So, we've taken early looks into the UIL 4A girls and 6A boys upcoming state meets and now we take a gander into the 5A girls.
At this time of the week, much of the data in the virtual meets will have become inconsequential with some teams and individuals being eliminated at the district level.
However, there are still a lot who will keep pushing on towards the mark of the state meet.
Last season, we perhaps saw one of the deepest and most competitive seasons in the UIL 5A girls division team race. That has continued to carry over into this season.
The individual team battle will also be a spectator's delight. The state championship race will perhaps be the most elite race of the championships.
Colorado transfer and Canyon Randall senior Cameron McConnell has been on fire all season long. She started off early and fast and as of now has continued to show her level of consistency with her 17:16 from the district 3-5A meet.
McConnell is the No. 1 ranked runner in Texas with her 17:06.80 and she should carry that ranking into Regionals. Last year's state champion Isabel Conde De Frankenberg (Cedar Park) isn't far behind at all. She checks in with a 17:07.60 SB and appears primed and ready to defend her title. Both girls have competed against the other UIL 5A top contenders, but not yet against one another, which will make the state meet that much more interesting.
Also bringing more interest is the emergence of McKenzie Bailey. The Georgetown junior has some very good races on this season's list of accomplishments. Her McNeil Inv. race where she battled Frankenberg all of the way to the finish line and going 17:08.20 puts her right there in the talk of McConnell and Frenkenberg.
With a total of eight UIL 5A girls who have run sub 18:00, the state meet race could be a free for all for every podium spot. There is no shortage of fast girls in this division.
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The team race has been highly anticipated since the moment last year's race ended. It has become even more so in just the last couple of days.
The back-to back defending champions Boerne Champion lost a couple of key runners to graduation, but they are still in the mix for a podium finish. However, Lucas Lovejoy has become the favorite with their team performances this season; they are stacked and are running confident. Another team who started fast in the early goings of the season is Colleyville Heritage. They perhaps have the best 1-2 punch out of the 5A teams that can keep them in any race.
However, waking up lately and reminding everyone that they're still strong are the squads from Canyon Randall and Grapevine.
At the District 3-5A race yesterday, Randall saw signs of strong championship running. Some of their runners who we were waiting to have the impact we've known them to have are now starting to do so. They totalled 18 points, which isn't the hardest thing to do at a district meet, but considering they ran a season's best 18:36 team average. Senior Ariyah Gomez who is an all-state 5A runner wasn't even in Randall's top 7 until this weekend. Well, she's back to form as she ran 18:38.20 yesterday to solidify Randall's state championship campaign.
Also coming up with a shocking district performance was Grapevine. They won the district meet over Colleyville Heritage making the regional race even more interesting. Taking down the No. 3 team in the state should be a huge confidence booster heading to Lubbock.
Check out the virtual meet to see how outstanding the remainder of the UIL 5A post season could be.