History-making Cross Country streak ends
The 22-year District Championship run for the Lockhart Lions Cross Country team has come to an end. The Lion harriers finished in a tie for third place on Saturday at the District 27-4A Championships in Lockhart City Park. Lockhart City Park.
The Smithson Valley Rangers, ranked Number Two in the state, won the meet with just 28 points en route to an easy District Title.
New Braunfels Canyon placed second, with 65 points. Alamo Heights and Lockhart tied for third with 86 points, but the Mules will advance to the Regional meet this Saturday in San Antonio, because their sixth man finished ahead of the Lions’ sixth man. Hays placed fifth, with 98 points, while Lehman scored 177 points, and Schertz Clemens 202 points.
Before the season began, the Lions knew they would have a very difficult time winning the 2010 District title. In late-October last year, Lockhart traveled to Bandera to run the Bandera Invitational. The meet featured 40 teams. Lockhart expected to win, but when the results were finally posted, Smithson Valley had narrowly beaten the Lions, who finished in second overall. The good news at the time was Smithson Valley was a Class 5A school.
When the UIL realignment came out in February Smithson Valley moved to class 4A and was placed in District 27-4A, along with Lockhart and several other very large 4A schools.
Junior Nate Moore won the individual championship in a fine time of 16:08. Moore is the 18th Varsity Lion to claim the individual title in the past 23 years.
“Moore used a strong kick over the last 600 meters to earn the win,” Coach Scott Hippensteel said.
Sophomore teammate Robert Uhr placed fourth overall in 16:38. The top 10 runners are automatic qualifiers for the Regional meet to be held at Brooks Base in San Antonio this Saturday.
Sophomore Nicholas Avey was the third Lockhart finisher, placing 23rd overall in 18:03. Seniors Mack O’Neill and Mitchell McRee finished out scoring for the Lions, placing 28th and 30th in 18:28 and 18:31, respectively.
“I was very proud of our senior runners today,” Hippensteel said Saturday afternoon. “They showed a lot of heart and gave it their best effort.”
Also running in the varsity race was junior Eli Spring, who placed 34th in 18:35, and sophomore Colton Russell who finished 44th in 19:12.
The Lockhart Junior Varsity team ran to a third place finish.
Sophomore Derrick Hendricks led the way, placing fifth in 18:41, a fine time for the JV race, as Hippensteel said. Sophomore JD Amaya placed ninth in 19:01.
Other JV runners included: Xavier Espinosa – 16th; Samuel Post – 24th; Francisco Mendez – 31st; Mario Maciel – 32nd; Joe Anchondo – 39th; Carlos Martinez – 44th; Joseph Hefner — 47th; and Daniel Cruz – 65th.
The Lockhart Boys Freshman team finished as the District Runners-up behind the Hays Rebels.
Lockhart was led by Jordan Johnson who won the individual title with a time of 10:40. Johnson’s time was outstanding for the difficult two-mile course, Hippensteel said.
Erik Moreno placed fourth in the race, followed by John Hendrick in tenth. Other Freshman Lions running the race were: Nicholas Weatherby – 17th; Jose Campuzano – 29th; Richard Fry – 31st; Robin Roundwaithe – 46th; John Womble – 47th; Ty Duesterheft – 48th; Ryan Arms – 50th; and David Artega – 51st.
Undaunted by the breaking of his team’s 22-year streak, Hippensteel noted two other legendary high school cross country legacies that ended this weekend. In Class 5A, The Woodlands ended a 21-year winning streak, and Friendswood had a 17-year streak come to an end.
When the Lions’ streak began in 1988, Hippensteel said, gasoline was 91 cents a gallon.
“Tom Landry was in his last year as the Dallas Cowboys coach, and the team finished 3-13,” he laughed. “Maybe not all that much has changed.”
Hippensteel expressed his thanks to the City of Lockhart Parks Department, led by Bernie Rangel, for the work done to prepare the park for the meet. He also gave a nod to the volunteers who offered their time and assistance to make the meet a success, and the parents, spectators and fans who have supported the Lions throughout the season.
Moore and Uhr will run in the Regional Finals at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2010, beginning at 11 a.m.
(Courtesy of Scott Hippensteel)