The state meet is just as unpredictable as it is predictable.
There are times when you know what is going to happen and then there are occurrences where the something and someone comes out of the blue to surprise.
That is exactly what we witnessed at the UIL 2A State Cross Country Championships. What we saw last year was repeated and affirmed in the boys race and then in the girls race, all of 2018 results were rearranged.
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Girls Championship Race
Both the individual champion and the team champions both leap frogged top returners from 2018. Individually, the 2018 state champion Kyla Kane form Wellington has had a dominant season and had one of the fastest times from the regional meets. She ran a fantastic race, worthy of repeating her freshman year's state title.
However, Allison Hedrick from Lindsay had championship plans of her own. Kane and Hedrick ran like the top two returners from last year going stride for stride and taking a commanding lead right at the 1 mile marker. Coming off the bridge, Hedrick created some space and was able to hold on as the two kept pace through the finish line. Hedrick got the win in 11:33 with Kane still running a fabulous race in 11:38.
The top two teams form the 2018 race were both back with many of their top runners. San Saba had handily won the 2018 title with 72 points and Sundown in second with 110 points for second.
What a difference a year made for Gruver. They finished sixth overall in the 2018 race with 174 total points. They were over 100 points behind San Saba and 64 points behind runner-up Sundown.
This year, they mad a huge leap of improvement from last year's race. They won the 2A state championship and they did it with a Jekyll and Hyde type of performance. Saturday's race saw them score less points (62) than what it took San Saba to win in 2018.
Even further evidence that they had a night and day performance this year, they ran a 12:35 team average, which is over 30 seconds faster than their 13:07 from last year's sixth place finish and were just one second behind San Saba's winning 12:34 average last year. Their split this year of 1:04 was way better than last year's 1:32 1 - 5 split.
Sundown and San Saba weren't too far off the pace as they finished second and third this year.
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Boys Championship Race
Last year, Diego Flores was the number three man on his team at the state meet. This year, he is number one in the state. Flores dropped 39 seconds from last year's time six places to take home the individual championship.
He was closely followed by Valley View junior Bryan Landeros who finished second in 16:09. Landeros also dropped a chunk of time and places from last year's finish. In 2018, he was a 17th place finisher with a time of 17.21.
In the team standings, Flores' San Antonio Great Hearts Monte Vista squad scored their second straight state championship. Teammates Duncan Naylor and Levi Wiatrek were big time contributors to last year's team championship as they finished third and fifth in 2018. They supplemented Flores' win by going third and seventh on Saturday to help earn the back to back title.
Monte Vista didn't just settle for the win or expect to walk away with another trophy. They left little to chance by running faster and tighter than in 2018. Last year, they scored 40 points and ran the race with a 16:42 team average and a 1:41 split. This year, they lowered all of those stats for the win by scoring 35 points and doing so in a 16:27 team average with a 46 second 1 - 5 split.
Port Aransas finished second last year and Valley View was third. They flip flopped in the standings this past weekend with the same three teams still taking home trophies this year.