Connor Bartek Gets Big Win And Plains Edges Tenaha

Goldthwaite senior Connor Bartek prepares to cross the finish line to win the UIL 2A Cross Country State Championship

2022 UIL 2A Boys Cross Country State Championships 

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The UIL 2A boys state meet ended out to be nothing like we thought it would be. It started like we thought, but the road through the 5,000m took us for turns nobody saw coming.

It was supposed to be a showdown between two of the best runners in the state with Connor Bartek (Goldthwaite) and Caden Thurman (Wolfe City) who both had run sub 15 minute performances heading into the state meet.

By time the race began, the weather for the day had turned. It had progressively changed throughout the day and at the time of the 2A boys race, it had changed from rainy to windy --very windy.

Head first into the strong wind gusts, Thurman began the race by taking a commanding lead. Bartek was the next runner to come through and then the rest of the field.

Bartek came through the mile maker at 5:10, an indicator of how strong the winds were. Thurman who unusually ran without his iconic white hat was about 10-15 seconds ahead and continued to press forward. At two-miles, Thurman's lead was cut in half, but he still had a lead heading into the last 1/3 of the race.

1	Connor Bartek	12	Goldthwaite	16:13.80 	0
2	Antonio Martinez	12	Louise	17:02.70 	0
3	Alan Baez Corpus	11	Ganado	17:08.20 	0
4	Karl Patanpatan	10	Hawley High School	17:14.20 	1
5	Adrian Ramirez	9	Tenaha	17:17.50 	2
6	Taylor Warrick		Stockdale	17:18.80 	0
7	Francis Patanpatan	10	Hawley High School	17:20.40 	3
8	Jhoan Menjivar	11	Plains	17:21.50 	4
9	Julian Rodriguez	11	Reagan County	17:22.70 	0
10	Jackson Martinez	11	New Home	17:24.00 	0

At about 2.5 miles, at the descend of the last major incline on the course, Bartek was now in the lead and Thurman appeared to no longer be. With wind now at the back of the runners, there was perhaps some reprieve from the conditions. Bartek would continue and power through to the finish as the winner.

Antonio Martinez (Louise) would finish runner-up with a time of 17:02 and Alan Baez Corpus (Ganado) was third in 17:08.

In the team standings, Wolfe City was nearly immediately removed from team contention. With their low stick runner no longer going to contribute, they'd go from adding one or two points to 52 points to the team score.

That did not lessen the competition level and the drama surrounding the race. Through four runners, the bid for the state championship was between two teams. Tenaha and Plains were watching a score of 37 points for Plains and 46 points for Tenaha. The Tenaha four and five runners were trying to separate from the Plains five runner.

However, the Plains runner was able to stay close enough and finished with a score of 35 contributing points keeping pace with Tenaha's four and five scorers who attributed 31 and 33 points. Plains won the state title by seven points 72 < 79. Hamilton finished third overall with 103 points.

A Plains runner crosses the bridge and heads to the finish line to help propel the team to a championship

Photo Credit: Anthony Torns II

1	Plains	72	4+6+13+14+35 (94+103)	1:42 1-5 Split | 18:13 Avg
2	Tenaha	79	2+5+8+31+33 (49+61)	1:44 1-5 Split | 18:07 Avg
3	Hamilton	103	10+16+21+24+32 (67+85)	0:47 1-5 Split | 18:36 Avg