Week #6 News and Notes in San Antonio

Churchill Girls at Hoka/McNeil Invitational

It is officially time for teams to start thinking about their District meets with championships coming up with just over two weeks. Seguin is hosting a meet this week at Max Starcke Park where many of the District meets will take place October 10-12. Alamo Heights, Boerne and Southwest Legacy are also hosting local meets this weekend. Last week, the Hoka/Round Rock McNeil Invitational saw a large number of local teams make the trip North for the two-day event.

In the Rankings

The Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas (CCCAT) released their Week #3 coaches poll. The Boerne Champion girls and boys are each ranked in the 5A top 10. Their girls team comes in at #6 while the boys are slightly higher at #4. At the 4A level, the Fredericksburg girls were voted as the top team while Davenport comes in at #6. Lytle also has both of their girls and boys ranked in the 3A top team. Their girls are #4 and their boys are #2. Meanwhile, the Poth girls are currently #2 while the Great Hearts Northern Oaks (#8) and Randolph (#10) boys are in the top 10 in 3A.

Keeping Up with Beth

Boerne Champion's Elizabeth Leachman keeps rolling out impressive performances week after week. After taking second at a national meet a week ago, this week she won the Gold Division 5K at the Hoka/McNeil Invitational in 16:30.30. She beat one of the top 6A girls in the state, Edinburg North's San Juanita Leal, by over 1:30. Leachman's winning time of 30 seconds faster than any other girl has run in Texas this year. She will be the heavy favorite at the 5A State meet.

New Kids on the Block

The Sotomayor boys and girls made a strong case to be considered the top teams in District 29-6A this week after their performance at the NISD Invitational on Wednesday. Despite being in only their second year as a school they took down some of the top contenders for the title. Their boys won the meet with 70 points, just ahead of Health Careers (75), Harlan (85) and O'Connor (90). The girls won the meet with 47 points and had the individual champion, Juliet Navarro.

Last year, the SotoCat boys took seventh at the district meet where Holmes easily won with 40 points, but they graduated two of their top three runners and finished behind Sotomayor at the Islander Splash Invitational. The Sotomayor girls finished sixth in the district last year and it was Brennan who won the team title. Brennan's top four runners were all underclassmen last year, but two of those runners have not competed this year and only Caila Lyons has performed as well as in the past. Taft and Harlan have been the best girls team in the district this year. Taft won the Judson Invitational last week while Sotomayor beat Harlan by 12 points at the NISD Invitational.

Winning Ways

Local schools swept the Hoka/McNeil Invitational last week. In the 3A races it was Great Hearts Northern Oaks winning the boys meet and Poth winning the girls meet. In the 4A division, the Lytle boys won by 36 points over Boerne and the Fredericksburg girls had a dominant win by 63 points.

GHNO was led by senior Isai Moran who crossed the finish line in 16:15.90, nearly 14 seconds in front of second place. In a race that had 290 runners, they had four runners in the top 30. Benjamin Alcott added an eighth-place performance with a time of 17:05.90.

The Poth girls won with 120 points, 53 in front of second place Hamilton and 61 in front of Lytle, their top local rival. Brooklyn Albert was their top runner finishing the 2-mile course in 11:52.20 to take third place while Katelyn Poth and Rylee Ellis each finished in the top-25 and broke 12:50. Randolph did not field a complete team, but they did have the individual champion, Sophia Bendet who should be considered one of the favorites for the State title.

The Lytle boys have one of my favorite teams to follow this year. Despite not having anyone finish in the top-10, they still won the 4A meet by 36 points. Instead of relying upon a couple of dominant runners they have a great pack. Their top-5 all finished within 22 seconds of each other which was by far the best pack in the race. Boerne finished in second place and their top five pack was separated by 1:17. Another local school, Davenport, had two runners, Christian Pena and Eli Bliss, finish before any Lytle runners and still finished 128 points behind them.

The Fredericksburg girls showed why they are ranked #1 in the State with their dominant victory. Taylor Grona, Ann Claire Cop and Rilyn Grona finished in the top-6 and each broke 12 minutes on the 2-mile course. While their top three runners are awesome, their next two runners, Anna Munoz and Madalyn Kovar, are also running well after breaking 12:50. Davenport took third place with 132 points and had the best 1-5 split of the top seven teams, but they were unable to put anyone in the top 15.

Around the City

Kerrville Tivy and Falls City each hosted small meets this past weekend. The San Antonio Spartans duo of Titus Gill and Ben Flanigan took the top two spots at the Antler Boys 5K with Gill winning in 16:15.7. Smithson Valley won the meet with 34 points, five points ahead of the Spartans. SV had four runners finish in the top eight with Zebene Martine leading the way with a fourth-place finish. In the girls race, Tivy had the top three finishers en route to their team title. Hannah Hood won the meet with a time of 19:37. The Devine boys and girls swept the Falls City Invitational. Stockdale freshman Cooper Warrick won the boys 5K in 18:42.67 while Devine's Aimee Carr won the 2-mile race in 13:08.77.

Judson hosted an invitational this past weekend. In the boys division it was Clemens winning the team title with 63 points while Central Catholic, Wagner and Medina Valley all finished less than 20 points back. Central Catholic's Noah Fernandez and Andrew Rivas took the top two spots as they each came through in 16:30 for the 5K race. Clemens was led by Jayce Love and Sean Gonzalez who each finished in the top-10. Taft and Medina Valley each had two runners finish in the top-10 as well. In the girls division, it was Taft taking the title with 47 points and Medina Valley finished a close second with 54 points. MV's Reesa Lowell was the individual champion as she just missed breaking 20 minutes on the 5K course. Taft was the only team to put three runners in the top 10 with Kelsay Edwards (3rd), Natalie Badillo (7th) and Brooklyn Crow (10th) providing a strong top three runners.

Harlandale played host to a meet that ended up running approximately 3.35 miles in length. Brackenridge won both the boys and girls divisions. In the boys race, Brackenridge put three runners in the top seven, including Reyes Arteaga (#3), Alejandro Cardenas (#5) and Gerardo Yguerabide (#7). Madison's Nicholas Maldonado won the race in 18:56.7 while Burbank's Jordan Avila was the runner-up in 19:03.01. Fox Tech took second as a team and Harlandale was third. In the girls race, Brackenridge won with a total of 22 points while Highlands was second with 44 points. Zoe Barron of Highlands was the individual winner in 22:13.3 while the Brackenridge trio of Michaela Moncada, Jadyn Gonzalez and Ava Garza took the next three spots.

There were also a large number of 5A and 6A schools at the Hoka/McNeil Invitational. Brennan's Zachary Miller took third in the 6A boys division with a time of 16:34.10. In the 6A girls division, Caila Lyons of Brennan continued her excellent season with a second-place finish in 19:36.80. Steele had two girls finish in the top 10, Kassia Kozarski (5th) and Karrington Brown (10th). Steele finished in third place as a team. In the Gold Boys Division it was Henok Hagos running unattached who emerged as the individual champion in 15:16.10. Locals Farrin Mangelson (San Antonio Patriots), Gavin Chapa (Reagan), Anthony Zapata (Southwest Legacy) and Arlo Gonzales (LEE) all broke 16 minutes in the race. In the Gold Girls Division, Leachman was the champion, but Canyon Lake's Cadence Patterson nabbed fifth place in 18:19.00 and Clark's Jadeyn Perez ran a great time of 18:49.60. In the Silver Division races, Sotomayor's Joseph Lopez took fifth place in the boys race in 16:13.30 while the Johnson girls took fifth place behind a sixth place performance by freshman Emily Krot. Eleanor Smith of San Marcos finished in the top 10 and also broke 20 minutes.

There was one final meet at the River City Believers Soldiers Invitational. The Cornerstone Christian School won both divisions. San Antonio Christian's Malachi O'Brien won the boys race in 17:07.05 while Bella Haas of Great Hearts Northern Oaks won the girls race in 20:19.14

What's Happening This Week

This weekend East Central, Alamo Heights, Boerne, Southwest Legacy and Seguin are hosting meets. Meanwhile, Johnson is scheduled to compete at the Nike South Meet in The Woodlands while Smithson Valley is traveling to Dallas Jesuit.