat meet. Culbreath and Garcia won state titles last year and Morris won her fair share of meets, she was also impactful in other big meets on her way to running to fifth place at the 5A state meet. Culbreath eventually ran her way to national success winning the Nike South Regional meet before placing 12th overall at the NXN championships. Thompson, was a big factor on 6A state champion and NXN qualifying Keller's success. Keller, took third place overall at the 2015 6A state meet, but made the jump to win the title last year behind the support from Thompson's 18:21 and 14th place at the state meet.

Last season, we also saw talented freshman boys take the season by storm. From the moment Graydon Morris stepped onto the UIL stage in his first meet until he qualified individually for the Foot Locker Nationals, Morris had established himself both on the state level as well as nationally.

Other freshman boys impacted the championship season like Michael Abeyta who finished sixth at the 5A state championships. Donna North earned the 5A runner-up trophy with big freshman performances from Jorge Ponce, Mauricio Mendoza, and Jesus Mora. Lucas Lovejoy won the 5A title with help from their freshman star Brady Laboret, and Flower Mound freshman Johnathan Flint helped them to a 3rd place 6A team finish.

This year, there is another group of freshmen that are having good seasons. However, the adjustment from middle school two miles races to running 5Ks on the high school varsity level is a big transition. As district meets begin this week, we take a look at a some freshmen who will need to adjust to the learning curve to continue their individual seasons or become impactful enough to assist their team to advance to state.

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