Lockhart runner-up at District XC meet
CEDAR PARK — The Lockhart Boys Cross Country team traveled to Cedar Park High School last Thursday for the District 25-AAAAA Championships, finishing as runners-up and qualifying for the Regional Championship for the 32nd time in 36 years.
The top three teams from District reach the Regionals.
Leander won the Varsity Boys District title with a score of 60 points. Lockhart, with 80 points, ran strong to place second overall out of the eight teams competing at District. Leander Rouse placed third to claim the final qualifying spot for Regionals with a score of 83 points.
Cedar Park placed fourth in the race with a score of 90 points, only one point in front of the fifth place team Liberty Hill who ended the day with 91 points. Leander Glenn placed sixth with 139 points despite having the third-place individual in the race. Buda Hays finished in seventh with 142 points, and finally Lehman claimed the last spot in the team standings with a score of 210 points.
The District Runner-up finish for the Lions marks the third time that Lockhart has placed second at the District Meet. Lockhart also finished as the District Runner-up in 2012, and in 2018. Along with the 27 District Titles the Lions have earned since 1988, Lockhart has now finished as the District Champions, or District Runner-up 30 times in the past 36 years.
Individually, the Lion harriers were led by Lockhart’s outstanding senior duo of Zeke Sanchez and Carlos Terrazas. Sanchez placed 6th out of the 55 runners competing with a time of 16 minutes and 51 seconds for the 3.1-mile (5,000 meters) course. Terrazas placed 9th with a time of 17:01. Both runners would have qualified individually for Regionals if the Lions had not placed in the top three teams overall.
The third, fourth, and fifth place finishers for Lockhart all crossed the line within just six seconds to ensure that Lockhart would finish second and advance to the Regional Meet.
Junior Alejandro Cruz led the way as he finished in 20th with a time of 17:39, followed by freshman Ivan Gonzales in 21st with a time of 17:42, and freshman Ethan Herrera in 24th with a time of 17:45.
“Our top five runners all crossed the finish line within 54 seconds of each other,” Lockhart Head Coach Scott Hippensteel said. “Any team that can get all five runners to finish within a minute of each other usually has had a good day. I was really proud of the effort.”
Lockhart senior Cole Frey also competed in the Varsity race and finished in 34th with a time of 18:18 which earned him 34th place overall. “I can’t say enough good things about Cole, he is our team leader, he is like having another coach on our team,” Hippensteel said.
The Junior Varsity Boys team finished third overall with a score of 88 points. Leander won with a perfect score of 15 points. Liberty Hill placed second with a score of 68 points. Finishing in fourth place behind Lockhart was Cedar Park in fourth with 112 points, Leander Rouse in fifth with 129 points, Leander Glenn in sixth with 149 points, Buda Hays in seventh with 165 points, and Lehman in eighth place with 225 points.
Senior Mason Nino had his best race of the season as he placed third overall out of 55 runners competing. Nino completed the 3.1-mile in 18 minutes and 17 seconds. Sophomore Connor Zea placed 10th with a time of 19:23. Zea was followed by Jace Ramsey in 14th place with a time of 19:35, and by David Ruiz in 18th with a time of 19:48, Hayden Brast in 22nd with a time of 20:11, Keaton Archer in 24th with a time of 20:12, Paul Munoz in 28th place in a time of 20:23, Ben Peralez in 31st with time 20:31, Jaidyn Slussler in 33rd with a time of 30:35, Felipe Albino in 44th with a time of 21:59, Denny Winton in 49th with a time of 22:17, Nathaniel Hernandez in 53rd with time 22:49, and Nathan Peralez in 54th with time of 20:49.
“We have had a great group of Junior Varsity runners this fall,” Hippensteel said. “They train very well together, are all very supportive of each other and have been a big help for our Varsity team.
“I am also very grateful for two other kids in our program this fall. Senior Griffin Mason who has been injured but came everyday to help the team, and senior Ryan Tamayo who is our manager. Both of these guys have been extremely helpful to our team.”
Lockhart will travel to Corpus Christi on Monday Oct. 23 to compete in the Region IV Championships. Twenty-four teams will be competing with the top four teams advancing to the State Championships on Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.