Marcus Coach T Invitational Meet Preview And Virtual Meet

Marcus Coach T Inv. Virtual Meets

Team ScoresTeam Scores

This weekend, the Marcus Coach T Invitational will not be aS big of a meet as we are used to seeing, but will it still be the best meet in the state team for team? It just might be.

Some of the top UIL cross country programs in each classification along with the same prestige from SPC and TAPPS schools will still compete this weekend at Denton, Texas' North Lakes Park.

The meet formerly known as Marcus I is in the second year being renamed after the legendary and Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas (CCCAT) Hall of Fame inducted Coach Steve Telaneus.

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Girls Preview

This may upset some parts of the state, but, with the exception of one or two of the CCCAT top 10 ranked teams the best UIL 6A girls cross country teams in the state this season are in the DFW until proven other wise. Those teams obviously include Flower Mound and Southlake Carroll, but Prosper, Lewisville Hebron, and Lewisville Marcus should be included in that bunch.

These teams will all go head to head tomorrow in what could be a big time team battle. We haven't seen top ranked Flower Mound over 5K yet, but we will this Saturday. Last weekend, Southlake Carroll ran a 18:42.37 team average to lead the state. Prosper and Hebron both looked good and with the always reliable and never changing North Lakes Park course, we'll know just how good everyone is at this point.

When thinking about his week's race, Coppell and Keller will be present and those two teams have both won state title in the recent past. Dallas Highland Park will also bring some UIL 5A power to the team race as well.

Individually, we might not see Natalie Cook (Flower Mound) compete just yet, but know she is primed and ready to go if she does lace up her spikes. Cook went 10:12.74 for 3,200m on the track back on August 21st at the Southlake Carroll 2 mile; that's good enough for the TX No. 5 all-time mark at the distance. You won't miss her Lady Jaguar teammates front running though. They aren't the top team in the state just because they have what might be the top runner in the state.

The Prosper duo of Aubrey O'Connell and Shewaye Johnson are a DYNAMIC duo. O'Connell went 10:44.87 at the Southlake 2 mile where Johnson added a 10:54.92 and then went 17:24.63 for second at the Southlake Carroll last weekend.

Carroll will bring their Kaylie Cox and Audrey Dunn led group to re-do what the did last week, but the two Lady Dragons will be front runners individually as well. Austin Owen (Marcus) will make her senior season 5K debut and will be visible up front. Keep a watch for Brenna Zerby (Allen), Charlotte Hudson (Dallas Highland Park), Cassandra O'Pry (North Crowley), and Jenna Kirby (Hebron) to also be front pack runners.

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Boys Preview

Team wise, we'll have the back-to-back UIL 6A state champions Southlake Carroll dashing around the course. They have already shown how powerful of a bunch they are showcasing this season. 

Challenging the Carroll boys could be the Wolves from Plano West. They ran well last week without their number one runner Hudson Heikkinen; adding their senior star could really boost this team. Coppell also had a good outing last weekend and another week could see their youngsters start to gain momentum. Hebron is another top ranked team that is expecting a big year. This will be their first race at North Lakes since last fall's district race where they narrowly missed advancing; look for them to race their spikes off this weekend. Prosper and Flower Mound have solid squads and they will eventually bring up their back ends and decrease their 1-5 splits; this could be a fast weekend for both squads if that starts this weekend.

Individually, this could be the season break out race for Sahil Dodda (Dallas St. Marks); he has yet to run a traditional meet, but that changes this weekend. Dodda returns this season after PRing in 2020 with a 15:04 and then having a fantastic track season. He could potentially be the best boy's runner in the state.

Heikkinen sat out last weekend, but don't be surprised to see him press the tempo in this race. He is capable at running any kind of race, but no matter what the tactic is, he is usually one of the leaders.

Brayden Kennedy is one of Flower Mound's top returners this season and should be their number one runner. He had a 9:36.22 at the Southlake 2 mile race, but teammate Owen Cole also ran well by going 9:27.66. This will be their first 5K of the season, so we could possibly see them solidify themselves as state leaders.

Prosper has a powerful duo on the girls side, but they also have a strong leading duo on the boys team as well. Juniors Jack Johnston and Dawson Svoboda are not to be overlooked this season; Svoboda went 9:37.83 at the Southlake 3,200m and Johnston was right behind him in 9:38.89. Last week, that translated to 15:21.28 for Johnston and 15:25.40 for Svoboda.

Other junior class members who cold be front runners are Andrew Mullen (Coppell), Logan Cantu, Hunter Hill, and Dylan Fisher (Southlake Carroll). Although he isn't a junior, Marcus senior Jonathan Heath will get his 5K running started after going for 1:54.69 and 4:20.62 last track season. Heath won the Hebron Friday Night Hawk Invitational on August 20th with a time of 9:49.

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