San Antonio Cross Country Week #5 Notes

Photo: Hayden Scott (Brandeis) leads a pack of runners at the 2022 Region IV 6A meet.

It was a different type of race week in the San Antonio area with a large majority of teams traveling to Corpus Christi for the Islander Splash to get a look at the Regional course. The Johnson and Reagan boys teams gave a preview of the 28-6A District championship while the Fredericksburg girls continued to roll at the Texas A&M Invitational. The big meet this week is hosted by Round Rock McNeil at Old Settlers Park where at least 16 local schools will be competing.

In the Rankings

The Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas (CCCAT) puts out a State ranking. A quick summation of local programs shows no San Antonio 6A teams in the top 10. At the 5A level, the Boerne Champion boys are currently #3 while their girls are #5 and the Canyon girls are #9. There are a pair of 4A girls teams in the top 10, Fredericksburg at #1 and Davenport at #7. The 3A level shows Lytle at #2 and Great Hearts Northern Oaks at #6 in the boys poll while the Poth girls show up at #1 and the Lytle girls are #4.

While there are no local teams ranked in the 6A classification I would put Clemens, Johnson, New Braunfels, Reagan and Sotomayor as my top local boys teams and Johnson, New Braunfels and Reagan would be my top 6A girls teams.

A Big Result

Boerne Champion sophomore Elizabeth Leachman traveled to Irvine, CA for the 42nd Annual Woodbridge Cross Country Classic hosted by Northwood High School. She ran one of the fastest 3-mile times in history and took down some of the top runners in the nation including Sadie Engelhart, Alexandra Fox and Samantha Humphries. She took second place with a time of 15:32.60 getting nudged out at the finish line by Jane Hedengren of Timpview, UT who beat her by a tenth of a second. Leachman owns the fastest time in Texas at both the 5K and the 3-mile distances.

Back on Track

Two weeks ago, Brandeis senior Hayden Scott finished just 18th at the 21st Annual Patriots Invitational. It was a surprise result following the track season he had in the Spring. On Saturday, he put to rest any concerns with a great victory at the Islander Splash Gold Division 5K. He finished in 15:37.81 and he should be one of the top contenders for the Region IV title.

Around the City

The Islander Splash Gold Boys 5K saw 10 San Antonio runners finish in the top 25 led by the aforementioned Scott. He was not the only local to run well. Reagan's Gavin Chapa nabbed fourth place, just 10 seconds behind Scott. Joseph Lopez (Sotomayor), Anthony Zapata (Southwest Legacy) and Arlo Gonzales (LEE) continued to post top-10 performances with each running under 16:10. The Johnson boys finished in second place with 186 points despite no one in the top-25. Reagan finished in third place with 196 while Sotomayor (266 points) and Holmes (299) were each in the top-10 in a 32-team field.

The Islander Splash Large School Boys Division saw Lockhart dominate the proceedings with 59 points and a team title. Zeke Sanchez won the race in 16:53.11 while teammates Carlos Terrazos-Sobera and Alejandro Cruz finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Taft also put two runners in the top-10, Jovanni Rosas and Sean Torres.

In the Islander Splash Gold Girls 5K both Jadeyn Perez of Clark and Caila Lyons of Brennan finished within striking distance of Edinburg North's San Juanita Leal who won the race. Perez was third in 19:01.14 and Lyons was fourth in 19:11.69. Araceli Ford (O'Connor) and Sofia Cantor (LEE) each nabbed top-10 finishes individually. Reagan was the top local team with a fourth-place finish. They were led by Ariana Stark who finished in 24th. The Medina Valley girls had a strong showing with a fifth-place finish while Brandeis took seventh.

The Johnson girls won the Islander Splash Large School Division with 80 points. Freshman Emily Krot won the race in 20:08.70 and her teammate, Isabella Porter, took the bronze medal. Five other local girls went under 21:30 and finished in the top 10: Adriana Rodriguez (Lockhart), Kelsay Edwards (Taft), Lilyana Castro (Clemens), Claudia Lopez (Holmes) and Natalie Badillo (Taft). As a team, Steele finished in fifth and Clemens was sixth.

The New Braunfels boys had a solid showing at the Texas A&M 5K Invitational taking seventh place overall. Ethan Stutts was their top finisher taking 17th in a time of 16:29.0. Their next two runners, Noah Velasquez and Jesus Moya, each broke 17:10.

The Texas A&M Girls Invitational saw the Fredericksburg squad make a case as one of the best teams in the State regardless of classification. They finished in second place among 39 teams and had three girls finish in the top 20. Taylor Grona took ninth place in 19:14.8 while her sister, Rilyn, was 15th in 19:37.4 and Ann Claire Cop was right behind her in 19:40.5. The New Braunfels girls had a good showing as well taking sixth place. Savanah Moya continues to be their top runner and she took 10th in 19:20.8. The Davenport girls finished in 21st place, but they were missing two of their top five runners including their #1 runner, Madeline Reagan.

Smithson Valley and San Marcos went to the Hays CISD Invitational last week. The Smithson Valley boys appear to be getting into form after taking second place behind Buda Johnson. Bradyn Youngdahl finished as runner-up on the 5K course with a time of 16:38 while Zebene Martine provided a strong #2 performance by finishing in ninth. Titus Gill of the San Antonio Spartans finished in third in 16:45 while Connor McGlothlin was the top San Marcos runner finishing in eighth. In the girls race, Mia Perez of Smithson Valley took home the top honors with a 19:13 time. The San Marcos duo of Eleanor Smith and Alexandria Juarez finished third and sixth, respectively. The Smithson Valley girls have yet to field a full team, but it should be coming soon and it will be interesting to see where they stand heading into the championship season.

The Cole boys team have a great showing at the SAISD Meet #2 at Brooks City Base. They won the meet with 58 points, easily ahead of Brackenridge (87), Central Catholic (94) and Jefferson (116). Central Catholic's Noah Fernandez was the individual winner in 16:44.29 while Cole took the next two places with Ilias Braxton and William Towers. Harlan's Greydn Richards had another solid performance taking fourth in 17:14.48.

Victoria Castro led the Harlan girls to a win at the SAISD Meet with a first-place time of 20:14.25 over the 5K course. Harlan won the tightly contested meet with 73 points while Brackenridge was second with 83 points as they won the tiebreaker over Cole who also had 83 points. Brackenridge's top three runners all finished in the top five with Jadyn Gonzales, Michaela Moncada and Ava Garza leading the way.

What's Happening This Week

There is an unusual Wednesday meet this week hosted by Northside ISD at Gustafson Stadium where MacArthur, Health Careers, Clark, Harlan, Stevens, O'Connor and Lanier are all scheduled to run. On Friday, many local schools will travel to Round Rock McNeil for a big meet. On Saturday, Harlandale and Judson are each hosting meets while Cornerstone Christian is competing at the River City Believers Invitational.