San Antonio State XC Meet Review

Great Hearts Northern Oaks - 3A Boys State Champions!

Friday and Saturday saw some amazing performances at the UIL Cross Country State Championships at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock and San Antonio athletes produced their fair share.

The top performance of the entire meet was arguably the 5A State title that Boerne Champion sophomore Elizabeth Leachman won on Friday. She broke the State Meet course record with her blistering time of 16:25.5 despite running all alone for the majority of the race. Her preparation for the race was featured earlier in the week in a feature story, Elizabeth Leachman Tackles 'Michigan' Ahead Of Texas State ( Leachman has put together a fantastic season where she has broke 17 minutes in eight of nine races and only had one blemish coming at the prestigious Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in Irvine, CA where she lost by less than a second.

Leachman was not the only State champion in the area. Randolph's Sophia Bendet clinched a perfect season with her victory in the 3A race. She held a small lead over last year's champion, Addison Hite of Pilot Point, at the mile mark and pulled away from her with a dominant second mile. She crossed the tape in 11:13.0, nearly 25 seconds ahead of the runner-up. The last time that Bendet lost any race was on March 11, 2023 in the 800m at the Canyon Cougar Relays. Since then, she has won 24 straight races according to results posted to

In addition to the two individual champions, there was also a surprise team champion coming out of San Antonio. The Great Hearts Northern Oaks boys were ranked #6 heading into the State meet by the Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas, but they shocked everyone by knocking off the defending champion Lytle team. The Griffins were only in fifth place after the first mile, but they steadily moved up the rankings. Isai Moran was the team's top finisher in ninth place with his time of 16:27.5 and Benjamin Alcott was right behind him in 12th place. The runner who made the biggest move was Krish Vijayvergia who was only 73rd after the first mile, but he climbed the ranks quickly and finished in 16th place in 16:43.3. Brayden Salzwedel and Joshua Mounts were the fourth and fifth runners in what proved to be a close race for the title.

GHNO finished with 85 points, just five points ahead of Lytle who finished with 90 points. The Griffins put three runners in front of Lytle's #1 runner, Abel Sanchez, and it was enough even though Lytle's top four all finished in front of the Northern Oaks #4 runner. Lytle had another outstanding season and they have been one of the top programs of the 2020's with three podium finishes and one fourth place.

2A Wrap Up

Stockdale sent both their boys and girls teams to the State meet. The boys were led by Taylor Warrick (3rd, 16:04.9), who nabbed a podium finish, and Cooper Warrick (13th, 16:47.2) as the team finished in 10th place. The girls took an eighth-place finish behind Brianna Tomerlin (26th, 12:40.5) and Peyton Keller (30th, 12:45.2). The Falls City girls finished in 14th place as a team while Kash Brown finished 24th in the boys race.

3A Wrap Up

The Lytle girls finished in third place behind Holliday and East Bernard. Frances Scotello (28th, 12:25.8) was the team's top finisher. Poth finished in seventh place behind Brooklyn Albert's 12th place finish in 12:04.2. Randolph finished in eighth despite Sophia Bendet's State title and Aubrey Milam's fourth place finish in 11.44.9. Josie Davis (35th, 12:29.3) nabbed a top-40 finish for Great Hearts Norther Oaks.

In addition to Great Hearts Northern Oaks and Lytle, Randolph also qualified for the 3A Boys State meet and finished in seventh place behind Josh Howard's 13th place finish. There were 10 local runners who finished in the top-40 in the race including four each from GHNO and Lytle. In addition to Sanchez, Bryan Montes-Rodriguez (20th, 16:46.2), Johnny Rey Alvarez (29th, 17:04.5) and Tristan Lopez (34th, 17:09.3) all finished in the top-40 for Lytle. Miguel Silva-Hernandez (10th, 16:28.0) of Luling finished off an outstanding overall season finishing right behind Isai Moran. 4A Wrap Up

4A Wrap Up

The 4A girls were particularly strong in the area this year and it showed at the State meet where 13 San Antonio area girls finished in the top-40. Fredericksburg put six runners in the top-40 en route to a runner-up team finish that probably felt like a letdown after being ranked #1 during the year, but still was a tremendous accomplishment and gives them three straight runner-up finishes. Ann Claire Cop (5th, 11:29.5), Taylor Grona (7th, 11:34.4) and Rilyn Grona (8th, 11:35.1) all finished in the top-10 while Madalyn Kovar (26th, 12:09.4), Ava Stuewe (36th, 12:15.7) and Anna Munoz (40th, 12:19.1) were all in that top group. Taylor Grona finished her career with four top-10 finishes, including a pair of silver medals.

The Davenport girls qualified as a team for the first time and finished in a strong fifth place. Madeline Reagan led the team with her 13th place finish in her third straight year at State. Teammates Kendall Fallon (17th, 11:59.9) and Macie Fallon (33rd, 12:14.6) also finished among the top group.

Canyon Lake's Cadence Patterson was the best of the rest as she took home sixth place in 11:30.7 and was considered one of the top contenders for the individual title. Her teammate, Eva Zabarcenco (31st, 12:13.5), as well as Eleanor Davis of Boerne (21st, 12:04.1) and Alyssa Quinones of Floresville (39th, 12:18.7) also posted strong performances.

The 4A boys were not quite as strong as the girls, but they still put a team on the podium with Boerne nabbing third place thanks to an amazing 1-5 split of 0:09. All five of their scoring runners finished between 33rd and 44th place. Aaron Garcia (33rd, 16:42.2), Carsten Bain (34th, 16:42.5) and Tayson Farar (40th, 16:47.6) all finished in the top-40. The top individuals from the area were Arlen Hanle (20th, 16:24.2) of Wimberley and Floresville's Eli Perez (27th, 16:34.7). Floresville was also one of the teams that qualified for State and they finished in 13th place.

5A Wrap Up

Boerne Champion and Canyon each qualified for the State meet. The Chargers finished in seventh behind Leachman's amazing performance, but she was not their only runner who ran well. Kynley Albright finished in 28th place with a time of 19:02.3 and she gradually moved up through the field throughout the entire race. Canyon finished in 11th place and were led by freshman Madi Molinar who finished in 62nd place.

In the 5A boys, Southwest Legacy's Anthony Zapata solidified his position as the top area runner with his eighth-place finish in 15:31.0 after taking home 13th place last year. The Boerne Champion boys finished on the podium in third place with 133 points. They had a 1-5 split of 0:30 and were led by Luis Tovar (37th, 16:14.1). All five of their scoring runners finished in under 16:45. Alamo Heights (14th) and Lockhart (16th) both qualified as a team for the State meet.

6A Wrap Up

Locally, only one 6A team qualified for the State meet and that was the Reagan boys. They are believed to be the school's first State qualifying cross country team and they were led by junior Gavin Chapa who finished in 10th place in a time of 15:20.1. Overall, the Rattlers finished in 13th place. Two other locals, Hayden Scott (17th, 15:29.1) of Brandeis and Arlo Gonzales (38th, 15:50.4) of LEE capped off strong senior seasons with a quality performance.

The 6A girls only had a few individuals qualify and it was New Braunfels freshman Savanah Moya (43rd, 18:37.3) who had the best finish.

What's Next

For the majority of cross country runners in San Antonio, it is now time to start looking forward to track season, but there are some individuals and teams that will be competing at the NXR South Regionals Championships in The Woodlands on November 18.