ELKHART — Destination: Huntsville.
Three Pine Empire cross country units have qualified for the Conference 3A-Region III meet set for Kate Barr-Ross Park on Oct. 22: Elkhart's boys and girls and Westwood's boys.
To qualify for the regional meet, a runner must either be part of a top-three team or place in the top 10 among individuals.
Elkhart placed third on the girls' side, fueled by the performance of Ava Trim — who took the bronze medal in a time of 13:12 over a 3,200-meter course.
Madison Crader joined Trim in the top-10, taking sixth overall with a time of 14:04. Other qualifying Lady Elks are as follows: Kathryn Esparza (11th, 14:27), Haleigh Chapin (12th, 15:05), Megan Bailey (16th, 15:35), Emma Willis (22nd, 16:03) and Veronica Wilson (25th, 16:49).
Westwood's boys finished second overall in the team standings, which included Tomy Umanzor's fourth-place finish in 20:03 over 5,000 meters. Teammate Brando Castillo was next in fifth (20:11).
Jorge Alfaro was next for the Panthers in eighth (20:26), with Carlos Markel (13th, 21:49), Sean Miller (15th, 22:12), Izayek Suarez (17th, 22:45) and Paul Stewart (18th, 22:46).
“Our kids have bought into our growing program,” said Westwood head coach Florentino Guerrero. “They listen to advice. Tomy stayed in the top-three most of the race while Brando improved much more than the last race. I've been blessed to have a coachable group of kids.”
As for Elkhart's boys, Zane Quick was the top finisher in sixth (20:17), followed by Justin Ham (10th, 20:47), Colton Parker (11th, 20:49), Carter Allen (19th, 22:54), Garrett Krumnow (24th, 24:13).
Meet winners were Teague's Lizette Aguilera (12:37, girls) and Randy Canaday of Groesbeck (18:44, boys). Groesbeck swept the boys' and girls' team titles.
CORSICANA — The Cayuga girls' cross country team, buoyed by a gold-medal performance from Aerin Thompson, has advanced to the Conference 2A-Region III meet.
Thompson raced in with a time of 14:12.34, which was 6.1 seconds faster than Jimena Perez from Frost.
Belle Mills also finished among the top-10 for Cayuga, taking fifth overall (14:55.52).
Other Cayuga girls who qualified are: Jamison Courville 15th (16:20.72), Lauren Walthall 22nd (16:58.37), Marley Vincent 25 (17:19.30), Frances Shay 31st (17:47.27) and Laney Spivey 42nd (21:57.58). Overall, the LadyCats finished third as team.
The most remarkable facet of Cayuga's girls' team is that all of the LadyCats are freshmen. No Cayuga advanced to the regional meet; however, Billy Kelley was closest (16th, 21:39.94).
Valdemar Luna of Frost won the boys' race in 18:51.41, 1.3 seconds faster than Danny Molla of Itasca. Frost, Itasca and Kerens were the top-three boys' teams.
CROCKETT — There were plenty of reasons to smile as both the Grapeland girls and the Slocum boys qualified for the regional meet as a collective unit.
Travis Neal, now a three-time regional qualifier, paced the Slocum boys with a fourth-place finish (19:47) over a 5,000-meter course at Hickory Creek Ranch.
Other Slocum boys to qualify were Zach Bennett (14th, 23:18), Brooks Baker (17th, 23:27), Mark Guess (18th, 23:27) and Charlie Cox (19th, 25:21) as the Mustangs placed third overall.
Centerville's Josh Franklin won the boys' gold medal in 18:12, nine seconds faster than Tristan Curless of Latexo.
On the girls' side, Grapeland finished second overall and Slocum runners Gabi Skelton and Courtney January also advanced to the regional meet. The Sandiettes finished three points behind winner Jewett Leon, 50-53.
Kenya Woods turned in the top Sandiettes' performance with a fifth-place finish (13:45), Cierra Simon was next in sixth (13:56).
Other qualifiers for Grapeland were: Hannah Chipman (12th, 14:38), Ragan Bowie (14th, 14:44), Jamiyah Bowie (16th, 14:52) and Christi Shepherd (35th, 17:10).
NECHES — Neches swept all the major titles at the District 28-1A meet on Wednesday.
Kacie Kimbrough and Bryant Kincade garnered individual boys' and girls' titles and the Tigers earned team championships.
“The kids have worked hard toward obtaining their first set of goals,” said Neches head cross country coach Andy Snider.
Neches won the girls' title with 31 points, four fewer than Chireno. LaPoynor placed third with 66 points in advancing to the regional meet — which will take place on Oct. 22 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Kimbrough won the title with a time of 13:53, eight seconds faster than Lexi Rogers (14:01). Mallory Main was third (14:16).
Other Neches' regional qualifiers are: Kailey Boaz (11th, 15:32), Abigail Spaith (18th, 16:53) and Adreanna Arthur (19th, 17:26).
LaPoynor's Haley Massey was the top Lady Flyer in sixth (14:52). Bethany Davis also finished in the top-10 (8th, 15:17). Other qualifiers were: Hannah Gracey (15th, 16:05), Laura McClelland (16th, 16:28) and Mackenzie Berryhill (21st, 17:36).
Kincade claimed the boys' title in 18:06, winning by a whopping 52 seconds over Laneville's JeRoderick Arnett.
Neches won the team title with 25 points, while LaPoynor was next with 52. Laneville also advanced to the regional, scoring 98.
John Snider was Neches' next runner in third (19:19) with D.J. Barrett sixth (19:53), Caleb Davilla seventh (19:57), J.T. Rives eighth (20:06). Arron Deckard (14th, 21:22) and Nathaniel Hammond (19th, 21:52) also qualified among Tigers.
LaPoynor's top finisher was Caleb Solis in fourth (19:29), with Austin Dunn next in ninth (20:08), Hunter Nelson 11th (20:34), Aiden Maze 12th (20:36), Mason Grubbs 16th (21:47), Gunner Gracey (18th, 21:51) and Caleb Grubbs (22nd, 22:15).
Oakwood's lone regional qualifier is Trisdon Bynum (10th, 20:20).
Editor's Note: Complete team scores weren't reported from any of the district meets, except 28-1A.