Centennial cross country sweeps district titles
GRAND PRAIRIE — Going into last Thursday’s District 9-5A cross country championships, Centennial coach Sarah Eden had a pretty good idea that her Lady Spartans would win the district title.
She also knew that it would be a struggle for her boys team to catch Burleson, which had beaten them head-to-head in each meeting this season.
“Anyway I looked at it and tried to move the numbers and times around, we were always going to come up about 10 to 15 points short,” Eden said. “But that’s why we run. I told them to give me everything they have and let’s see what happens.”
Thanks to the effort of senior captain Jordan Pennington along with the rest of the Spartans, Centennial topped Burleson, 57-58, for the boys title at Grand Prairie’s Lynn Creek Park.
Jordan Pennington, the Spartans seventh runner, passed Burleson’s final three runners to help his team win the title. The Lady Spartans scored 32 points to win the girls crown with ease and the boys and girls junior varsity teams finished first to complete the sweep.
“I told the boys as long as they gave me their best and didn’t come back and say ‘I could have done better’ then I’m fine with that,” Eden said. “If we win, we win and if not then I we know we have given it all we could.”
Both squads will compete Saturday at the Class 5A Region II championships at the same venue. The top three teams and top 10 individuals at regionals qualify for the state meet.
The Lady Spartans have now won three district title and the Spartans have won a pair.
Eden was happy to see her runners find success at the varsity and junior varsity level.
“Bottom line is this is a reward for their for all the hard work they have put in since July,” Eden said. “I just love it for them because it is finally becoming a standard for them. I don’t have to push it all the time. It’s something they want.”
Heading the efforts for the Spartans was Trenton Kelly. The sophomore covered the course in a time of 17:39.50 to finish third. Last year Kelly finished 18th at the regionals and 73rd at state. The Spartans finished at regionals and 10th at state last season.
“It was good to have the same course for district and regionals,” Kelly said. “I did good but I felt like I should have done better, I’ve been sick this past week. It was good to get to regionals and now we can focus on them.”
The next three Centennial runners to cross the finish line did so right behind each other. Junior Eli Davis placed 11th in a time of 18:02.20. Freshman Nick Newby was 12th in a time of 18:08.20 and junior Amir Khan was 13th in a time 18:08.80. The key for the Spartans was their final three runners all finished ahead of Burleson’s fifth run. Junior Darien Burley was 18th (18:17.00), freshman Trevor Pennington was 19th (18:25.00) and Jordan Pennington (21st, 18:33.30).
The Spartans spread time between their first and fifth runner was 37 seconds.
The key for the boys was Jordan Pennington the Spartans seventh runner, who has been a leader all season, finishing ahead of Burleson’s final three runners.
Three sophomore helped the Lady Spartans get a leg up on the competition Thursday. Sarah Trammel finished second in a time of 19.33.20. Abby McCandless placed third in a time of 19:33.20 and Serena Bersuch was ninth in a time of 21:21.30. Three seniors, Emily Terrell, Karly Burson and Savannah Becton followed the sophomores. Terrell finished 10th in a time of 21:27.10. Burson placed 11th in a time of 21:30.20 and Becton was 13th in a time of 22:12.40. Kayla Whitmire finished 20th in a time of 22:45.80.
Despite the rain, the Lady Spartans were comfortable with the course since they had run on it a few week’s ago.
“Today the course was different because it was raining and it was really muddy in the back but overall it was it wasn’t that bad,” Trammel said. “I’m just looking forward to regionals.”
Saturday, Trammel will go after her second consecutive trip to regional. The sophomore finished fifth at the Class 5A Region I meet last year and went on to place 12th at the state championships.