Meet Preview: Southlake Carroll XC Invite Will Bring Fire

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Team Entries

Girls Elite Race Entries

Boys Elite Race Entries

The 2022 cross country season is one we've been looking forward to for some time here at MileSplit and it is underway. This is the third running weekend of the season and while there are still many meets with relay style running and shorter than competition distances things will get real in North Texas.

The point to racing fast this early doesn't really fall in line with major priorities of most teams and athletes who look to have big time finishes in October, November, and even December for some.

However, it does feed the need for some of us who have been waiting for this time since, hmmm....let's say last December!

This weekend we'll get a taste of some high level running with some highly rated teams and athletes. On the girls side the CCCAT Preseason No. 2, No. 5, and No. 10 UIL 6A teams will compete as well as UIL 5A No. 3 and No. 4 teams. For the boys, UIL 6A No. 1, No. 4, and No. 7 teams with UIL 5A No. 1. No. 2, and US No. 7. That's five top 10 ranked girls teams and six top 10 ranked boys teams. Add the boys runner-up team from the Oklahoma 5A state meet to make things even more interesting.

The Elite Girls race will be the best way to get things started as both the team and individual races will be exciting.  The host team, Southlake Carroll will open up their season on grass for the first time this year. They ran very impressive times last year on the track as well as last weekend at the Southlake 2 Mile.

Ava Bushaw and Audrey Dunn will lead the squad along with Alexandra Walsh and Sylvia Schwedler who proved last track season as well as last weekend that they are ready to breath fire.

The home team will get challenged on the team front with Colleyville Heritage bringing their squad who will be led by the Love sisters Allie Love and Gabbie Love.

Northwest Eaton was a big surprise team last year, but by time November came around, it was clearly evident how good they were as they ran all of the way to Round Rock as a squad. Their leaders Izzy Lochtefeld and Avery Nelson will have the squad fighting for more in 2022 as they should out run complacency and chase for as much as they can take.

El Paso Franklin and Prosper should both have good shows as they both expect to contend in 6A this year. Franklin graduated some key seniors, but they they still have No. 1 Alyssa Laspada who will be the low stick. Shewaye Johnson is back for year two of Texas running and her new running mate this year will be Reagan Reed who had a good start last week at Rock Hill.

The front of the pack will be some prime real estate as some of the state's top girls could have the early parts of the race looking like a Nascar event until someone decides to pull away.

Johnson is the defending champion from a year ago and she figures to take the lead out early and no doubt fast. Gabbie Love was an early race leader last year as was Pearland's Madison Peters who will again travel from the Houston area to tackle the dominant DFW area runners.

Also figuring to make sure the race goes out hot is Louisa Ehinger who has a knack for fast starts. The Coppell senior is not afraid of pushing the pace. Aforementioned Laspada, Lochtefeld, Nelson, Bushaw, Dunn, Walsh, and Schwedler should be close in tow with and possibly part of the lead pack from the gun.

Runners to look out for are TAPPS state champion Avery Owen Dallas Lakehill Prep, Kylie Himes from Grapevine who ran 11:34 last weekend and two time state meet qualifier Emilee Jones from Waxahachie.

However Margaret Thompson from Hockaday and Abigail Bass from Melissa will be usual sights at the front of the pack. The two state champions know how to run and will be looking to drop the hammer on the solid field. Thompson, the 2021 SPC champ ran 17:56 last weekend at Waxahachie and things could get much quicker this weekend. Bass, last year's UIL 4A state champ is looking to let the 5A and 6A girls know she is coming up a class and room needs to be made for her at the top.

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The boys team race will be a continuation from the girls as some of the top UIL 5A and 6A teams will line up. CCCAT Preseason No. 1 Carroll Dragons will look to defend their home turf as the so-called dragon slayers who are very rarely successful are always out there hunting. They'll compete against Coppell, Grapevine, Prosper, Wylie, and an underrated El Paso Franklin team who will let the state know this weekend how good they are. A very good Piedmont (OK) who finished runner-up last year at the Oklahoma 5A state meet will come down.

The Carroll No. 1 runner could be any one of seven boys as this is as strong of a team as they've had in a while even though they've won three straight 6A state titles.

The back-to-back state champion Grapevine boys will have newcomer Adam Burlison leading the way. He ran 9:18 last weekend on the track and looks to make it two straight weekends with wins in Southlake.

Other than the team race, the individual race could be a barn burner. Burlison figures to be a major player in the race along with Wyatt Athey who will lead his Denton squad that wants to back up their two straight podium finishes with a third. If Athey hasn't impressed you in the last two years, I don't know what else this young man must do. His 9:19 last weekend is a good way to get it done and he could drop a gem of a race this weekend.

Other runners who figure to be a part of the lead pack are Judah Alexander-Macias (Leander Homeschool) and Ellis Eserman (Denton Guyer) who put on a good race two weeks ago at Plano with Macias winning in 15:39 and Eserman in third in 15:44. Last weekend, Coppell harriers had a good opening weekend. Andrew Mullen won the Waxahachie meet in 15:26 and Vedant Bhattacharyya was second in 15:34.

Prosper figures to be a major player in the team race, but they also have three studs who can flat out fly. The Eagle trio had a good start to the season last week at the Rock Hill meet over two miles and figures to lay it out over the 5K distance. Jack Johnston, Dawson Svoboda, and C. Max Miller should all be lead pack runners this weekend.

Making their season debuts will be Logan Tauch (Melissa)and three individual state champions Hudson Bennett (Burnet), Angel Sanchez (Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis), and David Mora (Lubbock Monterey)

Piedmont junior Dade Humes was the runner-up at the 5A state meet last year in Oklahoma in 16:18. When he gets a taste of the smooth grassa and flat course at Bob Jones park, look for him to open up with a sub 16 minute run this weekend.