What happened to the days of having a low stick runner of fifteen low to fifteen mid?
The Flower Mound Jaguars happened.
It's currently the NBA free agent season, where the thing to do is create a Big 2, Big 3, or Super Team. They attempt to do it through the draft, but also buying the best available team.
In cross country, every team tries to get a low stick and their job is to run as fast as they can and place as high as they can to get the lowest amount of points possible.
Coach Cook has created a big time program for both the boys and girls side at Flower Mound. Last year, we saw the boys ride their 2017 season wave all of the way to NXN where they represented the South Region and ran with the best teams in the nation.
This year, they return Alex Maier one of the best individual runners in the nation over the last two years. They take that and add Jarrett Kirk who also became one of the top cross runners nation wide and is the defending UIL 6A champion.
These two guys give Flower Mound the best 1-2 duo in the nation and they could have a special season, even more so than last year.
So, how did this happen? In 2016, Maier impressively improved from being a very good runner as a freshman to being absolutely Elite in his sophomore season. He placed fifth nationally in both post season national races (NXN and Foot Locker).
As a freshman, Kirk didn't quite have the same type of success in the first year as Maier did. However, last year, Kirk still made the same type of sophomore jump and it was just as impressive. Freshman year, he was a JV runner and watched as his team ran to a third place finish at the state meet. As a sophomore, he accomplished what every kid in the state begins their season hoping for and that is to win a state title.
Last year, Maier ended his season under adverse conditions due to a respiratory infection he experienced the week before the state meet. He made a valiant attempt to perform at the state meet, but Maier's health and strength were definitely affected by the illness. He was forced to withdraw from the race at state. He returned two weeks later to run in the NXR South Regional and at the NXN Championships, but he wasn't quiet himself.
As for Maier, he returns this season a SB of 15:01.00, which ranks him as the #6 returner from 2017. His return to the sport and to the team might be a little bit different because this time, his start will be with an established partner in Kirk.