Cross country races into regionals


Taylor Clapp

After a week off, cross country was back at it running in the Lovejoy XC Fall Festival. New personal bests were set, as the team progresses through their season.

Vaughn Perez, Sports Reporter

Coming off being crowned the district champions, cross country heads to Lynn Creek Park on Tuesday for the UIL 5A Region II meet with state qualifications on the line. 

“Our girls are gonna be right in the mix, we expect them to qualify for the state, that’s our goal,” coach Ben Manning said. “For the boys it’ll be a lot tougher, a lot of really good teams competing for a spot, so if the boys can’t qualify as a team, we’ll do our best to get some individuals qualified.”

There are two different ways to advance to state: finish as one of the top four teams, or be one of the top 10 finishers that are not part of a school that places in the top four. 

“Lovejoy definitely seems to be the hardest competition on Tuesday with how successful they’ve been,” junior Kayla Winter said. “Our coaches believe a lot of our runners can compete with them so we just need to give 100% individually and we’ll have a good chance.”

This will be the second time the Redhawks will run at Lynn Creek after the Ken Gaston Invitational in Sept., and Manning believes that knowing the course will give them an edge.

“We ran Lynn Creek a few weeks ago and we’ve been making sure that some practices are over there in preparation,” Manning said. “Course recognition is such a big part of cross country, it’s half the battle every meet so these reps at Lynn should be beneficial.”

Junior Sydni Wilkins, the girls’ top runner this season, is trying to keep the high from district champions going as she and the team enter regionals.

“Keeping a really positive mindset going into regionals is important because anyone could have a good day or a bad day,” Wilkins said. “We focus on trying to keep our energy up, hopefully we’ll have a good race.”