Hippensteel Invitational breaks attendance records
With record entries of teams and runners participating, another exciting season of Lockhart Cross Country kicked off this past Saturday at the Lockhart City Park.
Over 1,600 runners representing 60 schools competed at the 29th annual Lockhart Invitational. Before the competition began, Lockhart’s longtime Coach Scott Hippensteel was honor
ed and recognized on Saturday for the cross country meet he started 29 years ago.
Meet Director and Athletic Director Sheila Henderson surprised Hippensteel by renaming the meet as the Hippensteel-Lockhart Cross Country Invitational. Hippensteel was presented with a plaque and commemorative t-shirt to celebrate his dedication and commitment to not only the athletes of Lockhart ISD, but to his passion for the sport.
The Lockhart Boys Varsity team ran a strong race in their first appearance of the season, finishing sixth out of 22 “Big School” Teams.
A trio of outstanding Freshmen led the way for the Lion harriers, who scored 156 points. The Lions only finished 15 points behind second place San Antonio Reagan High School. Luling High School won the overall team title for the second consecutive year.
River Bailey led the way for Lockhart placing 17th out of 171 competitors. Bailey covered the relatively difficult 3,000-meter course in an excellent time of 9:59.6. David Mendez-Serrato finished nine places behind Bailey in 26th with a time of 10:18. Henry Gomez crossed the line in 28th with a time of 10:20.
Sophomore Ian Flores was the fourth Lion runner to finish in 30th with a time of 10:22. Rounding out the top five finishers and the team scoring was sophomore Belton Andress in 58th with a time of 10:44.
“I have never had a team with the top five runners who were either Freshmen or Sophomores,” Hippensteel said. “It was an impressive showing for such a young team.”
Other Lions running this past Saturday included sophomore Gabriel Franco (75th, 10:54), senior Singer Sanchez (88th, 11:00), junior Diego Garcia (98th, 11:07), sophomore Leo Sandoval (101st, 11:10), junior Luke Hippensteel (108th, 11:16), junior Chris Jaimes (114th, 11:20), and junior Matthew Fernandez (122nd, 11:31)
The Junior Varsity Boys finished 13th out of 26 teams.
The JV was led by sophomore Caleb Marez (69th, 11:53), Nash Thomas (79th, 12:07), Dylan Schuenemann (92nd, 12:19), Wyatt Brown (123rd, 12:44) and Larry “Trey” Simmons (154th, 13:06).
The Lockhart teams will be taking Labor Day weekend off, but will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the St. Andrew’s Invitational.
The Lady Lions kicked off their 2016 Cross Country against more than 1,500 runners from around Texas, on their home field at Lockhart City Park on Saturday.
In the Girls Varsity competition, the Lady Lions finished 13th out of 22 teams entered, while in the JV division, the Lady Lions placed 22nd out of 37 teams entered.
In Varsity competition, the Lions were lead by senior Cristal Trejo (12:25) with a 25th place overall finish over the 3,000-meter course. Trejo is a three time Regional qualifier and as a sophomore, represented the Lions at the State meet as individual qualifier.
Sophomore Charisma Magallanez (13:38) and senior Laurel Eeds (13:42) were the next two Lockhart runners to cross, finishing only seconds apart, 67th and 74th respectively. Freshman newcomer Dezyrae Morales (14:14), came in as Lockhart’s fourth runner in her first high school race, and her first Varsity competition, finishing in 97th place. Senior Sara Burrier (14:38), used a late push to move up and finished at 109th place with sophomore Angelina Toomey (15:16) rounding out the Varsity field in 126th place.
“Its great to have the first meet in the books,” said Head Girls Coach Reuben Ortiz. “Last year we had nine teams entered in the Varsity division and this year had more than 20 teams. Its always exciting for them to run at home and the level of competition was intense this year. We ran a bit conservative, but that was the instruction for some of them with our season training plan. I’m already excited to see them race their first 5k in two weeks.”
In the deepest race of the day, the Girls Junior Varsity division, the Lions were lead by sophomore Aracely Varillas (15:21) with a 116th place finish that had nearly 300 runners entered. Junior Faith Lybeck (15:41) finished closely behind in 145th place. Next, was freshman newcomer Nallely Varillas (16:28), who broke out of a pack to move up late in the race to finish at 184th.
The remaining pack of Lady Lions came as junior Mikayla Hernandez (16:40/194th), freshman Marissa Ramos (16:42/196th, junior Savannah Nino (16:45/198th) and freshman Ella McCarthy (16:56/203rd) worked together throughout the race. The next Lady Lion wave came when sophomore Alissa Taylor (17:42/222nd), junior Sophia SantaMaria (17:46/223rd), junior Bonnie Cole (17:56/225th) and freshman Alma Santos (18:44/239th) finished up.
“Our girls really had to work out the nerves today,” Ortiz said. “This is probably the youngest and most inexperienced team we have ever had. Only two of them have completed a full high school cross country season, so to the rest, this was their first and longest race they have run. These first two to three meets will be learning pace, adjusting up to the 5k, and gaining our base, so we have lots of work to do.”
Next weekend the Lady Lions will take off to train; they will travel to Austin on Sept. 10, for the St. Andrews Invitational for their next competition.