Panthers, Jags show well in home meet
MISD cross-country runners successful in James Smith Invitational
The girls’ Class 5A-6A division of the James Smith Invitational on the grounds of Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium turned into a duel of sorts between two outstanding cross-country teams from Midlothian and Waxahachie High Schools.
There was plenty of success for both teams to point to. The Lady Indians notched two of the top three finishes in the race by sophomore Emilee Jones and senior Cori Morgan, but the Lady Panthers ran well as a pack and grabbed second place in Thursday’s meet, ahead of third-place WHS.
The Lady Panthers placed all five of their scoring runners in the top 20, and all finished less than 40 seconds apart from each other. Senior Avalon Mitchell was the lead MHS runner, placing 14th in 21:07.73, followed by sophomore Mayra Finnestad, 16th in 21:27.56; senior Madison Blanch, 17th in 21:35.76; freshman Abigail Wildman, 18th in 21:36.47; and freshman Jada Prichard, 20th in 21:46.89.
Juniors Samantha Presas, Juliet Garcia and Maria Huerta, and sophomores Hannah Brooks and Vinaya Rodriguez also competed for MHS.
WHS’ Jones finished second on the 5,000-meter course in a time of 18 minutes, 23.78 seconds and was just a step behind Dallas Hockaday School’s Margaret Thompson at the finish line. Morgan was third in 19:37.67, more than a minute behind the lead duo.
Freshman Lyndsay Giles (32nd in 22:40.70), sophomore Whitley Blankenship (35th in 22:45.65) and senior Tessa Dominy (38th in 22:53.72) rounded out the scoring for WHS, with senior Cameron McBride also participating in the race.
Hockaday placed four of five scoring runners in the top six to dominate the division.
In the 5A-6A boys’ division, the Panthers finished third as a team, led by an 11th-place finish by junior Daemon Rodriguez in a time of 17:58.18. Junior Makarian Urquhart was 22nd in 18:28.44, followed by senior Caden Grisham, 26th in 18:33.77; senior Caeleb Bridgins, 28th in 18:39.92; and senior Gabriel Darrett, 37th in 18:58.66. Sophomore Miles McArthur, senior Benjamin Cardenas, senior Trevor Tobey, freshman Texas Falco and sophomore Cook Anderson also participated for MHS.
The Indians placed fifth as a team and were led by freshman Jaime Gonzalez, who finished third in 17:12.54. Sophomore Aidan Pennington was 18th in 18:23.12; junior Braden Buegeler was 31st in 18:46.88; freshman Ezra Perez was 35th in 18:54.72; and sophomore Eli Nance was 60th in 19:33.33.
Red Oak and Ennis also participated in the meet, with the Hawks placing 11th and the Lions 12th. Sophomore Inaky Garcia was 30th and junior Marco Cruz was 39th for Red Oak, while Ennis was led by sophomore Noah Bramall in 57th place.
HHS also runs strong
The Heritage High School girls ran a strong 3,200-meter race on Thursday and placed third in the 4A girls’ division of the James Smith Invitational at MISD Multipurpose Stadium.
Junior Alexandra Schmidt finished No. 8 among individual runners in a time of 14:19.80, and senior Kaylee Norwood also garnered a top-10 finish in 14:26.17. Sophomore Riley Click was 16th in 14:56.64, followed by classmate Madeline Berumen in 18th in 15:01.18 and freshman Georli Vaughn in 21st in 15:07.31.
Also competing for the Jags were freshman Emmy Guynes, senior Kayla Moore, junior Lauren Schmidt, freshman Ziah Zachry and senior Lori Hinson.
The Jags totaled 73 points, behind first-place Paradise with 52 and second-place Canton with 69. Canton sophomore Gracee Wilson won the gold medal in 13:25.47.
Also in the race was Life Waxahachie, which placed seventh. Junior Charzell Williams was fifth in 14:02.07, followed by classmate Ashley Heer in 14th place in 14:52.91; senior Brianna Rodriguez, 28th in 15:31.62; junior Angela Rodriguez, 43rd in 16:31.73; and junior Jaci O’Neal, 49th in 16:37.16.
The HHS boys’ team also placed third in its division, led by an eighth-place finish by senior Dillon Hinds in 18:50.76 on a 5K course. Freshman Ricardo Perez was 13th in 19:15.14; junior Jordan Martinez was 14th in 19:25.21; freshman Jacob Clasemann was 28th in 20:24.15; and freshman Landon Kelly was 29th in 20:25.98.
Senior Brent Penwarden, junior Timothy Preusser, freshman Marco Johnson and sophomore Casey Jansen also participated for the Jags.
Life Waxahachie was sixth as a team, with junior John Hawkins finishing 18th in 19:43.63 and senior Maxwell Melton close behind in 19th in 19:47.82. Junior Isaac Weiss (24th in 20:13.32), freshman Andrew Davis (26th in 20:15.69) and sophomore Tristan Josey (40th in 21:14.92) completed the team total for the Mustangs, with senior Matthew Hollis also finishing the race.