Freshman, sophomore qualify for regionals for Lady Lions￼
Special to the LPR
Freshman Reina Del Castillo and sophomore Adrianna Rodriguez each qualified for Regional Cross Country competition following the District Meet last week at Lockhart City Park.
The Lockhart Lady Lions were the home team last Thursday to all eight schools in the UIL 25-5A District Cross Country Meet. All teams arrived with high hopes of taking home one of the top three spots in each division: Varsity Girls, Junior Varsity Girls, and Freshman Girls.
Varsity qualifying standards are the top three teams and the top 10 individual girls qualify to the regional meet held on Tuesday, Oct. 25 in Corpus Christi. Del Castillo and Rodriguez will compete in the 5A Girls race which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m.
All UIL sports are allowed four teams to qualify for postseason competition with the exception of Cross Country.
In the Varsity Girls division, the Lady Lions finished fifth in the district.
Del Castillo ran a strategic race to move up throughout the course and placed fourth overall with a time of 19:51 over the 3.1-mile course.
Rodriguez used an equally impressive strategy to stay ahead of a group of runners all vying for the coveted top 10 places. Rodriguez ended up eighth overall with a time of 20:44.
Both Del Castillo and Rodriguez claimed All-District First Team honors with their finish.
Senior Christy Gonzalez was the third Lady Lion to finish with a season best time of 22:33. Gonzalez impressively used a strong second mile to move up to 26th place, and more importantly gained Honorable Mention honors.
Lockhart junior Mayra Varillas was the fourth runner for Lockhart and it took a personal best time of 23:00 to give the Lions a huge boost. Varillas used a strong push the last mile to move up five spots and finish 29th overall. Varillas place gave her Honorable Mention honors among the district elite. This is a first-time honor for Varillas in her three-year high school career.
Freshman Clarissa Martinez-Olvera was not far off Varillas, finishing up as the fifth Lockhart runner with a time of 23:06, placing her 31st. Although Martinez-Olvera just missed claiming Honorable Mention Status, her time was still a personal best.
Next were the 6 and 7 pushers for Lockhart who played a valuable part of the team. They push back the points for the opposing teams. Junior Ryleigh Lindsey and senior Amyrss Flores finished 37th and 38th. Lindsey finished with a time of 24:18, while Flores finished with a time of 24:22. Both times were season best for the duo.
“Our ladies did an amazing job today,” Lockhart Head Girls Coach Reuben Ortiz said. “Although we were only 10 points short of the third-place spot as a team, we are not putting our head down. We could have easily lost by 40-plus points if you went by the rankings, but our girls came out swinging and gave them a huge scare. Each one of our ladies gave their best with season or personal bests when it counted.
“We won’t take a team to regionals but will be sending two individuals that will represent Lockhart, Reina Del Castillo and Adriana Rodriguez. Our future is bright with these two, but more so, we are bringing back an experienced team, not to mention getting Hannah Wheeler and others from injury and hopefully some much needed support from our junior high pipeline. The sad part of this race is we are losing our seniors, Amyrss Flores and Christy Gonzales, to graduation this spring. They still have track, though but their leadership will be missed next season. I am happy to know when our ladies leave our program, it’s not the end for them. They take more than just being in excellent health from us. Organization, mental toughness, and pride for your community are just a few things they will carry on.”
In the Junior Varsity Girls division, the Lady Lions placed third out of eight teams. Sophomore Jessica Silva was the first Lady Lion to cross the line, finishing 15th overall with a time of 24:41 over the 5k course. Silva also claimed medal honors as one of the top 15 runners.
Next was Junior Emma Forester, who used a strong start to stay with the main group. Forester finished with a season best of 26:34 and finished 28th overall. Sophomore Kara Sunukjian (33rd/27:44) and Senior Diana Albino-Lara (34th/28:08) fought neck and neck with the middle group. Sunukjian and Albino-Lara both ran personal bests.
The next wave of Lady Lions came with the sophomore duo of Hadley Moorhead (36th/30:06) and Jayla Goodwin (37th/30:27) picking up key points in the team standings for the Lady Lions. With sophomore newcomer Annabelle Peterson (40th/34:16) rounding out the team.
“Bringing home the bronze in the team standings was one of the major highlights of the day for me,” Ortiz said. “UIL Cross Country rules only allow us to run seven Varsity runners at District, but you must list 10 varsity runners in your paperwork. I bring this up for the fact that because of this, we need to run three of our varsity runners in the JV race, but they are still Varsity runners. Forester, Silva, and Moorhead are quality varsity type runners and will only get better. Forester and Silva had season bests and saved their best for last. They both missed races this year but few more races under their belt and they are break out runners.”
In the Freshman Division, the Lady Lions placed third as a team. Bailey O’Keefe took top honors for the Lady Lions. O’Keefe used a consistent pace to stay with the lead group and claim Top 10 honors. O’Keefe finished 10th over the 2.2-mile course with a time of 17:12.
Next was Aliana Mendoza as she worked her way throughout the race and finished 11th overall with a time of 17:38.
The third Lady Lion was Madison Knoblauch, who broke apart a Leander Glen group to finish 16th overall with a time of 20:41. Aliyah Alvaraz (18th/22:30), Yaris Varillas(19th/23:02), and Shekinah Bryant(20th/25:54) rounded out the Freshman squad.
“These ladies came in and stepped up for the Lockhart program,” Ortiz said. “O’Keefe competes in about every UIL event offered. I wonder when she has time to sleep. If we can get her more next year, she could make a huge impact.
“Mendoza ran great today, but that was no surprise there in my mind. She was a major contributor in her junior high days. Our other ladies came in and helped out when we needed them the most.”
The UIL regional meet will be held on Oct. 24 and 25 at the University of Texas A&M at Corpus Christi.
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District 25 Meet
Lockhart City Park
1. Leander, 39
2, Liberty Hill, 56
3. Leander Rouse, 74
4. Cedar Park, 79.
5. Lockhart, 84
1. Isabel Conde De Frankenberg (Cedar Park), 17:36.3
2. Jaya Coats (Leander), 18:57.3
3. Clara Cotton (Leander), 19:46.4
4. Reina Del Castillo (Lockhart), 19:57.7
5. Laura Jones (Liberty Hill), 20:05.0
6. Emma Belliveau (Leander Glenn), 20:13.5
7. Ava Bedwell (Buda Hays), 20:40.6
8. Adriana Rodriguez (Lockhart), 20:44.8
9. Kristi Lopez (Leander), 20:51.3
10. Sadie Guzman (Leander), 20:51.7
11. Kelly Guzman (Liberty Hill) 20:53.5
12. Jessica Aldrich (Leander Rouse), 21:03.3
13. Kimberly Guzman (Liberty Hill), 21:08.2
14. Kyle Snell (Leander Rouse), 21:31.3
15. Maria Reyes (Leader Rouse), 21:14.8
16. Megan Smith (Liberty Hill), 21:15.3
17. Grace Cornwell (Leander Rouse), 21:26.3
18. Riley Corson (Cedar Park), 21:34.0
19. Ashlyn Jarvis (Liberty Hill), 21:44.3
20, Frances Tran ((Cedar Park), 21:46.0
21. Yesenia Parra (Buda Hays), 21:48.6
22. Olivia Jimenez (Leander), 21:55.7
23. Isabel Burke (Buda Hays), 22:12.5
24. Isabel Lima (Leander), 22:14.2
25. Mary Gohean (Cedar Park), 22:16.8
26. Christy Gonzalez (Lockhart), 22:33.8
27. Dhwani Patel (Cedar Park), 22:39.9
28. Conner Ford (Leander Rouse), 22:40.5
29. Mayra Varillas (Lockhart), 23:00.6
30. Raegan Schwab (Leander), 23:02.0
31. Clarissa Martinez-Olvera (Lockhart), 23:06.6
32. Kaylee Monthie (Leander Rouse), 23:24.0
33. Raquel Benavides (Cedar Park), 23:31.2
34. Daisy Anaya (Liberty Hill), 23:38.5
35. Ender Sophia (Kyle Lehman), 23:46.3
36. Ryleigh Lindsey (Lockhart), 24:18.2
37. Amryss Flores (Lockhart), 24:22.7
38. Aline Molina (Kyle Lehman), 24:38.3
39. Grace Sauers (Cedar Park), 25:17.7
1. Liberty Hill, 15
2. Leander Rouse, 54
3. Lockhart, 85
4. Kyle Lehman, 89
1. Kentleigh Boswell (Liberty Hill), 21:52.3
2. Brianna Grandow (Cedar Park), 22:30.3
3. Laney McCarn (Liberty Hill), 22:30.9
4. Nanci Sanchez (Liberty Hill), 22:46.8
5. Athalia Luna (Liberty Hill), 22:48.3
6. Avery Holland (Liberty Hill), 22:49.2
7. Payton Hanson (Leander), 23:13.9
8. Mason Miranda (Leander), 23:40.5
9. Autumn Escamilla (Leander Rouse), 23:58.1
10. Hannah Webster (Liberty Hill), 24:10.13.22
11. Sage Martin (Leander), 24:21.1
12. Maya Barrios (Leander Glenn), 24:21.5
13. Lalia Huerta (Kyle Lehman), 24:21.8
14. Sofia Fernandez (Liberty Hill), 24:32.7
15. Jessica Silva (Lockhart), 24:41.2
16. Lexi Martin (Leander Rouse), 24:48.1
17. Lilly Arellano (Leander Rouse), 24:53.8
18. Emery Holland (Liberty Hill), 25:12.2
19. Allyson Reynolds (Kyle Lehman), 25:18.5
20. Amanda Ce (Cedar Park), 25:21.2
21. Ximena Fregosa Jaramillo (Leander Rouse, 25:32.6
22. Ella Egizio (Liberty Hill), 25:41.3
23. Eunji Bae (Leander Rouse), 25:46.3
24. Derya Bizra (Leander Rouse), 25:53.5
25. Esperanza Gonzales (Kyle Lehman), 26:00.6
26. Samantha Svetiik (Leander), 26:01.7
27. Clara Rabago (Cedar Park), 26:25.1
28. Emma Forester (Lockhart), 26:34.6
29. Jessica Limb (Buda Hays), 26:36.1
30. Contreras Tomasa (Kyle Lehman), 27:15.1
31. Shaylie Escher (Liberty Hill), 27:30.6
32. Adi Cofty (Leander Rouse), 27:38.4
33. Kara Sunukjian (Lockhart), 27:44.6
34. Diana Albino Lara (Lockhart), 28:08.8
35. Makenna Hammond (Leander), 28:34.8
36. Hadley Moorhead (Lockhart), 30:06.5
37. Jayla Goodwin (Lockhart), 30:27.3
38. Correa Gabriela (Kyle Lehman), 31:18.8
39. Joana Cano-Lopez (Kyle Lehman), 32:23.5
40. Annabelle Peterson (Lockhart), 34:16.2
41. Dovalina Guerra Ashley (Kyle Lehman), 36:07.4
42. Hayley Mireles (Buda Hays), 39:49.8
1. Leander, 17
2. Leander Glenn, 46
3. Lockhart, 59
1. Ava Tannerhill (Leander), 15:00.1
2. Emma Tolman (Leander), 16=5:09.5
3. Alexis Sanchez (Buda Hays), 15:22.8
4. Emily Klaer (Leander), 15:41.5
5. Akrya Bocenegra (Buda Hays), 15:52.1
6. Mya Guevara (Leander Glenn), 16:03.5
7. Sophia Martinez (Leander), 16:39.5
8. Jessa Angelo-Willson (Leander), 16:40.0
9. Abigail Candelas (Buda Hays), 16:45.4
10. Bailey O’keefe (Lockhart), 17:12.3
11. Aliana Mendoza (Lockhart), 17:38.2
12. Peyton Garrison (Leander Glenn), 17:56.0
13. Maia Matthews (Leander Glenn), 18:31.2
14. Jennavecia Garcia ((Leander Glenn), 18:45.8
15. Milah Anderson ((Leander Glenn), 19:16.8
16. Madison Knoblauch ((Lockhart), 20:41.5
17. Lindsay Gordon ((Leander Glenn), 21:12.3
18. Aliyah Alvarez (Lockhart), 23:30.6
19. Yaris Varillas (Lockhart), 23:02.9
20. Shekinah Bryant (Lockhart), 25:44.3