DALLAS – There was no intrigue at the top of the Region II-5A boys cross country race at Jesse Owens Memorial Complex Monday, as Lovejoy swept both the individual and team titles to advance to state as a group.
There was, however, another semi-startling result at the top of the girls event, as Frisco Reedy junior Colleen Stegmann and Lovejoy freshman Amy Morefield, who finished in first and second place, respectively, once again kept three-time defending state champion and McKinney North senior London Culbreath from gold.
Stegmann fired off a time of 17:14.57 to cruise to victory by more than 15 seconds over Morefield, who continued an impressive freshman campaign that also saw her earn a District 10-5A title over Culbreath. Culbreath ran a 17.35.12 Monday to lock up third place.
Though Stegmann gave her squad the ultimate low stick, it wasn’t enough to overcome either Highland Park or Lovejoy in the group standings, as the pair finished with gold and silver, respectively, as teams. Highland Park edged the Lady Leopards by a single point, 81-82, with Reedy (88) and Frisco Wakeland (99) rounding out the four qualifying teams.
Still, Stegmann was thrilled with her team’s overall effort.
“It felt great. I was really focused – with our team trying to make it (to state), I knew they needed that No. 1 spot,” she said. “For me, I wasn’t too worried about winning regionals, individually. I was just focused on getting that No. 1 spot for my team.”
With all of the 5A powers in the region moving on to the state meet, set for Nov. 9 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, Stegmann said she’s ready to continue to test her mettle against the state’s elite.
“I’d love to go down there and win, but I’m just going to keep training like I have been,” she said. “Just keep training hard and staying focused. Hopefully, it all works out.”
Individually, Frisco Liberty senior Amelia Jauregui (11th, 18:56.12), her freshman teammate Grace Deshelter (18th, 19:11.74), and another Lady Redhawk in sophomore Jada Williams (22nd, 19:21.25) will also move on to state.
On the boys side, there were no narrow margins of victory to be found, as the Leopards blew second-place Reedy out of the water, 60-151. Behind the Lions, Wakeland and Kaufman each finished with 171 points as a group to qualify to appear in Round Rock.
Lovejoy was led by a sub-15-minute performance from senior Will Muirhead, whose 14:59.30 was enough to put him more than 10 seconds ahead of Kaufman’s Christian Rivera in second and Reedy senior Wyatt Wingard in third (15:18.56).
Lovejoy also got a top-10 finish from senior Brady Laboret (sixth, 15:31.31), while Frisco sophomore Kevin Curry (eighth, 15:32.71), Frisco Memorial freshman Brayden Kennedy (14th, 16:00.16) and Memorial junior Jotham Asmerom (15th, 16:00.76) will also run on to Round Rock.
At the state meet Nov. 9, the 5A girls will get underway at 1:10 p.m., followed shortly by the 5A boys at 1:50 p.m.
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