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Lion harriers continue to outpace the competition

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For the third time in four weeks the Lockhart Lions Cross Country team has dominated their competition, this time making their presence felt at the Round Top – Carmine Invitational.

Despite their two top runners sitting out the race, the Lions won first place in a field of 14 varsity squads, placing three runners in the top 10.

While senior leaders David Dihn a

nd Roy Garcia both sat out the race, one because he was taking his SAT test and the other because of an illness, sophomore Nate Moore stepped up to fill his teammates’ shoes, finishing the race second overall in a quick 16:13.

“I am very pleased with the way Nate has been progressing during the season,” Coach Scott Hippensteel said. “I expect him to challenge himself even more in the last half of the season.”

Freshman Robert Uhr placed fifth overall, finishing the winding, three-mile course in 16:49. Uhr continues to move up the Lockhart individual standings.

“When the season began Uhr wasn’t even in the top 10, but each week has been steadily moving up the charts,” Hippensteel said. “Uhr is now one of four Lockhart runners who could on any given week become the team’s number one man.”

Junior Mack O’Neill, who a week earlier almost beat Moore, this week fell off his teammate’s by almost one minute. O’Neill did not look to appear fresh during the race in which he finished eighth overall in a time of 17:08.
Senior Noah Tunningley came off of an ankle injury to capture 12th place overall in a time of 17:27.

“Tunningley will really need to get things going if the Lions are to due any real damage in the post-season,” Hippensteel said.

For the second week in a row, Bobby Dihn, made the top five runners for Lockhart. Dihn finished in 24th place with a time of 17:50. One of the big surprises for the Lions was junior Mitchell McCree, Hippensteel said.

After nursing numerous leg injuries, McCree has continued to get better every week and is now challenging for a top 7 spot on the varsity come district. McCree went out and led the race early on Saturday.

“I really like it when a kid decides to try and take himself to the next level,” Hippensteel said. “Even though Mitchell could not hold on, I like the fact he tried to see just how far he can push himself.”

Other Varsity runners included Eli Spring who had a very good race, placing 34th in 18:04. Joseph Anchondo ran the same time as Spring to capture 35th. Sophomore Samuel Post placed 39th, with a time of 18:15. Completing the varsity team was freshman Derrick Hendricks, who placed 45th in 18:38.
Lockhart won the Varsity Boys division with a score of 47 points. East Bernard was second with 54, Richmond Foster was third with 62, Royal placed fourth with 101 points, while Brazos rounded out the top five with a team score of 127. Bastrop High School finished sixth with 147 points.

The Lockhart Junior Varsity also was once again victorious. Freshman Colton Russell placed second overall, with a time of 18:45. He was followed by sophomore Sebastien Llamas, who finished fifth in 19:01. Freshman Xavier Espinosa placed sixth with a time of 19:20, followed by freshman Mario Maciel (ninth in 19:40), Nicholas Avey (tenth in 19:42) and Travis Smith (15th in 20:11).

A cadre of 10 Lion runners will travel to Lafayette, Ark., to compete in the Chili Pepper Invitational this weekend before wrapping up the regular season in Bandera on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The Lions will host the District 17-4A meet on Saturday, Oct. 31, in Lockhart City Park. Currently, the Lions are favorites to win district, and seeded fifth in the state in Class 4A.
(Courtesy of Scott Hippensteel)

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