Lockhart cruises to cross country title at City Park
The Lockhart Boys Varsity Cross Country team rolled to their second Invitational win in as many weeks as they won the 2023 Lockhart Invitational held Saturday at Lockhart City Park.
In the team standings, the Lions scored just 23 points en route to their win. San Marcos finished in second place with 50 points, followed by Georgetown East View with 51.
Lockhart senior Zeke Sanchez ran an outstanding race as he won the Individual Championship. Sanchez placed first overall out of a field of 34 runners competing. Sanchez finished the 2.1-mile (3360 meters) course in 11 minutes and 2 seconds, running at a pace of about 5 minutes and 15 seconds per mile.
Sanchez started the race well off the pace of the eventual second-place finisher Alejandro Ruiz of Cedar Creek. Ruiz went out very fast the first mile and built a substantial lead of what appeared to be almost 100 meters in front of the nearest runners. Nevertheless, Sanchez slowly reeled Ruiz in, and finally caught him with less than 600 meters to go. Sanchez ended up beating Ruiz by 6 seconds.
Lockhart Senior Carlos Terrazas was the defending champion at the Lockhart meet one year ago, finished just one second behind Ruiz as he placed third with a time of 11:09.
“Carlos is a very smart racer, he also started off the pace and moved up through the field,” said LHS Head Coach Scott Hippensteel. “Carlos ran much stronger than he did just two weeks earlier at the Yoakum meet.”
Lockhart Junior Alejandro Cruz running in only his sixth race ever placed fifth overall in an outstanding time of 11:13.
“Alejandro is an outstanding soccer player, and has been such a blessing to our team,” Hippensteel said. “I look forward to seeing him grow as a runner.”
Lockhart freshman Ethan Herrera had a fantastic run as he placed 7th in 11:24.
“Considering it was just Ethan’s second High School race, he did an amazing job,” said Hippensteel. “He showed no fear, he just jumped right in the deep end of the pool and competed.”
The fifth man for Lockhart was junior Anthony Daniel who placed 12th overall in 11:43.
“I thought Anthony ran a really smart race, he didn’t go out too fast and was able to stay strong the entire race,” said Hippensteel.
Only 41 seconds separated the top five scoring runners for the Lions.
Also running on the Varsity for Lockhart was senior Griffin Mason who finished in 18th place with a time of 11:59.
“I can really see a big difference in Griffin this fall,” said Hippensteel. “He is so much stronger and runs with much more confidence.”
Lockhart senior Cole Frey was the seventh Lockhart Lion to finish. Frey placed 20th in 12:12.
“Cole didn’t have the day he wanted, but he is such a competitor,” Hippensteel said. “Having Cole on our team is like having a player-coach on the team. Cole does so much more for us than just run.”
Completing the Lockhart Varsity team was senior Mason Nino. He finished in 24th place with a time of 12:28.
“Mason has also really improved, and I think he is going to have a great season,” Hippensteel said.
Lockhart entered a second team in the Varsity Boys 1A through 4A division and that team also won that division. Lockhart won with just 28 points. Sophomore David Ruiz led the way placing third overall in 12 minutes and 18 seconds. Freshman Ivan Gonzales had a great run placing fourth in 12:20.
“It was really exciting to see David and Ivan battle all the way to the finish line,” said Hippensteel.
Sophomore Jace Ramsey placed 6th in 12:58, and was challenged by freshman Connor Zea seventh in the same time as Ramsey. Sophomore Hayden Brast finished in 7th overall with a time of 13:15. Rounding out the team was sophomore Paul Munoz in 9th place with a time 13:25.
“I was really proud of this group today,” said Hippensteel. “They did a great job.”
Four Lockhart runners competed in the Junior Varsity Division on Saturday. That group was led by freshman Keaton Archer. He placed 15th out of 50 runners competing with a time of 13 minutes and 26 seconds.
Freshman Jaiden Slussler placed 23rd with a 14:10. Senior Nathan Peralez finished with the same time of 14:10 as he placed 24th. Completing the JV group was sophomore Denny Winton running in his first race ever. Winton placed 28th with a time of 14:30.
“Again I was so proud of how hard all these guys ran on Saturday,” said Hippensteel.
Lockhart will now travel to Cedar Park on Saturday, Sept. 9 to run in the Cedar Park Invitational. The meet will start at 7:30 a.m. Cedar Park will be the host of the 25-AAAAA District Championship on Thursday, Oct. 12.