NXR South is always a stressful day. You never really know what is going to happen and very little goes according to plan. Then there is the UIL 6A state champion jinx and it is real. The UIL 6A state champion has not won the NXR South title in several years and some have even failed to qualify for NXN. That stress and apprehension for the 2019 meet was alive and in full affect.
Heading into the meet, it looked like the Southlake Carroll girls were pretty much unbeatable by anyone not in the Northwest or Northeast. Carroll has been on an unbelievable cross country course scorching pace over the last month of the season. They've also racked up big time national wins and performances throughout the season, that helped make them look invincible.
However, at the South Regional meet, Carroll's team average was off from their previous three races. They ran a 19:02, well below their season average, but it was still on point and good enough to qualify. The Lady Dragons also ran as tight as usual and they all finished within 38 seconds.
Bottom line, they ran another good race, just slightly less than perfect. But, for a Carroll team who did not qualify for NXN last year, they just wanted to ensure a qualifying performance. That, however, left the door open for Prosper.
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Prosper had an interesting 2019 season. They had hopes and expectations after last year's NXN qualifying team and returning six of seven runners. However, the journey to the championship season was packed with KT tape, band aids, ice, recovery, and rest.
The Lady Eagles didn't run a full team until district and their run towards state. The timing appears to be just right as they were able to finish in third place again at the UIL 6A state meet. That put them in a perfect position heading into NXR South; A position they knew very well from last year.
That familiarity gave them some comfortability heading into the Girls Championship race as they ran composed and took advantage of an imperfect race by Carroll. UIL 6A state champ Aubrey O'Connell did the expected and challenged for the individual title. She finished in fourth place overall in 18:02.10.
The rest of the team backed her up with big time finishes from sophomore Sadie Gonzales (18th place), and senior Tatum Castillo (35th place). Prosper finished with a 18:53 team average for the regional title and second consecutive berth to NXN.
A surprise of the meet was Flower Mound. Considered one of the best teams at the start of the season, the Jaguars beat up on a lot of teams this season. However, they entered the meet with a key members of their team missing from the entry list. The best runner on the team and one of the best in Texas, Natalie Cook did not run. That was certainly going to doom Flower Mound. However, the rest of the Lady Jags did not just lay down and give up.
Flower Mound girls still managed to finish in third place overall in the championship race with their 19:15 team average and 48 second split. Their total score was 142 points, 43 points behind second place and 47 behind first place. Their fifth place runner added 46 points. With Cook, they would have definitely made the team race even more interesting and would have possibly been in position for their second straight NXR Title.