No team qualified from Ellis County schools this year, but a bunch of individual medalists will still be making the trip down Interstate 35 to compete in the University Interscholastic League state cross country championships on Saturday morning at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
Midlothian High seniors Tanner Henderson and Keila Finnestad will be headed to Round Rock after qualifying as medalists in the Class 5A Region II meet at Dallas’ Jesse Owens Memorial Complex last week. And In Class 4A, Heritage High’s Renee Elliott and Ethen Agreda will be competing in the girls’ and boys’ races respectively.
Henderson finished the 5,000-meter boys’ race in fourth place in a time of 15 minutes, 21.95 seconds, a little more than three seconds behind third-place Wyatt Wingard of Frisco Reedy. Meanwhile, Finnestad finished in 12th place in the girls’ regional race, in a time of 18:59.96.
In Class 4A, Heritage’s Elliott and Agreda qualified for state in the 4A Region III meet in Huntsville last week, along with Life Waxahachie’s Charzelle Williams.
Elliott qualified after finishing in third place at the Class 4A Region III girls’ meet, and Agreda placed 13th overall in the boys’ race. Elliott, a junior, ran the 2-mile course in 12:18.4, finishing just behind race winner Emily Garcia of Alvarado and Life’s Williams. Agreda, a senior, placed 13th overall, running the 5,000-meter boys’ course in 17:21.4 to lead the Jags.
Williams, a freshman, finished the 2-mile course in second place in 12:14, just 23.1 seconds behind individual race winner Emily Garcia of Alvarado but beating out District 17-4A and county rival Elliott.
Elsewhere, Waxahachie junior Emma Curry will compete in the 6A girls’ race after placing eighth in the 6A Region I meet last week at Lubbock’s Mae Simmons Park, where Curry crossed the finish line on the 3-mile course in 18:00.50.
Other Ellis County qualifiers for state include Brody Townly of Italy, who will compete in the Class 2A boys’ race; Joseph Orndorff of Milford, who will run in the 1A boys’ race; and Emely Salazar of Avalon, who will compete in the 1A girls’ state meet.
UIL state cross country qualifiers
Ellis County cross country runners who have qualified for the University Interscholastic League state cross country championships on Saturday morning in Round Rock:
Tanner Henderson, Midlothian
Ethen Agreda, Midlothian Heritage
Brody Townly, Italy
Joseph Orndorff, Milford
Emma Curry, Waxahachie
Keila Finnestad, Midlothian
Charzelle Williams, Life Waxahachie; Renee Elliott, Midlothian Heritage
Emely Salazar, Avalon