High School Cross Country District Meet Roundup

Falcons, Cougars win 19-6A championships

By Dennis Silva II | Sports Editor
Posted 10/30/20

Cinco Ranch senior Sophie Atkinson defended her district cross country title and Tompkins’ boys program is officially on a dynastic run after claiming its third district team championship in four seasons.

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High School Cross Country District Meet Roundup

Falcons, Cougars win 19-6A championships

Posted

Cinco Ranch senior Sophie Atkinson defended her district cross country title and Tompkins’ boys program is officially on a dynastic run after claiming its third district team championship in four seasons.

Much went as expected at the District 19-6A cross country championships Friday morning at Bear Creek Park. Atkinson, the Virginia commit who has been dominant with all first-place finishes so far this season, won the girls individual title by more than 40 seconds, setting a personal record with a time of 16-minutes, 40.9-seconds.

The top two teams and top 10 runners overall advanced to the Region III-6A meet at Kate Barr Ross Park on Nov. 10 in Huntsville. Cinco Ranch and Katy head to regionals in the girls team division, and Tompkins and Cinco Ranch will represent the boys.

“This time around, it was definitely more of a team effort,” Atkinson said. “I had a responsibility to make sure I was as far out ahead as I could for my team.”

Though she did not hit her time goal of 16:30, Atkinson was pleased with her race. She said she’s in better condition this season and credits a tough offseason for her success. She hasn’t had to increase mileage, but consistent, intense training has paid off.

“This season, I’ve had a lot of motivation to finish well for my team, just because we’ve been doing so well,” Atkinson said. “I’m definitely running better than I ever have.”

Tompkins senior Gavin Saacke won the boys individual title with a 15:16.3. It was Saacke’s first district championship, and the fourth straight season that a Falcon has won it.

“I was able to take advantage of being in the front,” Saacke said. “I had total control of the race. I got to push the pace myself and make all the decisions. I just pushed myself hard even though I didn’t have anyone quite up there with me.”

Saacke broke through in a big way after a slew of second-place finishes this season.

“I knew where I was supposed to be in this race. I knew I was favored,” Saacke said. “I just had to do my job for myself and my team.”

Tompkins boys coach Walt Yarrow said winning district was a primary goal of his team’s after Seven Lakes won last season.

“We were looking at district as redemption and just getting back to where we were,” Yarrow said. “We weren’t thinking about regionals. We weren’t thinking about state. It was about district.”

The Falcons are led by seniors Saacke and Ben Smith, who finished second, and four juniors who earned quality experience by running at state last season. All seven of Tompkins’ runners finished in the top 15.

“We had a really good summer,” Yarrow said. “The legacy’s been set from guys in the past, like Cole (Lindhorst) and Daniel (Figueroa). These boys know the routine. They did a lot of running on their own. I feel we’ve had as good of a summer and fall build-up as any we’ve had in the four years I’ve been here.”

Cinco Ranch won the team title on the girls side after not qualifying for regionals last season. Aside from an inspired Atkinson, the Cougars are buoyed by the healthy return of senior and Arkansas commit Heidi Nielson, who missed the district, regional and state meets last season because of injury.

Cinco Ranch had six runners finish in the top 20: Atkinson, Nielson in second, Helen Ulrich in eighth, Alison Mueller in 10th, Camila Corser in 18th, and Natalia Corser in 19th. Lindsay Krippner finished 22nd.

Katy’s girls also qualified for regionals as a team. The Tigers include Isabella Rubio (fifth), Maddy Hunter (seventh), Larissa Carr (ninth), Christina Rodriguez (12th), Ally Serna (21st), Paige Bay (31st) and Jessica Roca (39th).

Tompkins’ district champion boys team featured Saacke (first), Smith (second), Noah Howard (fourth), Connor Augustine (sixth), Omar El Miloudi (11th), Colton Howard (12th) and Jackson Torti (15th).

Qualifying for regionals for Cinco Ranch’s boys team were Ethan Boyd (third), Adrian Hahn Vadstein (ninth), Kassem Karouni (10th), Derek Bryant (16th), Adam Elbanna (18th), Ryan Du Plessis (21st) and Andrew Crawford (24th).

Individual regional qualifiers for the girls were Tompkins’ Addison Stevenson (third) and Hayden Gold (fourth), and Seven Lakes’ Katie Fitzpatrick (sixth).

Individual regional qualifiers for the boys were Seven Lakes’ Fernando Hernandez (fifth) and Ruben Rojas (seventh), and Mayde Creek’s David Livingston (eighth).

WARRIORS, PANTHERS TO REPRESENT AT REGIONALS

Katy ISD will have three representatives at the Region III-5A cross country meet on Nov. 10 at Kate Barr Ross Park.

Jordan High freshman Addison Sutton (fifth, 19:41.1), Paetow senior Logan Warren (seventh, 20:02.4) and Jordan High freshman Beatriz Laepple (10th, 20:16.8) qualified individually.

Sutton thrived despite a damp, all-grass course.

“I really wanted to kick it in gear for this race, and I did,” said Sutton, who won her first three meets of the season. “I also took advantage of the cool weather conditions; I find it easier to control my breathing in this weather. I had to push myself mentally harder than I have before. Even when my legs felt they were getting exhausted and it hurt, I fought through.”

The Warriors girls fell just short of qualifying as a team, finishing third behind College Station and Magnolia West.

“I am so proud of our team and how they performed,” Sutton said. “I just think it’s amazing of how well we did as only freshmen and sophomores. We can learn from all of this and come back so much stronger for next season.”

Warren improved considerably on her district time last year of 20:50.80. She has high expectations at regionals after finishing fourth last season.

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