By Tony Adams
The Belton High School Cross Country teams experienced great success at the Belton Invitational Cross Country meet held last Thursday at the Wildflower Country Club.
The three-mile course was a combination of flat land and hilly terrain, which presented a challenge for the novice and experienced runners alike.
The Lady Tigers’ varsity tied for first with Austin Vandegrift in the girls’ 4A/5A race, with each team’s top five finishers combining for a total of 70 points. Vandegrift placed runners in 9th, 10th, 13th, 18th and 20th for a total of 70. Belton finished 5th, 7th, 15th, 21st and 22nd for a total of 70. The placement tiebreaker came down to the sixth finisher, in whom a Vandegrift runner finished 24th and a Belton runner finished 26th. Vandegrift won the team portion of the meet, with Lady Tigers being relegated to second place.
“My girls ran great today,” said Belton girls’ cross country coach Holly Lamberte. “I really wanted this one today. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t finish one position higher in the top five to make it happen. This one was hard to take.”
Round Rock Stony Point’s Melanie Enriquez won the event with a time of 17:34.4, with an average pace of 5:51 per mile. She finished :50.9 ahead of Round Rock Westwood’s Bailey Kennemer and 1:10.6 ahead of Westwood’s Klarissa Lou. A total of 84 runners finished the race.
Freshman Brooke Gilmore was the Lady Tigers’ top finisher, finishing in fifth place with a time of 18:49.7. Fellow freshman Olivia Houlden finished seventh with a time of 18:53.7.
The Tigers’ varsity team also finished second in the boys’ 4A/5A race, with Stony Point taking home top honors. Stony Point finished with runners in 1st, 2nd, 12th, 16th and 22nd for 53 points. Belton finished with runners in 3rd, 5th, 13th, 18th and 23rd for 62 points.
Stony Point had the top two finishers in Joseph Meade (15:26) and Ryan Woelfel (15:57.3). Belton’s John Jennings finished third with a time of 16:13.7, averaging a 5:24 per mile. Mat Perez finished fifth with a time of 16:26. A total of 93 runners finished the race.
In the 1A/2A/3A varsity girls’ race, Salado won the team title with a score of 66 points, followed by Gatesville (70) and Lampasas (91). The race featured 60 runners.
Ashely Adams from Salado won the event with a time of 12:22.1, averaging 6:11 per mile. Bruceville-Eddy’s Meghan Dupree finished second (12:36.8) and Holy Trinity’s Sophia Weisbruch finished third (12:45.6).
In the 1A/2A/3A varsity boys’ race, Gatesville won the team with 44 points. Salado finished second (58) and Florence finished third (78) points. The race featured 65 runners.
Bruceville-Eddy’s Kyle Doty won the race with a time of 15:46.1, two-tenths of a second faster than teammate Darin Allen (15:46.3). Alfredo Pena of Florence finished third with a time of 15:57.3.
The Belton junior varsity girls placed first in the JV race with a score of 33. Vandegrift finished second (101) and Copperas Cove finished third (147).
The Belton junior varsity boys finished second in the JV with a score of 127. Pflugerville Hendrickson took home the title with 98 points. Stony Point finished in third with a score of 145.
Here are the Lady Tigers’ varsity runners placements and times: Gilmore 18:49.7 (5th), Houlden 18:53.7 (7th), Macy Banfield 19:59 (15th), Katey Hatter 20:22.4 (21st), Sydney Siegfried 20:31.4 (22nd), Breanna Barber 20:48.7 (26th), Macy Niemi 20.49.8 (27th), Alexandrea Montes 20:51.3 (28th), Kelly Huckabee 21:20.6 (35th), Alyssa Callin 22:02.7 (43rd) and Cheyenne Siegfried 22:11 (47th).
Here are the Tigers’ varsity runners placements and times: Jennings 16:13.7 (3rd), Perez 16.26.6 (5th), Ridge Hale 16:49.7 (13th), Michael Urbanczyk 17:07 (18th), Logan Zwerneman 17:19.3 (23rd), Braden Hammond 17:41.7 (35th), Stephan Corlew 18:02.7 (45th), Manolo Guillen 18:06.2 (47th), Mark Jennings 18:11.1 (52nd) and Miguel Kane 18:36.1 (64th).
The Tigers’ cross country teams will head to Waco on Friday for the Midway Invitational Meet at the Heart of Texas Soccer Complex.