United HC

Senior Chris West places first at State Championship

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Four-year Letterman Chris West won the individual Class 4A State Championship this past Saturday at the Old Settler”s Park in Round Rock. West became the first Lockhart Cross Country runner in the history of the school to take home the state title.

The road to the top for West began in third grade when he began running with his older brother Jeremiah, who placed 23rd

at the 1996 State Championship.

Chris West began his High School Career with a 49th place finish as a freshman. As a sophomore West moved up to All-State Honors as he captured 15th place overall. Then as a junior, West moved up another three spots to earn 12th place. Entering his senior year he was considered among the favorites based on his state runner-up finish in the spring at the state track meet in the 1600-meter run, where he ran a time of 4:22.18.

West started the fall cross country campaign by winning the Lockhart Invitational and Texas A&M Invitational. He also ran solid races at the Nike South meet in Houston, as well as the Arkansas Invitational, where he placed in the top 10 of each race. At the district meet on Oct. 30, West finished second to Cedar Park Vista Ridges” Travis Fort, who went on to beat West again at the Regional Championship a week later in San Antonio.

With Fort now the favorite and West reeling from two straight losses, a new game plan hatched. At the state meet last Saturday, West let the other top runners take the pace for the first 2.5 miles. He went through the mile mark at 4:40 and the two-mile mark at 9:40. With just over 800 meters to go, West took the lead for the first time and surged ahead. Over the next 400 meters West extended his lead to nearly 5 seconds. With just 400 meters remaining, West increased his lead to nearly 11 seconds over Fort who went on to finish as the state”s number two runner. West”s time of 15:20.75 was the fastest run by a 4A runner at the State meet ever at Old Settler”s Park.

In the past seven years Lockhart runners Kristy Bonn, Tommy Bomi and Jason Gould have all finished as the State Runners-up.

(Courtesy of Scott Hippensteel)

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