Ursuline Academy's Amanda Hogan (L) and The Woodlands Christian's Ben Shearer (R) look to repeat as individual state champions and help lead their teams to impressive performances tomorrow
TAPPS cross country was perhaps at it's height in the last couple of years. They've have several athletes represent the southern part of the country at national cross country championships.
At the state level, some of the best teams in the league have taken turns winning titles and others starting winning streaks.
Tomorrow will be the 2020 TAPPS state meet in Hewitt, Texas (Waco) and the Private and Parochial schools will look to continue their excellent running.
Here are some things to keep a eye on.
The girls 6A team race should again come down between two of the top TAPPS programs. Houston St. Agnes and Dallas Ursuline Academy have taken turns with their winning streaks. It should come down to those two star studded programs again.
Last year, St. Agnes took the team win by placing their top 5 in the top 10. Their No. 1 runner transferred after cross country season, but they still return four of their top runners.
Amanda Hogan of Ursuline Academy won her first state title last fall by going 12:10.90 on a tough course. She returns as a junior this season and she could very well repeat; she's had a good season so far. She has gone 11:16 in the 3200m and 11:53 in the 2 mile this season.
The 6A boys could be the Antonian show again. Last year the boys from San Antonio performed extremely well only scoring 39 points over senior laden Houston area schools St. Thomas and The Village. Antonio returns their entire top seven from last season including runner-up Ben Tijerina and third place finisher Hunter Haynes.
Not only could the team battle look a lot like last season's championships, but the individual race could be a mirror image. The top three individuals are all back. Reagan High, Abby Metzger, and Gabriella Glander will all duel it out once again.
Can SAC do it again? Last year, they won both the girls and boys titles and although it'll be a challenge, they might have a shot at doing it again. They graduated three scorers, which will require other runners to jump in and run well if they want to repeat.
St. Michaels was second last year in the boys race like with the girls and they'd like to get back on top, but they also graduated some top scorers. McKinney Christian brings back six guys from last year, but they'll also have to step up to take down two big time programs.
Another challenge for the 5A teams is the addition of The Woodlands Christian program. They have been extremely successful in 4A, but they move up this season and we'll see if they can mix it up with the 5A programs. Last year's 4A state champ Ben Shearer should cruise to the individual win.
Without The Woodlands Christian in the race, there will be four new 4A champs crowned.
As a freshman, Madison Seebeck was second overall last year behind All-Star Ellie Catron and could win her first state title tomorrow. She will have a proven competitor in freshman Emily Smith. The Colleyville Covenant youngster is a legitimate challenger. She's taken on the UIL's best and now we'll see a battle of young runners battle all across the course.
Dallas Cristo Rey boys are ready to win a state title. They are motivated and now that the path is clear for them without TWC, the 4A title is theirs to lose.
Sophie Davis from Dallas Covenant ran away with the 3A girl's title last season. She will be the favorite for the individual title as she hopes to repeat.
The Dallas Covenant boys were just about unstoppable last year. So good, they have to be considered challengers again this year. However, they graduated several runners. That leaves the door open for Midland Classical Academy. They return six runners and will be in the driver's seat.
TAPPS girls 2A cross country belongs to Shiner St. Paul. Julianna Davis is back to lead her girls to add another championship trophy to their long lasting collection.
Last year was a boys team battle between two Lubbock schools with Southwest Christian coming out on top and All-Saints finishing second.
We could see a repeat battle of the cross town rivals.
Conroe Lifestyle Christian girls comfortably won last year's state title. They were led by several young runners who should lead them to contend for anther title.
On the boy's side, things could be up for grabs. With the top two teams graduating several key runners, this could be a wild and crazy team battle.