San Antonio 2-Mile Preview

Photo of Elizabeth Leachman, Boerne Champion

It seems like there is a lot of talent in every event this year in San Antonio and the 3200m is no different. Many of the names will be ones that were mentioned in the 800m and 1600m previews but the order changes for most of the classifications. Once again, the private and homeschool boys seem to have the deepest and best group of runners this year, but that could all change once the season starts.

6A Boys

The top five returning 2-milers are the same as the top milers. Brandeis' Hayden Scott is the top choice in both events while Ethan Stutts of New Braunfels posted the second fastest returning time, 9:39.39. Reagan's Gavin Chapa and Luke Munoz and Brennan's Zachary Miller take the next three spots.

LEE's Arlo Gonzales sits just outside the top group of returners based upon their 3200m times from last year, but I think he will be near the top after a great cross country season. Last year, the Regional meet was not kind to the 6A boys as Munoz was the top area finisher in just sixth place. It will be difficult to crack the top pair this year, but their should be a few locals who challenge for a State spot.

6A Girls

There are six returning 6A San Antonio girls from last year's Regional finals and overall the top seven returners all had season bests within 12 seconds of each other. Warren's Sanai Robinson had the best time of 11:27.32 but Taft's Brooklyn Crow was the top finisher at the Regional meet with a seventh place finish in 11:28.16.

Jade Perez (Clark), Araceli Ford (O'Connor) and Ashlyn Shields (Brandeis) sneak into my top five returners. In addition, Destiny Hernandez (East Central), Danel Hernandez (Brennan) and Lola Daffin (New Braunfels) deserve to be mentioned. There is one runner who was not in high school last year but could end up as the top 3200m runner this year, Savanah Moya of New Braunfels.

5A Boys

Southwest Legacy's Anthony Zapata has the top returning time in the group quite easily with the 9:28.37 he ran at the District 28-5A meet, but he chose to focus on the 800m and 1600m as he advanced so it would not be a surprise to see him do the same thing this year. Boerne Champion's Charles Houck and Smithson Valley's Bradyn Youngdahl should have a good rivalry since they face each other so often and it is likely that they will compete for the top 3200m spot in 5A.

After the top three, no one else has run faster than 10:09 heading into the season. Marc Castro (Medina Valley) and Jackson Cummings (Alamo Heights) each qualified for the Regional meet. Lockhart's Zeke Sanchez and Joshua Sharp of Alamo Heights are two that I would expect to break 10 minutes this year.

5A Girls

Beth Leachman (Boerne Champion) ran a 10:17.81 last year and could quite possibly post a top-5 time in the boys division this year. However, the 3200m is likely to be the race that means the most to her this year after she wobbled and fell with 100m remaining in last year's Regional final after dominating the race for the first five laps. The XC national champ does not have anything to prove, but a State title would be her first in the event.

After Leachman, there are five others who ran faster than 12 minutes last year. Alamo Height's Avery Brawner is the only other local who qualified for the Regional final and she took eighth with a time of 11:41.16. Leachman's teammates Kynley Albright and Jenna Koepke should be among the top runners and Canyon's incoming freshman Madi Molinar could challenge for the second spot.

4A Boys

Davenport's Christian Pena heads into the season as a clear-cut favorite to win the Regional title for a second year in a row. He ran 9:21.08 at the Texas Distance Festival and held off a pair of strong runners from La Feria in last year's Regional final. He has a pair of teammates, Eli Guerra and Eli Bliss, who give the Wolves an excellent trio.

After Pena, there is a group of three runners who all ran between 10:08.70 and 10:10.30. Derek Adams (Fredericksburg) is also highly rated in the 800m and 1600m while Eli Perez (Floresville) and Ethan Luu (Navarro) should be heard from in both the mile and 2-mile. Luu could be in line to make a big improvement after taking 10th at the XC State meet this year.

4A Girls

It seems like the same names keep getting repeated over and over when talking about the 4A girls distance races but that is only because the top group is so well rounded when it comes to racing. Ann Claire Cop (Fredericksburg) enters the season as the top returner after earning the wild card spot into the State meet where she finished sixth in a time of 11:11.96.

While Cop's time is easily the top returning time, she will have plenty of competition locally. Canyon Lake's Cadence Patterson and Davenport's Maddie Reagan are no slouches and her own teammates, Taylor Grona and Rilyn Grona, are also top notch in the 3200m. All four ran 11:45 or better last year. After following the cross country results this year it would appear to be a toss-up. Patterson and Taylor Grona can both make strong cases to be the top 2-miler this year.

3A Boys

Three schools dominate the list of top 3A two-milers in the area: Great Hearts Northern Oaks, Lytle and Randolph. All three have excellent cross country teams so it should come as no surprise that they are well represented here. Isai Moran and Benjamin Alcott of GHNO will likely be the top two returners after both made the State meet last year. Moran ran 9:33.18 while Alcott was at 9:58.36. The only other returner under 10 minutes is Randolph's Josh Howard who clocked a 9:53.62 last season.

Lytle has an outstanding top four group that all ran 10:40 or better last year. They are led by Abel Sanchez and Johnny Rey Alvarez but Tristan Lopez and Bryan Montes-Rodriguez are not far off. The one runner not from the top three schools to follow is Miguel Silva-Hernandez of Luling who ran 10:03.29 last year and was a top-10 finisher in the XC state meet this year.

3A Girls

The 3A girls 3200m should be a loaded race at the Regional meet this year with 14 of 15 qualifiers from last year back in the fold. Seven of those runners hail from the San Antonio area including Poth's Brooklyn Albert and Randolph's Aubrey Milam. Albert took home the bronze medal as a freshman and ran 11:17.85 while Milam finished fourth in the State in cross country and has a top time on the track of 11:41.01.

Rylee Ellis (Poth), Josie Davis (Great Hearts Northern Oaks) and Samantha Mujica (Lytle) are the next three. Ellis ran 11:47.07 while Davis and Mujica are more in the 12:10's. The depth of the distance events this year means some of the girls may need to make tough decisions on which event gives them their best chance to qualify for the State meet. Albert, Davis and Milam each rank among the top five returners on all three distance events.

Private and Homeschool Boys

I am combining the private schools, smaller public schools and homeschool athletes into one group. The private and home school distance group is very strong this year and they have six returners who all ran better than 10 minutes last year. TMI's Marcelo Parra leads the way with his 9:00.95 that he ran at the Texas Relays where he finished second overall. Farrin Mangelson was the Texas State Homeschool champion and ran 9:09.21 at the RunningLane Championships.

The other four runners to break 10 minutes include Franco Parra of TMI, Adrian Rule of San Antonio Christian, Andrew Rivas of Central Catholic and David Salas of Cornerstone Christian. In the San Antonio area, the Parra twins and Mangelson are the top three returners overall and Rule slots in the top 10 with his time of 9:32.75.

Private and Homeschool Girls

There are only two girls in San Antonio who have broken 11 minutes in the 3200m. One is Beth Leachman and the other is Antonian's Micaela Villarreal. Villarreal broke 11 minutes at three different meets including the Texas Distance Festival, Texas Relays and Arcadia (CA) Invitational. Her best time is 10:46.06 and she should dominate the division once again.

Villarreal's top competition in TAPPS 6A could come from her teammate, Haylee Maya, who finished third at the State meet last year and has a best time of 11:41.69. Incarnate Word's Julie Cernoch was a 6A State finalist last year and she has two excellent teammates in Emma Vallejo and Alex Grell. In addition, there are four others who TAPPS State finalists last year.

* Please note that all times are taken from the MileSplit website. There is always a possibility that someone I mentioned no longer competes for the school they did last year or that they are even competing in track and field anymore. These articles are just a very early preview of the upcoming season.