Seven Lakes High School, Spartans, Tompkins High School, Falcons, cross country, state, Katy ISD

Seven Lakes, Tompkins shine at state cross country meet

By STEPHEN GREENWELL, Times Correspondent
Posted 11/10/19

It was a stellar day of racing for Katy ISD area athletes at the UIL Class 6A state cross country championships on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

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Seven Lakes High School, Spartans, Tompkins High School, Falcons, cross country, state, Katy ISD

Seven Lakes, Tompkins shine at state cross country meet

Posted

It was a stellar day of racing for Katy ISD area athletes at the UIL Class 6A state cross country championships on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

Tompkins junior Gavin Saacke was the top Katy ISD runner with a sixth-place finish in the boys 6A race. Tompkins junior Addison Stevenson was the top Katy ISD girls finisher with a 12th-place finish.

Seven Lakes’ boys and girls teams, and Tompkins’ girls also all finished in the top 10 in their respective divisions. The Spartans boys finished ninth and the Spartans girls finished 10th. Tompkins’ girls finished ninth.

Saacke ran a time of 14:57.57, more than 40 seconds faster than his previous race at the regional meet last month. Tompkins boys coach Walt Yarrow said it was the culmination of a strong junior year for Saacke.

“It’s a super impressive time and it was a phenomenal race,” Yarrow said. “He’s been showing signs of it because he was second in district and had a great regional meet.”

Joining Saacke in earning all-state status was Tompkins senior Cole Lindhorst, who finished in 13th place with a personal record of 15:10.05. It was an improvement of about 20 seconds for Lindhorst, who will run for the Air Force Academy next fall.

Yarrow said it was an impressive finish for Lindhorst, given that he started the season late because of the college recruitment process.

“He struggled a little at the regional meet, but it was still a PR and he was still all-state,” Yarrow said. “I think he’s pretty happy with it. Obviously, he’d like to be on the podium, but he’s trending in the right direction as the track season comes up.”

Yarrow said Saacke was still evaluating his college options, since he’s only a junior.

“Obviously this is going to open it all up for him,” Yarrow said. “He’s exceptional on the academic side as well, so he’s going to have good opportunities.”

Overall, the Falcons boys finished in 11th place, just off the podium. However, Yarrow stressed that they were still young, and it was a strong showing.

“I knew it was going to be a rebuild-and-reload, even though we have those load sticks up front, it’s a team sport,” Yarrow said. “I think you always want to strive to be a little bit better, but I think we’re the youngest team on average at the state meet. We ran four sophomores, two juniors and a senior.”

Seven Lakes was the top boys team from Katy ISD, finishing just ahead of Tompkins in ninth place, good for a podium spot.

The Spartans were led by senior Spencer Seale, who ran a 15:32.16 for 36th place. Also placing for Seven Lakes were senior Corbin Brescher (39th, 15:32.79), senior Carson Slater (60th, 15:46.06), sophomore Ruben Rojas (93rd, 16:04.04) and junior Fernando Hernandez (103rd, 16:16.70).

“That is (our) best finish since 2014,” Spartans boys coach Scott Kenney said. “It’s definitely the first top 10 finish we’ve had in the past five years. I’m proud of the gentlemen as a whole, and some of our seniors definitely stepped up.”

Going forward, Kenney pointed to Rojas as someone the program would hopefully build up, as the Spartans try to make state for a fourth straight year in 2020.

“He’s in the building stages of what I hope is a really strong career going ahead,” Kenney said of Rojas. “He’ll be crucial in carrying the torch of what’s going to happen in the future.”

Kenney said he’s been happy and proud to see how Seale, Brescher, Slater and fellow senior Juan Royo have developed.

“As a high school coach, especially those freshmen and sophomore years, you hope to shape and guide them, and give them the basic tools and foundation for their junior and especially that senior year,” he said. “That athlete and coach relationship changes, to one of mutual respect, versus the coach saying, ‘This is what you need to do.’”

Tompkins’ girls finished ninth with 250 points, and Seven Lakes’ girls were right behind in 10th place, with 261 points.

Tompkins junior Addison Stevenson also earned all-state recognition. Stevenson was the top girls finisher among Katy ISD athletes. She finished 12th with a time of 18:06.58.

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