WATCH Caden Leonard, Southlake Carroll Flex Nike South Win

Southlake Carroll sophomore Caden Leonard leads the Nike South Elite Boys race

The Nike South Invitational brought the first true 5,000m course race and only the third time the Southlake Carroll boys would lace up the shoes, with uniforms, and bibs for the 2023 cross country season.

It was a certified and legitimate 5,000m course along with A+ competition. The end result was clarity as to why they still hold on to the CCCAT No. 1 ranking.

While Carroll has been doing their own thing most of the season, we've witnessed other teams around Texas run well, run fast, and even make possible cases to overtake the reigning defending UIL 6A boys team state champions for the past four seasons.

No longer is there reason to guess, wonder, or prognosticate how good this Southlake Carroll team is at 5,000 meters. We now know.

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In the three occasions Carroll has run this year, we've come to know them to favor getting out fast and controlling the front of the race.

Yesterday, they did the same thing with seven runners in the lead pack for the first mile plus of the race. As the race continued, some of the runners fell off and one or two pressed the pace and kept pressure on the rest of the field.

Sophomore Caden Leonard assumed the lead and ran away from everyone else on his way to the 15:06 win. He finished sixteen-seconds ahead of runner-up Benjamin Montgomery, the junior from Cypress Bridgeland.

PLACE	ATHLETE		   TEAM	                  MARK	
1 Caden Leonard 10	   Carroll High School	  15:06.30	
2 Benjamin Montgomery 11   Bridgeland	          15:22.60	
3 Jude Alvarez 12	   Carroll High School	  15:23.20	
4 Sam Golla 12	           Clear Lake High School 15:25.10	
5 Chris Creedon 11	   LC Clear Creek	  15:26.40

The final scores would show Carroll dictated the race and showed their consistency and preparation throughout the season to the tune of a 15:25 team average with a 0.32 second spread. Carroll's first six runners would cross prior to every other team's second scoring runner.

The remarkable fact of the day's race shows only five teams have a No. 1 runner who could be in Carroll's top six.

While I understand today is only October 1, and the championship season not yet upon us, but Carroll's potential at 5,000m is no longer  just a forecast or an on paper prediction.

It's legitimate pressure put on every other team in the state and the South Region to respond.

1 Carroll High School          27	1+3+5+8+10	0:32 1-5 Split | 15:25 Avg
2 Katy Tompkins                124	7+13+19+37+48	1:00 1-5 Split | 16:01 Avg
3 Bridgeland                   144	2+25+28+42+47	1:06 1-5 Split | 16:07 Avg
4 The Woodlands                163	17+22+27+39+58	0:44 1-5 Split | 16:12 Avg
5 The Woodlands College Park   208	29+35+36+45+63	0:28 1-5 Split | 16:23 Avg