Meet Recap: Day One Hoka/McNeil Inv.

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Today was just the start of the great action in store at the Hoka/McNeil Invitational.

Even though, many are looking forward to tomorrow's events, the Friday slate was just as good as tomorrow will be.

In our meet preview yesterday, we noted that the girls 1A-4A race would be a dandy. It was!

With several of the state's top ranked teams in 2A, 3A, and 4A as well as state champions from last season, the ingredients of a superb exhibition was in store.

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1A - 4A Girls Two-Mile

Taylor Grona was one of the several girls we pointed out for you to keep an eye on. The Fredericksburg junior told us she was looking forward to dropping down to the 2-mile distance after racing many 5Ks; she wasted no time getting straight to business. Grona won the race with a 11:14 to top some pretty substantial competitors.

Celina senior Alexis Frick was runner-up, also keeping the momentum she has been running with by going 11:29. Zerah Martinez, senior from Sinton was third with a 11:33.

The individual race was close coming down the stretch with three other girls right behind Martinez all at 11:38 or better.

Team wise, the defending 4A state champs were on fire! Celina told us earlier in the year how they wanted to defend their title; today they did more than express it with words, they backed it up with their legs. Celina ran an excellent race turning in a 11:59 team average and an impressive 0.43 second 1-5 compression.

Fredericksburg was also impressive with their 11:53 team average, showing the 5Ks were paying off. 

Getting in the mix with the UIL girls were TAPPS powerhouse Houston St. Agnes. Coach Chris Warren's squad got in the mix by finishing third behind the two UIL 4A perennially strong programs and ahead of other strong UIL teams including podium team winners from last season. St. Agnes turned in a 12:38 team average and a 0.38 second split.

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1A - 3A Boys 5K

Yesterday, we also noted how Holliday freshman Noah Strohman was stepping up to the big time. Wondering how he would handle the race, Strohman showed he is as cool as a cucumber at this running thing.

Dropping a smooth 15:19 PR to get his first taste of Old Settler's Park wasn't too shabby of a way to start for the freshman. He helped pace two other boys under 16:00 as senior Hutton Edney from New Waverly ran 15:34 to finish second, and junior Isai Moran from San Antonio Great Hearts Northern Oaks was third in 15:54.

Lytle won the boys race with 72 points ahead of SA Great Hearts NO who tallied 114. Lytle ran a 17:02 team average with Great Hearts dropping a 17:09 average.

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4A Boys 5K

Coming off of sickness, Riley Nedrow has been working his way back and trying to build his strength up. Today, he showed he is close to 100% with his 15:09 PR. After a win last week at Lovejoy, he looked confident and fit as he soloed another fast win.

Kenny Bibb from Anna and Victor Aviles from Burnet also turned in impressive performances as they ran to a close finish with a time of 15:31 a piece. That was just the tip of things with a total of 11 boys running sub 16-minutes.

In the team standings, it was Giddings, Huffman-Hargrave, and Salado running to 1, 2, 3 finishes. Giddings ran a 16:23 team average with a 0.51 second split, Huffman-Hargrave ran a 16:41 average with a 0.55 second split, and Salado ran a 16:45 team average.

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