Lion harriers place fourth in state to close season
The Lockhart Lions Boys Cross Country team earned a fourth place finish this past weekend at the 2009 State Championship meet held at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock, Texas.
For the second consecutive season, Boerne Champion High School won the team championship, scoring 30 points en route to a dominant victory. El Paso Jefferson was a distant second place, scori
ng 120 points, while Frisco Liberty scored 136 points to earn third overall. Lockhart placed fourth by scoring 141 points.
In the process of getting fourth the Lions avenged their loss to Friendswood, who had beaten Lockhart last week at the Regional meet in Houston. Friendswood scored 166 points. El Paso Austin completed the top six teams with a score of 171 points. A total of 12 teams qualified and ran for the State Championship.
According to Head Coach Scott Hippensteel, the Lockhart harriers ran their best race of the season on Saturday, with each of their top five runners equaling or bettering their season’s best performance.
Sophomore Nate Moore led the Lions across the finish line, running what Hippensteel called a “great race,” and finishing 26th overall in 16:27.
Junior Mack O’Neill ran to a 20-second personal best, covering the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course in 17:00 to place 22nd.
Senior David Dihn completed a great cross country career with his best race of the fall, placing 26th in 17:06.Freshman Robert Uhr placed 33rd in 17:17. Finally completing the top five for Lockhart was senior Noah Tunningley, who ran another strong race to place 44th in 17:27.
Senior Roy Garcia ended a strong career with his 64th-place finish in 18:06. This appearance was Garcia’s third at the State Championships during his high school career.
Sophomore Joseph Anchondo rounded out the Lockhart team, placing 79th in19:12.
“The team ended the season on a roll as they improved steadily throughout the season and were able to run their best race of the year in the final race of the year,” Hippensteel said. “The Lions competed in 11 meets during the season of which they won five times, placed second three times, finished third once, and finished fourth on two occasions.”
Highlights of the 2009 season included the Lions earning their 22nd consecutive District Championship, followed by a second-place finish at regionals that secured the team’s 20th appearance at the State Championships in the last 22 seasons.
“This young team definitely ends the season with a great deal of promise for next season,” Hippensteel said. “The Lions would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone in the community of Lockhart who made this year so wonderful.”
(Courtesy of Scott Hippensteel)