The 2019 UIL Cross Country State Championship Meet occurred on Saturday at Round Rock's Old Settlers Park, so programs across Texas made history.
Let's start with Southlake Carroll because it continued its cross country dynasty with a sweep of the UIL 6A state championships. The Dragons earned the girls title with a 45-point team total that included Jenna Holland recording the classification's seventh-best individual time (17:54.63) and Katherine McElaney finishing two spots behind her at ninth (18:00.73). The path to the boys title wasn't as clear, but it eventually came from the team's 80-point total. That included Solomon Chavez becoming the ninth runner to cross the finish line.
"It was really cool because I've never been a part of this before," said Chavez. "I rested, didn't think about the race too much and ate a good breakfast to give me enough energy to perform."
Chavez will graduate in 2021, so he is already planning an encore at the 2020 UIL state event.
"I plan to run well and get top 10 again," he said. "Help my team win another state championship and get another sweep."
In 5A, Boerne Champion girls cross country was another program that left a mark. The Chargers knew how to prepare for UIL state because they've recorded second and third-place finishes at the season-ending event since their school opened in 2008, and finally topped the field with the 2019 UIL 5A title and a 51-point Saturday total. Kelsie Vicknair led her team to victory because she recorded the classification's fifth-best girls time (17:42.01) and Kate Williams' ninth-place result (18:05.13) assisted in the process.
"Coming off of last year, we had a lot of momentum after placing second at state," said Vicknair. "So, we really just used that momentum, rolled through track season, had lots of good times [and] PRs and, then beyond track season, we started working really hard this summer, and then our momentum gained. We really just had a common goal to win and we're really grateful to be able to accomplish that this year."
The other strong showing came from the City of El Paso. El Paso Eastwood topped the UIL 5A boys competition with a 51-point team total, and El Paso Hanks had the silver and bronze individual medalists in Michael Abeyta (14:34.61) and Rodger Rivera (14:55.64).
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