TAPPS 5A Champs: San Antonio Christian Wins Both Titles

The TAPPS 5A championships saw two teams trying to continue their winning streaks. The Austin St. Michaels girls were looking for a fifth consecutive state title and San Antonio Christian (SAC) came in looking for their third straight championship. 

Over the years, St. Michaels has used talent and luck the last several years to keep winning. They had a strong senior class who graduated winning a state championship in each of their seasons including three key seniors who ran in the state meet to win number four.

The other members of the squad were three freshmen and a sophomore. A year later, now the goal was to drive towards five. However, the SAC girls had other plans as they finished runners-up the last two seasons behind St. Michaels.

The SAC girls were led by junior Ella Glander who finished third overall in 12:40. Glander got support from Brooke Spencer (12th place), Morgan Estes (16th place), and Addison Applebaum (17th place). With four of their girls across the finish line in the top 20, their number five runner crossed in 30th place.

The individual race ended up going to Fort Worth Southwest Christian sophomore Reagan High who continued a streak of her own. High won the state meet last year as a freshman before adding her second cross country championship yesterday.

The SAC boys were able to continue their title winning streak by adding their third straight and fourth win in five years.

It started off well upfront with their number one runner senior Joel Carlson dropping a runner-up performance. Carlson had freshman Kyle Whaley (9th place) and senior Matt Nellor (11th place) coming up big and finishing with in two seconds of each other.

Their final two scoring runners helped the team take advantage of the good front running by their top three. The numbers four and five runners Calvin Landis (16th) and Jack Hicks (17th) both added top 20 finishes right behind one another, helping to a 52 second split and to 55 points to capture the championship.

Individually for the boys was St. Michaels' Jackson Long taking the win. Long had racked up top three finishes in his first three years at the TAPPS state meet. As a freshman, he was third overall and then runner-up the last two seasons behind Fort Worth Christian graduate Carter Cheeseman.

All season, Long has been on fire and running like he was determined to take the TAPPS 5A state championship. He was 11th at the Southlake Inv.(16:15), he won the Cedar Park Inv in 16:05, and then 22nd at a national level meet at Chile Pepper (16:03). Now, he will graduate as a state champion and he led his team to a second place finish.