Texas Boys Dominate Eastbay South Regionals With State Win

Photo Credit: Richie Mercado

Left to Right (Emmanuel Sgouros, Kevin Sanchez, Sahil Dodda, Reese Vannerson, and Hector Solis)

We know Texas distance runners and coaches are good, but we don't always get the acknowledgement and respect nationally for it due to various reasons.

After today, even the national stage has to recognize there is no denying the 2021 season in Texas has some heavy hitters. 

Texas had a good size group of runners compete at the Eastbay South Region with hopes of qualifying for the national meet. Five of the runners ran well enough to capture the state team title for Texas.

Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) runners Emmanuel Sgouros (Houston St. John's) and Sahil Dodda (Dallas St. Mark's) had their conference championship battle earlier in the month. Sgouros won the SPC title with Dodda finishing runner-up.

Last week, Dodda competed and won the South Region Team Championships in The Woodlands, Texas. This morning, he and Sgouros were back at it and they once again left impressive performances on the course.

Dodda followed up last week's performance with a season best 15:01 for the runner up finish, just one second behind winner Ethan Ashley (Cummings, GA).

Sgouros, who competed for the first time in three weeks since the SPC Championships was also impressive turning in a 15:04 for a fourth place finish.

The UIL 6A state champion Kevin Sanchez (Austin Vandegrift) was just two seconds back with his 15:06 run, which was good enough for sixth place overall. Hector Solis (PSJA North) and Reese Vannerson (Houston Strake Jesuit) rounded out the Texas boys scorers.

Solis, the UIL 6A state meet fourth place finisher was 12th overall and Vannerson was 20th place in 15:33.

Photo Credit: Richie Mercado

Sahil Dodda and Emmanuel Sgouros

Boys Individuals

Not only does Texas as a whole not get the appreciation and acknowledgement, but private and parochial schools don't always get the respect they earn within the state.

Dodda and Sgouros are two examples why it's not only UIL athletes who are capable of big time achievements.

The top 10 individual in the girls and boys championship races qualify for the Eastbay Nationals. Dodda and Sgouros make the first time the SPC will be represented by boys for a qualifying national cross country championship meet. 

The two of them doing it in the same meet further demonstrates the talent level of the two and how much they've developed. 

Both Dodda and Sgouros were 17 minute 5K runners as freshmen and now after committing to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas respectively, they are now going to compete for a national championship.

A sixth place finish also qualifies Sanchez for the Eastbay Nationals, his first national championship meet.