In their final competition before the 7-3A Meet, Tiger cross country runners got one more chance to hone their racing abilities at a meet in Priddy on Monday.
“The course wasn’t especially difficult and the weather was beautiful,” said coach Sherre Hill. “It was the most competitive meet we’ve been to all year. The varsity girls’ division was very tough.”
In the varsity race, Glen Rose finished 11th out of 21 teams. There were 159 runners. Top performers were Makayla Kucera (18th), Aubrey Starnes (43rd) and Grace Payne (59th).
“Makayla ran well,” Hill said. “It was her fastest time of the year, so I couldn’t be disappointed about that. She held her own. Aubrey ran her fastest race ever by about 40 seconds.
“She did a great job and continues to move up. Grace continues to run very consistently, even though she has to miss some workouts for volleyball. I’m counting on her next week.”
Other varsity runners were Claire Boswell (85th), Shilah McFadin (96th), Miranda Metker (97th) and Madison Wooten (129th).
“That was Claire’s fastest time of the year; I can’t ask for more than that,” Hill said. “Shilah started the race well, but some health issues slowed her up and hopefully she can work through it.”
The JV Lady Tigers finished fifth, and there were 57 runners. Top performers were McKenzie Morrison (16th) and Ashlyn Reynolds (18th).
“I thought our JV kids ran competitively (Monday) for the most part,” Hill said. “McKenzie probably won’t run on varsity next week, but if we can get a team to regionals she may certainly be an alternate. She just got a late start this year.
“Ashlyn was right behind McKenzie. They push each other, and Ashlyn may also have the chance to be an alternate.”
Other JV runners were Jena Brannon (24th), Samantha Willis (40th) and Elizabeth Gosling (50th).
“That was Jena’s fastest time and she did well,” the coach said.
The district meet will be at Dinosaur Valley State Park next Wednesday. Varsity girls start at 10 a.m., followed by varsity boys at 10:30 a.m., JV girls at 11 a.m., JV boys at 11:30 a.m. and then an awards presentation. The junior high district meet will start with girls at 4 p.m. and boys at 4:30 p.m.
“Some of our runners had their best performances of the year, but we’re not getting everyone up to their top level,” Hill said. “Heading into district, we need everyone at their best so we can get back to regionals.”
The varsity Tigers finished fifth out of eight teams. There were 75 runners.
“I think it was a pretty good meet,” said coach Rick Neill. “Stephenville’s team was tough as usual and there were a lot of smaller schools with good runners. There were eight full boys’ teams; it wasn’t as big as the girls’ meet.”
Top varsity boys were Taylor Hansen (24th) and Lucas Gosling (29th).
“Taylor and Lucas are coming on at the right time,” Neill said. “I talked to them about the importance of having a good meet before district next week. Their times were pretty good.”
Other varsity boys were Corbin Milton (45th), Justin Beeson (55th), Chris Harrison (56th) and Jake Pieper (57th). Neill is looking for all of them to have a great week of work and run a considerably better race at district.
The Tigers didn’t field a full JV team. There were 30 runners in the field. The top Tiger was Nathan Burgess (8th).
“Nathan did a great job (Monday),” Neill said. “He came out of nowhere after dealing with an injury to have a good time. It was a pleasant surprise.”
Other JV Tigers were Josh Beeson (16th), Blake Kramer (19th) and Daniel Pena (24th).
“Josh and Blake both did a pretty good job,” Neill said. “Blake has been out of town, but it looked like he’d been keeping up with his training.”
Proving time has come, and Neill is ready to see what his Tigers will do at district next week.
“Obviously it will be the last meet for those who don’t go on to regionals, so I hope everyone is able to run their best race,” Neill said. “We love running out at the state park. We’ll practice out there twice before district, so our kids will have every opportunity to do well at the meet.”