Lady Spartans take first, boys second
All season, Centennial cross country coach Sarah Eden hasn’t been willing to say too much about her varsity girls’ team.
Maybe it was fear of jinxing them or she didn’t want them getting too cocky early in the season.
The real season began Friday for the Lady Spartans and they didn’t disappoint. The girls nearly turned in a perfect score at the District 9-5A championships at Chisenhall Park.
The girls and boys each qualified for regionals. The Class 5A Region II meet will take place Monday at Grand Prairie’s Joe Pool Lake. The top four teams at regionals and top 10 individuals qualify for the state meet at Round Rock’s Old Settler’s Park.
“These girls are just so fun,” Eden said. “Even though I can only run seven, there are 10 of them working hard each week, the three that aren’t in the seven are pulling hard for the others. If we can just keep rolling we will be fine. I just want them to focus on what they are doing.”
The Lady Spartans scored 18 points Friday. A perfect score is 15 points. The first four runners to cross the finish line were from Centennial. All seven Lady Spartans placed in the top 12.
Joshua finished second with 65 points and Burleson was third (67 points).
“It is going to be tight at regionals,” Eden said. “Region II is tough. We could get second or sixth, it’s that close. We’ll just see what happens Monday.”
Leading the charge for Centennial was freshman Hari Woolsey who won the individual district title in a time of 18 minutes, 38.18 seconds. Sophomore Sarah Trammel placed second in a time of 18:38.83.
Junior Abby McCandless finished third in a time of 19:21.91. Sophomore Ashley Campbell was fourth in a time of 19:22.49 and senior Kayla Whitmire placed eighth in a time of 21:06.27. Senior Rainey Southall finished 11th in a time of 21:21.92 and sophomore Marina Grimaldo was 12th in a time of 21:32.55.
The Spartans showed their depth Friday, finishing second even though only two runners finished in the top 10. The boys finished second with 64 points. Cleburne won the title with 40 points and Joshua was third (80 points).
“I’m a disappointed because we have run so much better as a team than we did at district,” Eden said. “A couple of them had very bad days, but I don’t know why.”
Sophomore Nick Newby led the Spartans, finishing second in a time of 17:14.77. Junior Derek Larabell placed 10th in a time of 17:53.03. Junior Grant Brown was 18th in a time of 18:08.79.
“Nick Newby started slow and had a good finish,” Eden said. “Derek Larabell had one of his best races of the season.”
Sophomore Andy Shue finished 20th in a time of 18:20.52 and sophomore Trevor Pennington was 22nd in a time of 18:22.92.
The boys logged a spread time of 1:08.15.
Senior Darien Burley finished 23rd in a time of 18:23.1. Junior Trenton Kelly, who reached the state meet as a freshman, returned Friday to run for the third time this season. Kelly placed 29th in a time of 18:56.86.
“Trenton was devastated he didn’t run better,” Eden said. “We have decided to shut him down and let him get ready for track season.”