Twins Michelle Lueveno and Jennifer Schranz just vibe.
The pair ran at Concordia Lutheran back in 2005, then at Concordia Seward-Nebraska and now coach together back at their alma mater in Tomball.
Lueveno is the head coach and Schranz is her assistant.
Three years after Lueveno took the job, Concordia Lutheran made school history last week finishing second at the TAPPS state meet.
"We just vibe really well as coaches," Lueveno said. "We communicate with the girls and build them a road map to be successful. This is a grueling sport and there is a fine line between hard work and having some fun. In between all the practices you have to build relationships and enjoy each other."
Finishing fourth at state the past two years, the coaches tweaked their training a bit, which worked.
"We were just praying we would have a season this year," she said. "They listened and trusted us as we changed up some of the training. They were itching to do better this year and they came back really ready to go hard."
Leading the way were Lauryn Kastenschmidt and Ava Zindler. Kastenschmidt finished fourth overall. Megan Groeschel, Shelby Hadrick and Jessica McGavern also played huge roles on the teams' success.
"We ran really well all season and knew we had a chance at state," she said. "We didn't want to think about it much during the season, but we knew we could do something special and they did it."
Concordia Lutheran's top five runners all placed in the Top 30. Two were in the Top 10 and Kastenschmidt was fourth.
"They took it day-by-day and just put their trust in God," she said. "The real rewards come from doing your best and being the runner-up at state was just icing on the cake."
So, now what?
"We are going to celebrate and love them up right now," she said. "We are going to take a break and have a banquet. Then we are going to think about next year and get going again."
HOUSTON - The dynasty has another chapter written.
On Monday, The Woodlands Christian Academy boys team captured its fourth-straight TAPPS Cross Country Team State Championship with 70 points and three runners finishing inside the Top 10.
"It's awesome for seniors like Ben (Shearer), Caleb (Bigler) and Josh (Mueck) to get rings all four of their years," TWCA Cross Country coach Tom Earle, who now has 10 state titles rings between cross country and track, said. "That's pretty special."
Shearer added: "Each year we had such a strong team and it's really influenced the way I run personally and my work ethic. It's really cool being a part of a championship team that's been there for four years."
The Warriors did this after moving up from Class 4A to 5A prior to this season and with a shortened schedule, due to COVID-19, TWCA only ran in eight meets.
"They worked hard," Earle said. "This year with the COVID challenges, gave us an advantage because we were able to work through the summer and able to work together through a lot of that time. But what also made it challenging for how we would stack up in 5A was because a lot of the other schools weren't racing.
"We went into it a little bit blind with regards to competition, we knew we had prepared ourselves the best we could."
The group was led by Ben Shearer, who won his second-straight individual TAPPS State Championship, posting a time of 15:32. That is nearly a minute faster than last year's championship time of 16:20. Shearer also currently holds the nation's third-fastest time at 14:39.
This was the fourth-straight year Shearer has made it to state. He finished sixth and fourth as a freshman and a sophomore, respectively, but capped it with back-to-back individual titles.
"I'm pretty happy with how things turned out today individually," Shearer said. "Coming from a very uncertain time in track last year to cross country this year was a little shaky. Just coming into this final meet for me in cross country, it's nice to cap it off."
Ben Shearer is the top finisher at the TAPPS 5A Boys Cross Country Meet!
@ConroeSports @vypehouston pic.twitter.com/2twWxUDG50
— Woodlands Christian (@twcasports) November 2, 2020
Shearer is verbally committed to run at the University of Arkansas, where his older brother Josh runs.
"The deep field that Arkansas has captured my interest," Shearer said. "The campus is beautiful and just what they do at Arkansas aligns with my beliefs and philosophies as a runner. I love everything about their program and their school."
Seniors Josh Mueck and Caleb Bigler followed him with fourth and seventh place finishes, respectively. Mueck posted a time of 16:13, while Bigler came in at 16:35. Zachary Bagnoli finished 12th (17:11.4) and Seth Culberson came in 46th (18:36).
"The seniors did a good job to model what it looks like to work hard and the success that comes from that," Earle said. "They were battling. It was a tough race, a lot of guys went out really fast and our guys had to respond to it within that first mile and they did. By mile two they had separated into the spots we felt comfortable with where we were."
We did it! Boys TAPPS 5A State Champions!! @twcasports @TappsXCountry @ConroeSports @vypehouston @LSCSN @TWCAStrength @TWCASportsMED pic.twitter.com/3fdIx90Lnb
— @TWCA XC/ T&F (@twcaxc) November 2, 2020
On the girls' side, The Woodlands Christian Academy finished third overall, marking the eighth-straight year they have stood atop the podium.
"Those girls year after year continue to reload," Earle said. "We've got two really awesome freshman girls. I like our chances again in the future to be strong."
The aforementioned freshmen were Zoe Calimani, who took 18th overall (13:03), and Camille Young, who took 25th overall (13:31).
"As you can imagine they were incredibly nervous going into this race," Earle said. "We used the senior girls with Fern (Shirley) and Megan (Hanigan) to set the right perspective for them and just race like they had trained. They came on strong, over the last 600 meters, Zoe passed six or more and Camille passed four. So, they stepped up right at the end."
Junior Lindsay Worthington led the pack with a 17th-place finish with a time of 13:02, while Shirley took 19th overall with a time of 13:04.