Cross country races for regional win

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Cross country races for regional win

The winning runners take a moment with their district trophies on Oct. 18. “It felt amazing (to win district), just like last year we won districts and swept the whole thing. This year we are really excited to make it out of regionals and then go to state,

The winning runners take a moment with their district trophies on Oct. 18. “It felt amazing (to win district), just like last year we won districts and swept the whole thing. This year we are really excited to make it out of regionals and then go to state," junior Alexis Svoboda said. "I think regionals is gonna go great." Both girls and boys varsity placed first at the district meet. Both junior varsity teams placed second overall.

Jennifer Gegogeine

The winning runners take a moment with their district trophies on Oct. 18. “It felt amazing (to win district), just like last year we won districts and swept the whole thing. This year we are really excited to make it out of regionals and then go to state," junior Alexis Svoboda said. "I think regionals is gonna go great." Both girls and boys varsity placed first at the district meet. Both junior varsity teams placed second overall.

Jennifer Gegogeine

Jennifer Gegogeine

The winning runners take a moment with their district trophies on Oct. 18. “It felt amazing (to win district), just like last year we won districts and swept the whole thing. This year we are really excited to make it out of regionals and then go to state," junior Alexis Svoboda said. "I think regionals is gonna go great." Both girls and boys varsity placed first at the district meet. Both junior varsity teams placed second overall.

Grace Williamson, Sports Editor

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Cross country varsity boys and girls teams will compete at regions to determine if they qualify for the state meet. The region championship will take place at the Jessie Owens Memorial Complex Oct. 28.

Both teams competed in the 6A district meet Friday, Oct. 18. Both varsity teams placed first overall with sophomore runner Aubrey O’Connell taking the win as district champion and MVP. 

“Going into regions we are feeling pretty good,” head coach Jennifer Gegogeine said. “The girls team is definitely right up there to win the region championship. The guys team (runners) are really just edging to make it to state.”

Gegogeine said their biggest competitors are the Houston area Woodlands and Wylie High School.

“Last meet the teams worked really hard together,” Gegogeine said. “Boys varsity and girls varsity were district champions, and then both JV teams got second in the district.”

This year, the boys’ theme for the season is what Gegogeine referred to as “unfinished business.”

“They were fourth in the district (last year), so their unfinished business was to get out of district and go to regionals,” Gegogeine said. “The cherry on top would be to win district.”

The boys team placed first overall, and senior Andrew Blanco ran with a time of 16:22 and placed fifth.

“We went into districts thinking that the only way for us to have a chance at going to state is to win our district,” Blanco said. “I was going in expecting to place, and I was happy where I finished. It was right where I wanted to be.”

Blanco explained that the team had a tough 2019-2019 season with several injuries, but he said this reality has made them even more determined now.

“Last year, we had a bit of a rough time because we had some injuries. That was mainly because we weren’t focused on doing things right outside of running,” Blanco said. “We weren’t eating right or sleeping enough. This year we have had a lot more accountability with each other.”

According to Gegogeine, a runner that stands out is junior Blake Barnes. He placed seventh at districts with a time of 16:24.

“Last year, he wasn’t even running on the varsity team,” Gegogeine said. “Right now he’s running on the first or second spot.”

She also said that with O’Connell as the number one runner for the girls, Sadie Gonzales has stepped up into the second position.

“It felt amazing (to win district) , just like last year when we won districts and swept the whole thing. This year we are really excited to make it out of regionals and then go to state,” junior Alexis Svoboda said. “I think regionals is going to go great. We were really confident in districts, so I think it will be easy.”

Last year the girls’ team raced to the Nike Nationals. Although competition is tough, Svoboda said she believes the team will make it there again.

“Our team has gotten closer through our senior leaders,” Svoboda said. “I think hanging out as a group, going out to team dinners, planning all these fun things before meets like tie-dying socks and shirts. That makes us closer as a team, and we bond more.”

The team members said they have shifted their focus to camaraderie and friendship this season as well as striving for a win every meet.

“We make sure we run together and that we can do our workouts together, so that whenever it comes time to race, we can be there right next to each other.”

— Andrew Blanco

“We’ve been more of a team this year,” Blanco said. “We make sure we run together and that we can do our workouts together, so that whenever it comes time to race, we can be there right next to each other and place well.”