Metrics 101: How Good Is The Sophomore Distance Class?

Just last weekend, Katy Cinco Ranch distance runner Heidi Nielson was somewhere on earth running....cross country as she qualified for the U20 USA World XC Team. They actually ran the NACAC Championships in Trinidad and Tobago with the World Championships to come up in Denmark.

She also qualified for NXN and the Foot Locker XC Championships (second straight season). Nielson had company at NXN with the likes of Brynn Brown of Denton Guyer, Alexis Svoboda of Prosper, Edwin Gomez of San Elizario, Sergio Leon Cuartas of El Paso Eastwood, and Antonio Florcruz of Southlake Carroll, who were also either individual or team qualifiers.

Another thing these athletes all have in common is that they are all sophomores.

That's right. Of all of the potential individual or team qualifying spots, six of them were from the class of 2021. That alone is a telling sign of how good the sophomore class distance group is.

However, that doesn't paint the total picture, as the girls class of 2021 is straight up ridiculous!

In case you forgot, the Libby McGrath Texas Distance Festival 5K performance from last year followed up by her Texas Relays 3200m race where she gave London Culbreath as much as she could to provide two quality competitive races. The home schooler went 16:51.39 and 10:36.63 in successive meets, she too is a member of the 2021 class.

In less than two years, the girls sophomore class has accumulated over 20 individual state medals with girls like Nielson, Brown, Colleen Stegmann, and others who have racked up top finishes on both the track and in cross. Keep in mind that the UIL state medals are only awarded to the top three finishers in each event.

Two girls have run sub 17:00 5Ks in cross country and a total of eight of them have sub 18:00 5Ks. However, the prowess of this class extends beyond the cross country courses. As freshmen, 11 girls in the class ran 11:20 and under in the 3200m on the track, and 10 girls that ran 5:05 and under with four sub 5:00 minutes, in the 1600m.

One of the hardest races on the track is where this class possibly shines the most. The 800m group of sophomore girls is DEEP! There were 21 girls who ran 2:20 and under last season including a 2:09, 2:11, and a 2:12.

ATHLETEXC - 5K3200M1600M800MTRACK  - 5K
Brynn Brown16:41.1311:10.514:53.232:19.61
Heidi Nielson16:55.5610:31.924:53.432:17.2316:55.76
Colleen Stegmann17:02.2710:46.885:01.862:22.62
Sophie Atkinson17:31.13
Eva Jess17:31.8010:50.325:06.212:25.5117:52.38
Avery Clover17:36.8111:06.905:13.06
Gabi Barrera17:37.25
Emma Heslop17:38.0011:07.225:03.83
Sara Scott18:08.4711:21.095:12.72
Chloe Hassman18:10.165:05.632:23.2819:29.45
Sophia Oliai18:10.1811:29.415:28.78
Grace Williamson18:11.3611:22.115:16.2119:59.46
Alexis Svoboda18:12.56
Guadalupe Garcia18:13.905:19.122:19.31
Rachel Sutliff18:17.2011:31.005:14.35
Allison Hedrick18:17.9011:29.565:19.06
Bailey Goggans18:19.705:26.392:09.76
Natalie Fleming18:22.7911:12.875:17.502:28.4718:01.72
Alyssa Harris18:23.1612:22.225:25.02
Kaitlyn Childress18:23.9010:53.555:11.08
Abigail Wilson18:27.0312:09.785:25.86
Harli Woolsey18:27.9111:30.785:10.6018:24.86
Macy Livingston18:28.0011:58.365:38.20
Amity Ebarb18:28.10
Libby McGrath18:28.9910:36.634:53.442:20.9016:51.39

The boys 2021 class is also pretty impressive. This past cross country season, they were also leading in headlines with the likes of Judson Greer winning the state meet and Gomez, Tristan Galvan, Christopher Daniels, Samuel Ashley and others being key players.

There were 29 boys to run 16:00 and under this season from the 2021 class, including six under 15:30 in the 5K.

Last year, we saw 23 freshman boys run under 10:00 for the 3200m, 15 4:35 and under in the 1600m, and five boys run 2:00 and under.

The Class of 2021 is clearly making impacts in Texas and nationally in both cross country and track and field. With the second half of their sophomore season to roll around, we'll have to wait and see how much of an impact they'll continue to have.

One thing is clear, there is no shortage of talent and this is a crazy recruiting class in Texas for colleges around the nation!

ATHLETEXC - 5K3200M1600M800MTRACK - 5K
Judson Greer15:02.909:39.904:23.482:03.09
Edwin Gomez15:07.639:38.794:23.14
Tristan Galvan15:16.12
Christopher Daniels15:21.369:46.924:35.66
Samuel Ashley15:28.399:58.894:35.772:10.60
Sergio Leon Cuartas15:29.8210:11.414:36.56
Evan Caswell15:31.929:53.624:53.8116:30.34
Gavin Saacke15:36.8310:11.784:45.67
Isaac Alonzo15:40.5710:26.844:48.45
Pablo Lomeli Lluis15:40.9110:05.454:37.17
Caleb Lopez15:43.9010:05.474:34.24
Foster Wilfong15:44.069:33.504:25.222:01.30
River Hill15:44.809:53.404:38.54
Jack Woods15:44.8010:25.254:42.89
Travis Rose15:44.8310:43.985:06.03
Jacob Ricks15:47.289:57.494:44.80
Dylan Sequeira15:47.3210:11.174:43.43
Luke Lambert15:47.919:43.294:35.582:03.06
Antonio Florcruz15:48.169:54.524:33.2716:05.35
Joshua English15:49.47
Jayden Chambless15:53.625:03.15
Aiden Lyons15:55.529:52.774:42.5016:22.25
Trevor Malik15:55.794:47.19
Anthony Gregory15:56.5010:25.634:40.53
Philip Metcalf15:56.904:56.782:16.49
Matias Mononen15:57.002:04.81
Andrew Zurita15:58.509:50.774:30.10
Nathan Hernandez15:59.4010:30.814:45.52
Alex Canales16:00.9110:04.372:21.55
Travis Jasper16:01.355:06.68