2019 SPC state champs Greenhill girls pose - photo submitted by Jason Yaffe
-Contributed by Jason Yaffe and John Turek
TOMBALL, TEXAS - Under cool skies and at Spring Creek Park for the first time in conference history, the 2019 Southwest Preparatory Conference (S.P.C.) championships on November 9 was a very competitive race that ended with St. Mark's School of Texas claiming the boys title and Greenhill winning the girls title.
The girls 5k race started with pre-race favorites Maddie Hatfield (Greenhill) and Kevriana Scott (Kinkaid) up front but they were joined by Katie Cline (Austin St. Stephens). Behind them a sea of 107 other runners gave chase.
With the graduation of four time SPC cross country state champion Adouette Vaughn of Hockaday, early on it was uncertain who would fill that void and be crowned the individual champion. By the 1.5 mile mark Hatfield was giving chase to Cline as Tori Schmidt (Dallas Episcopal), Kat Kwiatkowski (Houston Episcopal) and Kaiti Ness (Greenhill) formed a second pack.
SPC Girls medalist pose during awards ceremony - photo submitted by Jason Yaffe
Once the leaders crested the hill before the two mile mark, Hatfield developed a small gap that would widen over the last mile. The East Carolina University commit went on to a nine second win, crossing the line in 18:54.
Defending champions Kinkaid placed two runners in the top ten but it was not enough to overcome the Greenhill Hornets. Led by Hatfield's first place finish, Ness in 5th, Kendal Hashimoto (12th) and Ella Dzialowski (18th) and three other runners in the top 35, the Hornets outpaced runner up Houston Episcopal 64-96 to win their first team title since 1985.
The Hornets have held their own in many large races, placing high up at the Heat Wave Relays and the Jesuit Classic, against stiff public school competition throughout the season and came out on top at the S.P.C. meet.