Friday, December 27, 2013

TX Girls Dream XC Team

This is a compilation of all the girls in the state of TX who I believe would make the top team in the state, based on their performances throughout the 2013 Cross Country season.

1)  Paige Hofstad 

(5k PR-17:22, 2013 5A XC State Champ, 2013 Nike South Champion & NXN qualifier) Had excellent season, ran consistently well & won 2 major titles as just a sophomore.

2)  Natalie Rathjen

(5k PR-17:06, 2013 4A State Champ, NXN & Footlocker qualifier, All-American Status at NXN) Started the season fast and kept it up, won state meet by 40 seconds and earned All-American status)

3) Devin Clark

 (5k PR-17:16, NXN & Footlocker qualifier, All-American Status at Footlocker) Had a few ups and downs but finished the season on a high note earning All American status.

4) Madie Boreman 

(5k PR-17:36, 2012 4A XC State Champion & 1600m Champion, 2x NXN qualifier, All-American Status at NXN 2012, Addidas Dream Mile Invitation, 2012 FR of the Year) Weaker season than last year but still good enough to make the dream team after a comeback at Nike South

5) Annie Dunlap

 (5k PR-17:52, 5x 2A State Champ, NXN qualifier, 2A XC state record-holder) Won state meet 2 mile by over a minute and destroyed the previous state record, even coming from a 2A school she placed 3rd at Nike South

6) Julia Heymach 

(5k PR-17:40, 5A State Runner-Up, 4 USATF National title-holder, 2 AAU JR Olympic title-holder, 2013 FR of the Year) Just a FR running small meets, Heymach came up big at state beating out Devin Clark and running fast times.

7)  Safiya Belbina 

(5k PR-17:48, 2x NXN qualifer, 2013 Nike South Runner-Up) Flew under the radar as attention was mostly focused on Hofstad and Clark, but came up big with a second place finish at Nike South beating out Clark and Rathjen.

3 Alternates:

Madi McLellan (5k PR-17:06, 3 Runner-Up 5A state titles) Started the season out strong but fell apart. Her times from last year would easily earn her a spot on the team, but having only broken 18 once this season she was not on her A game.

Evelyn Chavez (5k PR-18:03, 2013 4A State XC Runner-Up) Usually ran small meets but came big at state when she placed 2nd

Kelsie Warren (5k PR-17:48, 2013 3A XC State Champion, 1600m & 3200m state title-holder) Another big win at the state meet by 26 seconds, Warren went on to run well at Nike South and Footlocker Regionals.

State Meet Recap Pt 2 (4A & 5A)

The 4A race went slightly different then expected as last year's defending champion, Madie Boreman, fell down to 7th place. Natalie Rathjen completed her outstanding season with a state title and a time of 17:41, beating 2nd place Evelyn Chavez by 46 seconds.

Canyon Randall won the meet with times averaging 19:13. The 5k times were a bit slower than expected due to a change of course.

Sophomore Carter Blunt is the new 4A boys state champion, running a time of 15:48.

Houston Stratford took home the state title with times averaging 16:33.

And finally, the 5A race took off. Devin Clark, Paige Hofstad and freshman Julia Heymach battled it out for the first two miles, but Hofstad spread apart in the last mile, winning the state title with a time of 17:36, followed by Heymach and Clark.

Southlake Carroll beat New Braunfels by 6 points and the Woodlands by 7, taking home the state title averaging 19:16.

Senior Frank Lara, the favorite coming in, won the boys state title by 4 seconds with a time of 15:26.

Southlake Carroll took home the boys state title as well, averaging 16:07.

That wraps up the state meet. Although he couldn't make it, the 9-time state champion and Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano congratulates the winners and describes the feeling he got when he won the state championships as "feeling like you are on top of the world, not too far off from feeling like you won a silver medal at the Olympics. You feel happy, thankful and realize that your sacrifice and hard work has paid off. It is a great feeling."

Congratulations to all of the runners this weekend, and I hope you enjoyed watching Stride by Stride. Keep checking for upcoming recaps on the national meets and more features coming up! The video version can be viewed here:

State Meet Recap Part 1 (1A-3A)

This week, I interviewed 7 state champions and some of their parents. Old Settler's Park was packed with fans and supporters cheering on the runners in pursuit of state titles. The meet started off with the girl's 1A two mile race. Freshman Andrea Sanchez was the favorite coming into the competition, and blew past the other runners with a time of 11:40, 18 seconds ahead of second place.

Harper took the team title, with an average time of 12:53. Sophomore Jeremy Cervantes took home the boys 1A title, running a time of 16:31, and Ozona won the team title by just 3 points, averaging 17:33.

The girl's 2A meet kicked off with a giant lead by senior Annie Dunlap. Dunlap finished the race with a time of 10:59, setting a new state record by 19 seconds despite it being a tougher course than previous years. She won the race by over a minute, and it was her second consecutive year winning the 2A cross country state title.

Only five points separated the top 3 teams, but Eustace took home the state title, averaging 12:50. In the boys race, Evan McQuirk is the new state champion with a time of 16:03. Luling won the team title averaging 16:58.

The girls 3A meet was supposed to be a tight race, but junior Kelsie Warren pulled away, winning the state championships by 26 seconds with a time of 11:24.

College Station won the meet with times averaging 12:06. Senior Taylor Clayton won the race by just 1 second, running a time of 16 flat. It was a battle for the top team as Lytle and Alvarado tied for first. In the case of a tie, the title goes to the team with the fastest 6th place finisher. Lytle's 6th runner finished 45th, 22 spots ahead of Alvarado's 6th runner, therefore the state title went to Lytle.

The video recap can be found here: