The Lockhart Boys Varsity Cross Country team re-captured the District 27-4A Championship on Thursday at the Lockhart City Park.
After losing the 2010 District meet, the Lion harriers had something to prove going into the 2011 season. With a solid year of training under their belt, the 2011 team had an outstanding pre-district season, winning a total of five meets.
That hard work was on display Thursday, as Lockhart clinched their 23rd district title in the last 24 years with a slim 35 points. Alamo Heights placed a distant second with 74 points. A surprising Hays team grabbed the third spot with 88 points, rounding out the district’s offerings to the Regional meet on Saturday.
New Braunfels Canyon finished fourth with 93 points, while Lehman ended up in the fifth position with 110 points. Clemens finished in sixth with 115 points, and Smithson Valley, last year’s District Champions as well the State Runner-up, finished in last place with 142 points.
“I think the fact that Smithson Valley finished seventh in District only one year after placing second at State underscores just what an incredibly difficult and competitive district ‘27-4A’ has been for two years,” Head Coach Scott Hippensteel said after the meet. “I know that Smithson Valley could have won the District title in at least half of the 32 districts in Texas this fall.”
Senior Nate Moore and junior Robert Uhr powered the Lions to the title with another one-two finish. It was the seventh time this season the pair have placed first and second overall in a meet.
Moore ran the very difficult 5,000-meter (3.1 mile) course in 18:07 seconds, bringing in his sixth career District title. The victory ties Moore with Tommy Bonn, who until Thursday held the record for the most district titles earned in a high school career.
Moore stands poised to snatch the record from Bonn’s grasp, though, as he has the potential to win at least two more district titles in the spring, having been the individual champion in nine of the 10 races he’s run so far this year.
Uhr has literally run in Moore’s shadow all season, but had a great season regardless, finishing the race as the district runner up with a time of 18:15.
Senior Joe Anchondo ran what Hippensteel called “an intelligent race,” finishing eighth in 19:11. He stayed near the front for the first two miles of the course, and only faded slightly in the final 600 meters.
Junior Nicholas Avey was as strong as always, placing ninth in 19:16. Finally completing the top five and the scoring was senior Eli Spring who placed 15th in 19:46.
Lockhart’s final two varsity runners in the race were juniors JD Amaya (33rd place, 20:31) and Xavier Espinosa (40th place, 20:48).
The JV Lions placed fifth at the District meet, scoring 112 points behind powerful squads from Smithson Valley, Clemens, Hays and Canyon. Still the Lions brought in an individual district championship for junior Erik Moreno, who bested a field of 122 runners to finish the race in 20:33.
Lion junior Joseph Hefner placed eighth, finishing the course in 21:12. Junior Mario Maciel was just over a minute behind, placing 32nd in 22:21. Sophomore Jordan Johnson scored for the Lions, finishing 34th in 22:26, with senior Randy Cornell rounding out scoring for the Lions in 40th place at 22:35.
Other JV harriers who competed for the Lions included: Baris Field – 43rd; Colton Russell – 48th; Brandon Rodriquez – 74th; Sebastian Llamas – 80th; Ryan Arms – 88th; and Robin Roundwaithe – 109th.
The Lions fielded a freshman army, running to a second place finish behind Smithson Valley. The Rangers scored 28 points to Lockhart’s 35, with New Braunfels Canyon coming in a distant third with 62 points.
Sergio Moreno led the way for the Lockhart freshmen, placing second overall in 11:03. Gunner Brown placed fourth in 11:31, followed only one second later by Brandon Clinger. Billy Hernandez finished in 12th place overall in 12:02, and Jose Alonzo closed scoring for the Lions in 14th place (12:11).
Also running for Lockhart was: CJ Sanchez – 15th place; Juan Maldonado – 16th place; Kobe Hurt – 21st place; Sabass Amaya – 25th place; Noah Zapata – 26th place; Alex Baltierra – 27th place; Dillion Adams – 28th place; Cameron Adams – 29th place; Richard Perez – 31st place; Andrew Powers – 33rd place; Tyler Spillman – 36th place; Jake Pachecho – 37th place; Grant Schlaht – 38th place; Micheal Roehr – 39th place; Klay Larrison – 40th place; Armando Moscorro – 42nd place; Justin Torrez – 43rd place; Ayrick Castillo – 44th place; and Chris Roehr – 45th place.
“I was extremely proud of the Freshman class,” Hippensteel said. “They all did such a tremendous job this year.”
(Courtesy of Scott Hippensteel)