Boys compete at the 2022 McNeil Inv. in the Silver race
The McNeil Invitational has always been a talent magnet. Some of the best in the state head down to Round Rock to get a glimpse and a run on the UIL state meet course.
That draw is just as good this year. In fact, it has some of the best individuals in the state as well as top teams. There are 226 Gold boys and 258 Gold girls, so the runners will have to be on their A-games.
We have some teams and individuals entered in the Gold races that you need to be on the lookout for tomorrow.
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Individually, the girls race figures to be the main attraction. Here are the individuals to keep a eye on:
Elizabeth Leachman (Boerne Champion) - The Champion sophomore has left every course she has touched on fire. Last weekend, she ran 15:32 at Woodbridge last weekend to place runner-up. That was her second fifteen-minute run of the season .... she has a 16:34 on a true 5K course and could drop that this weekend.
Isabel Conde De Frankenberg (Cedar Park) - Frankenberg didn't have the end to the track season she would have written last spring. It was cut short due to injury and she has been working her way back into fitness after rehabbing. She ran 18:19 to win the Cedar Park Inv. two weeks ago and will get a good litmus test tomorrow.
San Juanita Leal (Edinburg North) - Leal had a heck of a track season winning two state title over some incredible runners. She has a season best run of 17:43, but hasn't had a lot of challenge. That should change this weekend.
Madison Larsen (Aledo) - Larsen has been running extremely well in her first UIL season, but had a DNF last weekend in College Station at A&M. Expect a bounce-back run this weekend.
Sleepers to Lookout For
Micah Mizell (Round Rock Stony Point) - The senior is undefeated this season and ran 18:03 two times. Look for her to come away with a big time PR this weekend.
Dana Rojas Vasquez (McAllen) - Vasquez has a 17:56 and a 18:07 from races down in the RGV. She'll get a challenge on Saturday and could prove herself to be one to watch. The senior should at least get a big time PR.
Mia Perez (Smithson Valley) - Perez is best known for her 2:11 and 4:57 exploits as a sophomore last year, but the Smithson Valley runner is dangerous on the cross country course as well. She has either won or finished runner-up in every race except one, which was a fifth place run at the Patriot Inv.
Miah McAulay (Austin Bowie) - The Bowie sophomore has been in contention in every race this season. Runner-up finishes are the lowest she's produced and this weekend will be a test, but could result in her best race to date.
Hudson Haley (Austin Vandegrift) - There is no beating around the bush, Hudson Haley has proven that he is the best runner in the state so far this season. He has either run faster than everyone or beaten everyone else. Despite not having a 5K time this year, he has the proof that the clock doesn't matter. His performances are 14:08, 14:34, and 14:35 .... enough said.
Benjamin Montgomery (Bridgeland) - Montgomery is fresh off his win at Texas A&M. He ran 15:29 on a true and a difficult 5K course. This weekend will be his first taste of serious competition and he should respond well to it.
Angel Sanchez (FW Diamond Hill-Jarvis) - Sanchez hasn't run much as he returns from a late track season injury. I doubt he'd be running this weekend if he wasn't ready to go. Any race he is in he makes it fun to watch.
Dylan Schieffelin (Austin Vandegrift) - Another of Vandegrift's studs is Schieffelin. He is just as potent to deal with as Haley. Expect him to be in the race at the end making a mad dash for a top finishing spot.
Andruw Villa (Abilene) - Villa has been traveling to find the best competition he could find and last week he hit big. His 14:58 for runner-up is tied for the second fastest 5K in the state. He's competed at Old Settler's before at the state meet, so expect him to drop a good run.
Renne Cooper (Austin Brentwood Christian Academy) - As with Villa, Cooper connected on his race at Lovejoy last week; he ran a 15:06 PR for a third place finish. If he can put together another second half race mad dash, look for him to be in contention.
Sleepers to Lookout For
Henry Henze (Coppell) - Henze is having a great season. He was a DNF at Lovejoy last weekend, but this is the type of guy to come back motivated due to that.
Jackson Lovvorn (Corpus Christi King) - Lovvorn committed to the University of Houston and is now playing with house money and we should look out for him.
Hayden Scott (San Antonio Brandeis) - Scott ran a personal best time on a true 5K course just last weekend at 15:37 to win at the Islander Splash.
Nolan House (Georgetown) - House has gone 15:25 and 15:45 this season. He was 21st last year at state; 16:09 is his best time on this course and that should be blown away tomorrow.
Alexis Rodriguez (Edinburg North) - Rodriguez was runner-up to Scott last weekend at Islander Splash and is enjoying a very good season to this point. He was runner-up in the 5A race last year at McNeil and could be in the running for another top finish this season.