LHS cross country team take second at Regional Meet



CORPUS CHRISTI — The Lockhart Boys Cross Country team traveled back to Corpus Christi this past Monday to compete in the Region IV Cross Country Championship race hosted at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus. 

The Lions finished second overall out of 24 teams who qualified for the race. By earning the Regional Runner-up title, Lockhart has now punched its ticket to the State Championship race to be held on Friday November 3rd at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. 

In the team standings, Boerne Champion won the region title with 86 points, and Lockhart was second with 127 points. Weslaco East finished third with 141 points, and San Antonio Alamo Heights claimed fourth place with 180 points. The top four teams all qualified for the State Meet. The State of Texas has four Regions that each qualify teams for State, so a total of 16 teams will be running for the State Championship that were whittled down from 272 High Schools in Class AAAAA. 

Lockhart was led again by Senior Zeke Sanchez. Sanchez, who placed sixth at the District Meet 10 days earlier, ran a tremendous race and finished in seventh place overall, but scored just 6 points in the team standings. A total of 189 runners competed in the race, representing the 72 High Schools in Region IV.

Sanchez blazed the 5,000-meter (3.1 miles) course in just 16 minutes and 12 seconds. Sanchez ran the same course 37 days earlier at the “Islander Splash” race where he finished with a time of 16:53.

“Zeke improved by 41 seconds in a very short time,” LHS Head Coach Scott Hippensteel said. “I think that it was proof of his hard work and dedication.” “Zeke had a fantastic day, he was on it right from the start of the race, and never took his foot off the gas. I know our other guys could see Zeke in the front and were inspired today.”

Senior Carlos Terrazas was the second Lion harrier to finish. Terrazas placed 22nd overall, but just scored 18 points, as four runners who beat Terrazas do not count, because they qualified for the race as an individual runner and were not part of a team. Terrazas finished in 16:46.

“I was worried early in the race that Carlos wasn’t having his usual good day, but he kept our third, fourth, and fifth runners with him and finally closed the race on a strong note,” Hippensteel said.

Junior Alejandro Cruz placed 32nd overall but scored just 24 points for the team. Cruz almost broke under 17 minutes as he ran 17:02. Cruz improved by 38 seconds from his performance at the “Islander Splash” meet on Sept. 16.

“I was so impressed with Alejandro, he scored 20 points at the District Meet and only scored 24 points today at the Regional Meet,” said Hippensteel.

Freshman Ethan Herrera was the fourth runner to finish for Lockhart. Herrera placed 42nd overall but scored just 33 points for the team. Herrera ran 74 seconds faster on Monday than he ran just 37 days earlier at the Islander Splash race on the same course.

“It looked to me like Ethan finally decided to race, instead of run in the race,” said Hippensteel. “I’ve seen Ethan race hard for a mile, finally today he ran a hard Cross Country race.”

Herrera finished with a personal record time of 17:14. 

Freshman Ivan Gonzales finished as the 5th man for Lockhart. Gonzales placed 57th overall, but only scored 46 points for the team. Gonzales finished in 17:22, a minute and 50 seconds faster than he ran on the same course only 37 days earlier.

“I was super proud of Ivan today, he showed up, and didn’t see the moment as too big for himself,” said Hippensteel. “In other words he wasn’t afraid to go out there and compete today.” 

Senior Mason NIno who has really come on in the last month was the sixth man for Lockhart. Nino placed 71st with a time of 17:37.

Senior Cole Frey completed the Varsity Boys team. Frey placed 112th in the team standing with a time of 18:29.


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