The 9-5A cross country meet is less than one month away, meaning every competition takes on greater importance as runners look to round into peak form.
Last Saturday, several local teams were able to build some momentum as they took part at the Frisco ISD Invitational at Warren Park.
Led by individual champion Natnael Enright, Wakeland claimed the boys team championship with a total of 95, which was good enough to edge out Reedy (106) and Liberty (121) for the title.
FISD also featured the girls individual champion with Independence senior Brighton Mooney, whose time of 18:02.97 was 27 seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Highland Park claimed the girls title with a total of 42 points, with Flower Mound Marcus in second with 90 and Wakeland in third with 118.
Enright crossed the finish line in a time of 15:14.88, edging out Little Elm’s Jason Alcala, who posted a mark of 15:20.88, and Horn’s Alejandro Viilalva, who posted 15:30.88.
The Wolverines had one other runner place in the top 20, as Hayden Coghlan finished 12th.
With the battle for the team championship tightening, junior Lukas Vetkoetter was 24th, freshman Britain Chancellor was right behind him in 26th and Jack Winne rounded out the top five in 40th.
The Lions were led by Aiden Gonzalez-Rodiles, who earned a top-10 finish in eighth. Garrick Speiler finished just out of that group in 11th, with Matt Starr, Tej Nagasamudra and Arrell Calo all in the top 34.
Liberty had a trio of runners pace one another, as Fernando Leyva, Devansh Saxena and Andrew Jauregui placed 14th-16th. Garrett Reeves and Keaton Raney also scored for the Redhawks.
Among other local teams, Flower Mound Marcus placed fourth with a score of 133, led by a pair of top-10 runners with Aaron Ramirez in fifth and Jonathan Heath in ninth. Freshman Parker Noffz and Robert Wohlitz crossed together in 37th and 38th place, with freshman Blake Lyons placing 53rd.
Marcus’ rival, Flower Mound, took sixth with a total of 208. The Jaguars were led by Tyler Schart, who finished 30th overall. Matthew Murray, Luke Price, Cameron Jones and Nicolas Wiederkehr rounded out the top five.
Lance Hulin placed 11th to lead McKinney North (247), who was seventh in the team standings. Elyjah Valdez, Kiaan Doolabh, Carter Deyager and Jacob Nehmer also scored for the Bulldogs.
Horn, the lone MISD team in the field, gave a good showing, finishing ninth with a total of 254. In addition to Villalva, the Jaguars got a top-20 effort from Omari Sandifer, who placed 18th. Rounding out Horn’s top five were Eric Hernandez, Michael Serna, Brenton Towe and Donete Ross.
Little Elm (313) finished 11th overall, In addition to Alcala’s runner-up finish, Joshua Hernandez crossed13th and Anthony Larin was 42nd.
Connor Lee, Dylan Esteron, Anderw Ohrn, Marcus Dougherty and Avery Jacobs were all in the top 100 as Independence (347) placed 15th.
The Knights were followed by McKinney (370), who saw Jaxon Soto cross 25th and Hunter Fleming and Jason Bullock place in the top 100.
Freshmen Neeraj Kuklarni and Nathaniel Guarjardo paced Lebanon Trail (437), Obrey Minor and Seth Rugg were in the top 100 for Lone Star (441), Connor Gomez, Ethan Crooks and Utkarsh Dubey led the way for Heritage (509), Yuval Marom, Parker Woudstra and Collin Dupre were the top three for Centennial (571) and Mason Dierkes and Kamran Merritt were the top runners for Frisco (677).
On the girls side, Highland Park’s Charlotte Hudson was the runner-up behind Mooney and the Scots placed five runners in the top 16 to run away with the girls team championship.
Marcus senior Austin Owen took sixth among all individuals, followed by Katie Gilberti in eight, while Raquel Susko was 19th, Gabrielle Gilberti was 22nd and Hayden Rayburn was 40th..
The Wolverines had one top-10 finish with Chloe Smith in third place, whle Cori Cochran was in the top 20 in 15th. Madelyn Schroeder, Rebekah Gould and Lola Smith were also in the top 50.
Freshman Ava Cole crossed 11th and Eva Hirniak was right behind in 13th to lead Flower Mound (123) to a fourth-place finish. Audrey Elggren, Jasmeet Braich and Ariana Deboer also scored for the Jaguars.
McKinney North (142) and McKinney (151) were fifth and sixth, respectively.
Bulldogs freshman Galilea De La Garza turned in a strong effort in fifth place and Alma Pena, Mackenzie Lee, Sophia Remus and Claire Lamothe were all in the top 50. The Lions, meanwhile, got top-60 finishes from Tara Bouck, Audrey Stuart, Avery Grossman, Sofia Denehyand Shaeni Gallagher.
Five more FISD teams were part of the field, with Liberty (230) leading that group in eight place. Jada Williams led the Redhawks by taking 12th, with Sofia Golladay in 17th. Sofia Yu, Kathryn Murphy and Shiori Harima rounded out the top five.
Led by Mooney’s title-winning performance, Independence (252) was 10th overall, with Abigail Garcia, Emma Korenek, Samantha Duarte and Belle Hinnang also scoring.
Jane Goldberg, Olivia Corocran and Kaseleigh McCarley led the way for Frisco (330), Lone Star (356) got top-100 performances from freshman Addison Leffke, Kily Velo and Camryn Allen and Lebanon Trail (409) got good efforts from Paris Baker and Julia Casteneda.
Though they did not field a full team, Memorial senior Erin O’Brien finished seventh among all individuals.