Runners tune up at Ken Gaston meet

HHS’ Hinds places 2nd as Jags win division in final race of regular season

Mirror report
The Heritage boys' cross-country team displays their first-place trophy following Thursday's first-place finish in the Class 1A-4A division of the Ken Gaston Invitational at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.

GRAND PRAIRIE — The Midlothian Heritage Jaguars placed four runners in the top nine and won the men’s Class 1A-4A team race at the Ken Gaston 25th Annual Invitational hosted by Arlington Sam Houston on Thursday at Lynn Creek Park.

Senior Dillon Hinds took the silver medal by finishing the 5,000 meters in 18:01.7, followed by freshman Ricardo Perez winning the bronze in 18:29.1. Sophomore Casey Jansen was seventh in 18:42.3; junior Jordan Martinez was ninth in 18:50.8; and freshman Justin Roberts was 13th in 19:02.3, with Landon Kelly, Sebastian Diaz, Jacob Clasemann, Timothy Preusser and Brent Penwarden also competing.

Ferris freshman Anthony Moreno placed 10th as an individual in 18:56.2, and Maypearl also sent a trio of runners, led by a 16th-place finish by sophomore Harris VanBlarcom in 19:14.5.

The women’s Class 1A-4A division ran a 2-mile race, with Heritage freshman Eva Jacobsen crossing the finish line in fourth place to lead the Jaguars to a second-place team finish in a time of 12:41.7.

Junior Alexandra Schmidt was eighth in 13:11.9, followed by the pack of freshman Ziah Zachry, sophomore Riley Click and freshman Georli Vaughn placing 18th through 20th. Junior Lauren Schmidt was 23rd and senior Kayla Moore was 24th.

The Maypearl Lady Panthers also entered the meet, with sophomore Makayla Stephens leading the way by finishing 21st in 14:24.0.

The Midlothian Lady Panthers cross-country team, meanwhile, finished sixth in the women’s 5,000-meter Elite division at Lynn Creek Park.

Leading MHS was senior Avalon Mitchell in 33rd place in 20:49.9, followed closely by freshman Jada Prichard in 34th in 20:53.8 and sophomore Mayra Finnestad in 36th in 21:08.0. Senior Madison Blanch was 46th in 22:00.4 and junior Juliet Garcia was 53rd in 22:35.4 to round out the team total, with juniors Samantha Presas and Maria Huerta also competing.

MHS also fielded a team of runners in the women’s Class 5A-6A division, and the top Lady Panther was freshman Kristina Bates, who finished 60th in 22:46.2. Red Oak’s leading runner was junior Ana Cook, who placed 70th in 23:02.3.

The Panthers competed in the Men’s Elite division and placed fifth as a team, led by junior Daemon Rodriguez once again with a 29th-place finish in 17:32.1. Senior Caeleb Bridgins was 34th in 17:43.0; junior Makarian Urquhart was 39th in 17:52.7; sophomore Caden Naizer was 48th in 18:27.0; and senior Benjamin Cardenas was 50th in 18:36.1. Sophomore Miles McArthur and senior Caden Grisham also finished the race.

Red Oak and Ennis competed in the men’s Class 5A-6A division, with Red Oak sophomore Inaky Garcia placing a strong ninth in 17:35.9 and Ennis freshman Martin Hernandez-Barriaga placing 27th in 18:17.3. MHS also entered a team in this division, with MHS sophomore Kowen Torres placing 43rd in 18:33.2.

The Ken Gaston Invitational was the last cross-country action of the regular season, with district meets set for Thursday, Oct. 14. Midlothian, Red Oak and Ennis will head to the grounds of MISD Multipurpose Stadium for the District 14-5A meet, while HHS will compete in the the 11-4A championships at Wallace Park in Hillsboro.