San Antonio Metro Area District Previews

Southwest Legacy's Anthony Zapata is favored to win the District 28-5A title

The season has officially hit its critical point with district meets taking place all week long. Last week, a few teams were in action around the area, but the majority took the week off to prepare for the postseason. As a reminder, the top three teams and top 10 individuals in each district will advance to the Region IV meet.

In the Rankings

The Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas (CCCAT) released their pre-district meet coaches poll. The Boerne Champion girls and boys are each ranked in the 5A top 10. Their girls team comes in at #10 while the boys maintained their #4 ranking. At the 4A level, the Fredericksburg girls remained the #1 team in the state while Davenport is still #6. The Boerne boys moved into the rankings at #7. The San Antonio area has a strong contingent at the 3A level with Poth (#2) and Lytle (#4) appearing in the girls poll and Lytle (#2), Great Hearts Northern Oaks (#6) and Randolph (#8) in the boys poll.

Results from Last Week

Northside ISD hosted a meet last Wednesday that featured 16 schools. The Brennan boys won the meet with 70 points while Wagner (102), Marshall (133) and Holmes (135) nabbed the next three spots. Brennan's Zachary Miller took home the individual title in 16:46.80 to comfortably win. Miller has been one of the top runners in the city all year long. Taft's Jovanni Rosas and Harlan's Greydn Richards were the next two finishers and will get another shot at Miller this week.

In the NISD girls race, Brennan's Caila Lyons broke 20 minutes and held off O'Connor's Araceli Ford by seven seconds. However, neither Brennan nor O'Connor won the team title as Taft put four runners inside the top 10 to take the team title with 52 points while Brennan was second with 91 and O'Connor was third with 97 points. Brooklyn Crow led Taft with a third-place finish in 20:20.72 while teammates Natalie Badillo (5th), Kelsay Edwards (7th) and Daniela Shelfo (9th) provided her with strong support.

Over the weekend, Central Catholic hosted a meet at the Northeast Sports Park. Central Catholic edged out Brandeis for the team title 35-36. Andrew Rivas won the individual title in 16:20.45 for CC while Brandeis' Hayden Scott was runner-up in 16:32.45. Clark freshman Aiden Adams grabbed third place with a time of 16:33.27. Noah Fernandez and Marcus Serda of Central Catholic rounded out the top five.

The Brandeis girls topped Clark and Incarnate Word at the Central Catholic Invitational. Ada Mathias of Brandeis was the individual winner in 20:28.99 while Elizabeth Jackson of Clark was second.

San Antonio Christian also hosted a meet over the weekend the featured a large group of private schools from the area. In the boys race, Farrin Mangelson of the San Antonio Patriots narrowly defeated Adrian Rule of San Antonio Christian for the individual title as both runners went under 17 minutes. Daniel Garcia of Highlands was the fourth-place finisher while SA Christian's Nathan Womack finished in fifth to help lead his squad to victory over 12 other teams with 47 total points. The Patriots were second with 65 points while Saint Mary's Hall finished in third with 124 points.

In the girls division, it was Tilden McMullen County who emerged as champions with 46 points. The San Antonio Patriots were second with 52 points as Jessie Waschek and Florence Rosenthal each finished in the top six on the 2-mile course. Highlands finished in third place with 82 points behind Zoe Barron who nabbed a fifth-place finish. Maeve Sullivan of St. John Paul II finished in third place.

6A District Previews

If you had asked me before the season with New Braunfels would have any trouble sweeping the District 27-6A meet I would have said, "No," but now it appears that the Unicorns will have to stiff competition. In the girls race, I still think it will be New Braunfels, but Steele could challenge them behind their top runner, Kassia Kozarski. The individual title will likely come down to a pair of freshmen, Savanah Moya of New Braunfels and Eleanor Smith of San Marcos. Look for Smith and San Marcos to be the third Regional qualifying team.

The boys meet could be in for a big change this year with a non-Comal county school winning the title. It looks like Clemens and their tight bunch of runners will come out on top. Trevor Lawson has been their best runner this year, but it will come down to runners 2-5 to determine the team champion. Ethan Stutts of New Braunfels is the pick to win the individual title. The Unicorns could win the team title if they can break up Clemens' pack. San Marcos should take third as a team.

In District 28-6A, the team girls title should come down to Reagan and Brandeis with Reagan winning by a few points. It looks like Johnson should be the third qualifier behind their outstanding freshman, Emily Krot. Clark's Jadeyn Perez is the heavy favorite to win the individual title.

In the boys race, Reagan and Johnson will be dueling to the final finisher with no clear cut choice. I will go with Reagan since they have the better #1 runner in Gavin Chapa. Chapa and LEE's Arlo Gonzales will provide a strong challenge to Hayden Scott for the individual title, but I expect the Brandeis senior to win out in the end and lead his to through to the Regional meet.

In District 29-6A, the Taft girls appear to be peaking at the right time and are the pick to win. O'Connor projects to be close enough to Taft to potentially win while Sotomayor should advance as a team. Brennan's Caila Lyons has been the top runner all season long, but Brooklyn Crow of Taft and Araceli Ford of O'Connor will be breathing down her neck throughout the race. However, I will still go with Lyons and her big-race experience to take the victory.

The boys team title could come down to a coin flip between Brennan and Holmes who each project to have 52 points. Sotomayor will also be heard from and are projected to finish close enough that it is difficult to come up with a winner. My choice is Holmes for the title since they have the smaller 1-5 split of the three teams. Zachary Miller should win the title but expect Sotomayor's Joseph Lopez and Paul Wallace to make it a race.

5A District Previews

District 26-5A features the top runner in San Antonio this year, Boerne Champion's Elizabeth Leachman. While Leachman should easily win the individual title, expect Canyon to finish as the girls team champion this year thanks to a 1-7 split of only 42 seconds. Champion should finish in second and then Pieper and Kerrville Tivy will battle it out for the final spot to advance. In any other district, Smithson Valley's Mia Perez would have a great chance to win the individual title, but she will have to settle for second place here.

On the boys side of the ledger, Boerne Champion is the clear-cut favorite with Smithson Valley a strong second choice. The battle will come down to third place with Wagner and Pieper each competing for the spot. Champion's Luis Tovar and Smithson Valley's Bradyn Youngdahl are the top two runners in the district and Tovar will likely take the victory.

In District 27-5A, it should be Alamo Heights taking both team titles in dominating fashion. The Brackenridge girls are a strong choice for runner-up while Edison, MacArthur and Jefferson will be competing for the third position. Avery Brawner of Alamo Heights is the pick as individual champion and her teammate, Suri Trujillo, should finish in the runner-up spot.

In the boys race, Brackenridge, Edison and Jefferson will be fighting it out for second and third place, respectively. The individual winner will come down to a pair of Alamo Heights runners, Joshua Sharp and Santiago Berenguer.

The District 28-5A girls meet will be tightly contested with at least five of the eight teams holding a good chance to advance. Medina Valley is the pick to win it all behind Reesa Lowell, the top runner in the district. Alicia Galvez leads a Southwest squad that is the solid second choice while Southside, Southwest Legacy and El Paso Winn will duke it out for third place. Watch for Southwest Legacy's Annabella Zapata to propel her squad to third place.

Medina Valley and Eagle Pass Winn will be in tight competition for the team title, but it will be Southwest Legacy's Anthony Zapata who should take the individual title. After the top two teams, it would appear that Southwest has the edge for third place.

4A District Previews

The top district in the area is likely District 27-4A where both the boys and girls have multiple teams ranked in the CCCAT Top 10. On the girls side, #1 Fredericksburg should be able to hold off #6 Davenport, but if there is any slippage on the Fredericksburg side expect the Wolves to take advantage. Canyon Lake should finish in third place behind Cadence Patterson. Patterson and Fredericksburg's Taylor Grona and Ann Claire Cop will be three of the favorites at the State meet this year.

In the boys race, the Boerne Greyhounds have made a late season charge up the rankings and are the pick to win the district title. Davenport also has a very strong team and should easily finish in second place. Bandera has a small edge over Fredericksburg, Canyon Lake and Navarro for the third spot. I would expect to see Davenport's Christian Pena take home the gold medal.

In the District 28-4A girls and boys meets, La Vernia has a chance to finish with a perfect score of 15 points in each race. Currently, both squads are projected to win with 17 points. Gonzales is the pick to take second in each division while Kennedy has a strong chance to advance in the girls meet and Fox Tech should continue on in the boys meet. La Vernia's Katie Dallas is the choice to win the girls race while La Vernia teammates Dylan Mills and Corbin Barnett will fight it out for the chance to be the boys title winner.

3A District Previews

Expect there to be a lot of quality racing in District 26-3A this week. In the girls race, Randolph's Sophia Bendet is the easy favorite and has yet to lose a race this year. Her teammate, Aubrey Milam, could make it a 1-2 finish for the Ro-Hawks who are slight favorites over Great Hearts Northern Oaks and their top duo of Josie Davis and Bella Haas. Cole is the third place choice, but could challenge both Randolph and GHNO is things break right.

In the boys race, the Griffins are the pick, but are only small favorites over Randolph. Once again, Cole will likely finish in third place but they will need to hold off Luling. Isai Moran of Great Hearts Northern Oaks and Josh Howard of Randolph have been the top two runners in the district all season long and should finish 1-2 with Moran coming out on top.

District 27-3A and 28-3A will each have something in common, a dominant program. In 27-3A, Poth should easily win both the boys and girls titles and their girls will have a chance at the State title in a few weeks. Lytle is expected to win both titles in 28-3A and both of their teams have a chance at a State title.

The Lytle boys will be attempting to take home back-to-back State titles. Great Hearts Northern Oaks was third in the State last year. The Poth and Lytle girls each finished in the top three in the State last year.

What's Happening This Week

My plan for this week is to make it out to the District 26-3A meet on Tuesday and the District 28-6A meet on Thursday.