After stringing together a score of regular-season wins, followed by championships at the district and regional levels, the Lovejoy girls cross country team capped their banner 2021 campaign with their first-ever Class 5A state championship.
The Lady Leopards finished atop the leaderboard Friday at Old Settler's Park in Round Rock at the UIL 5A state meet, totaling 65 points to outlast second-place Boerne Champion's 71.
Lovejoy, which won its first state title in girls cross country since competing in 3A in 2011, placed four runners in the 5K race's top 13. That included top 10 marks for junior Amy Morefield (17:50.0, fifth place) and sophomore Kailey Littlefield (18:08.8, seventh). Sophomores Sara Morefield (18:30.0, 12th) and Peyton Benson (18:36.2, 13th) weren't far behind.
Senior Katie Armstrong rounded out the scoring for the Lady Leopards' top five with a 57th-place run of 19:28.3. Sophomore Kate Carlson (19:36.8, 66th place) and senior Hailey Malik (19:52.8, 94th) were also in action for a Lovejoy squad that will graduate just two runners from its championship-winning lineup.
The Lady Leopards weren't alone in earning a spot on the podium on Friday. The Lovejoy boys mustered a third-place team finish with 126 points in their race.
The Leopards placed behind Region I powers Grapevine (53) and Denton (104) for their first team finish on the podium since taking third in 2018. Senior Tate Barr led the charge for the Lovejoy boys with a 16th-place run of 15:46.4, followed by senior Rohan Sharma in 25th place at 16:03.0.
Rounding out the Leopards' top five finishers were freshman William Carlson (16:21.7, 38th), sophomore Nick Yarad (16:35.8, 58th) and senior Riley McGowan (16:49.9, 76th).
Lovejoy was one of several area high schools represented during Friday's 5A state meet. Frisco Independence senior Brighton Mooney concluded her high school cross country career with a fourth-place finish of 17:42.1, while Prosper Rock Hill junior Lena Schmid (19:01.3, 24th place) and Frisco Wakeland senior Chloe Smith (19:02.0, 25th) both cracked the top 25.
On the boys side, Wakeland finished fourth overall in the team standings (166) followed by Frisco Reedy in fifth (173). The Colony also cracked the top 10 with an eighth-place mark of 225 points.
The Wolverines were led by senior Natnael Enright, who ran to fifth place with a 15:24.3, while Reedy senior Aiden Gonzalez-Rodiles managed 14th overall at 15:37.3. The Colony junior Devon Judelson anchored the Cougars' afternoon with a 17th-place run of 15:51.5.
Below are results for the 5A state cross country meet pertaining to student-athletes from Star Local Media's coverage area.
5. Amy Morefield (Lovejoy, 17:50.0)
7. Kailey Littlefield (Lovejoy, 18:08.8)
12. Sara Morefield (Lovejoy, 18:30.0)
13. Peyton Benson (Lovejoy, 18:36.2)
24. Lena Schmid (Prosper Rock Hill, 19:01.3)
25. Chloe Smith (Frisco Wakeland, 19:02.0)
35. Rees Van Voorhis (Prosper Rock Hill, 19:13.2)
57. Katie Armstrong (Lovejoy, 19:28.3)
66. Kate Carlson (Lovejoy, 19:36.8)
93. Cori Cochran (Frisco Wakeland, 19:52.6)
94. Hailey Malik (Lovejoy, 19:52.8)
110. Ava Yocum (Frisco Wakeland, 20:11.7)
112. Madelyn Schroeder (Frisco Wakeland, 20:13.1)
120. Rebekah Gould (Frisco Wakeland, 20:31.3)
134. Lola Smith (Frisco Wakeland, 21:32.8)
140. Emma Thomas (Frisco Wakeland, 21:59.7)
148. Galilea De La Garza (McKinney North, 23:05.2)
5. Natnael Enright (Frisco Wakeland, 15:24.3)
14. Aiden Gonzalez-Rodiles (Frisco Reedy, 15:37.3)
16. Tate Barr (Lovejoy, 15:46.4)
17. Devon Judelson (The Colony, 15:51.5)
25. Rohan Sharma (Lovejoy, 16:03.0)
28. Gabriel De La O (Prosper Rock Hill, 16:09.6)
31. Garrick Spieler (Frisco Reedy, 16:31.1)
35. Hayden Coghlan (Frisco Wakeland, 16:17.2)
38. William Carlson (Lovejoy, 16:21.7)
40. Lukas Vetkoetter (Frisco Wakeland, 16:22.7)
56. Kevin Curry IV (Frisco, 16:34.9)
58. Nick Yarad (Lovejoy, 16:35.8)
59. Dylan Judelson (The Colony, 16:36.3)
61. Andrew Jauregui (Frisco Liberty, 16:37.9)
64. Matt Starr (Frisco Reedy, 16:44.3)
73. Adam Medina (The Colony, 16:48.6)
76. Riley McGowan (Lovejoy, 16:49.9)
77. Keaton Raney (Frisco Reedy, 16:50.6)
78. Logan Dellenbach (Prosper Rock Hill, 16:51.1)
80. Matthew Kasenic (Prosper Rock Hill, 16:51.4)
82. Chance Moore (Frisco Liberty, 16:53.6)
84. Joe Bluestein (Lovejoy, 16:54.2)
86. Matthew Murray (Lovejoy, 16:56.1)
92. David Corujo (Frisco Wakeland, 17:00.3)
99. Jack Winne (Frisco Wakeland, 17:05.1)
102. Brandon White (The Colony, 17:07.9)
103. Arrell Calo (Frisco Reedy, 17:09.3)
118. Tyler Cross (The Colony, 17:28.3)
120. Tej Nagasamudra (Frisco Reedy, 17:32.6)
123. Daniel Escribano (Frisco Reedy, 17:36.2)
126. Thomas Hayes (Frisco Wakeland, 17:46.0)
127. Adrian Morales (The Colony, 17:47.4)
129. Zachary Barisa (Frisco Wakeland, 17:49.5)
151. Cameron Hilts (The Colony, 19:19.2)