The 2012 Cross Country season got underway on Saturday morning at the Lockhart City Park.
A record 1,047 runners “officially” crossed the finish line. Unofficially, more than 1,200 runners competed in Central Texas’ premiere cross country festival, the size of which rivals the annual State Cross Country meet.
By any measure the Lockhart Invitational was a success. Adding to the atmosphere was the Lockhart Band, Lionettes and Cheerleaders.
The Lockhart Boys Varsity team ran a strong race Saturday as they finished fourth overall out of 19 complete teams in the “Large School” division. Ten other high schools competed in the “Small School” division.
The Lockhart harriers were led by five seniors. According to Head Coach Scott Hippensteel, this was the first time in 25 years or more that all of Lockhart’s scoring runners were seniors.
Robert Uhr was the first man across the line as he ran the 3,100-meter course in 9:45. Uhr, who has exceptional foot speed, left too large a gap between himself and the first two finishers during the last 800 meters of the race.
“If [Robert] had been just 15 meters closer during the last 200 meters, he might have been able to capture the individual title,” Hippensteel said.
Nicholas Avey was the number two finisher for the Lions. He placed 14th out of 140 runners, with a time of 10:14. Joseph Hefner claimed 44th overall in 10:45.
It was the first time Hefner has ever been the third man for Lockhart.
JD Amaya finished 47th overall in 10:46.
Completing the top five for Lockhart was senior Baris Field. Field placed 55th with a time of 10:55.
Other runners who competed for Lockhart on Varsity included: Billy Hernandez (64th), Sergio Moreno (66th), Taylor Stephens (93rd), Erik Moreno (113th), Martin Salinas (117th), Sabass Amaya (122nd) and Tyler Tamayo (123rd).
Lockhart will travel to Moulton this Saturday to run the Moulton Invitational. They will host a Dual Meet at Lockhart State Park on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
“The Lockhart Cross Country teams would like to say “Thank You” to everyone who helped make last Saturday’s Invitational such a great meet,” Hippensteel said. “Thanks also to the Lockhart City Park mowing crew and to Bernie Rangel for getting the park ready for the meet. Also thank you to the Lockhart Athletic Booster Club and high school trainers for their hard work.”