By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – The cross country season is well underway and area runners are beginning to come into focus on the horizon as they make that final sprint towards the district championship and beyond.

The weekend of Sept. 17 was a busy weekend for the runners as several different meets were held throughout the region. The cross country teams from Grapeland and Elkhart were in Teague for the Teague Cross Country Meet and fared quite well.

For the Sandies: Anthony Davila placed 27th with a time of 22.38; Tyrin Wiley placed 41st with a time of 23.51; and Gabe Hobson finished 47th with a time of 25.01.

For the Sandiettes, Kenya Woods placed second with a time of 14.42 and Ragan Bowie finished fourth with a time of 15.01.

For the Elks, the team finished in fourth place with a total of 112 points. Individually for the Elks: William Harris finished seventh with a time of 20.3; Brady Johnson finished 22nd with a time of 22.19; Gavin Pollard finished 24th with a time of 22.23; Josh Lawson finished 28th with a time of 22.39; Colton Willis finished 31st with a time of 22.52; Mayraj Khan finished 36th with a time of 23.31; and Andres Chicas finished 38th with a time of 23.42.

For the Lady Elks, the team finished in second place with a total of 90 points. Individually for the Lady Elks: Madison Crader finished in eighth place with a time of 15.32; Melanie Barnett finished 15th with a time of 16.32; Monique Ashford finished 20th with a time of 16.54; Kathryn Paige Austin finished 21st with a time of 17.11; Jennifer Stevens finished 26th with a time of 17.32; Megan Bailey finished 31st with a time of 18.15; Annalisa Trevino finished 35th with a time of 19.24; and Shawnee Vaughan finished 36th with a time of 19.35.

Westwood was in Neches for the Neches Cross Country and according to Cross Country Coach Amber Bain the Panthers and Lady Panthers “… brought 56 runners to the Neches cross country meet to compete in five different team divisions, all of which the students earned plaques in. I was very pleased with the results from this race. All runners ran their best times for the season and brought home lots of individual medals and team plaques. Neches has a great course and the staff do a fantastic job of running the meet.”

As a team, the varsity Lady Panthers finished in first place. Individually for Westwood: Karsyn Lafitte came in third with a time of 14:41; Katy Espinoza came in fourth with a time of 15:26; Fadria Tinnion came in sixth with a time of 15:58; and Maddie Colley came in seventh with a time of 16:00.

At the JV level for the Lady Panthers, Jada Lewis came in first place while Sheyla Rodriguez came in fifth.

On the boys’ course, the varsity Panthers finished third as a team. Individually for Westwood, Tomy Umanzor came in third with a time of 19:53 while Brando Castillo came in sixth with a time of 20:26.

At the JV level for the Westwood boys, the team finished in first place. Individually for the JVA boys: Derilyn Johnson finished third with a time of 24:34; Jaren Turner finished fifth with a time of 25:57; Brandon Stotts finished seventh with a time of 27:07; Alex Leandro finished eighth with a time of 27:26; David Gonzales finished ninth with a time of 28:01; Moses Carmenate finished tenth with a time of 28:29; Kollin Simon finished 11th with a time of 28:50. Chris Dorsey finished 12th with a time of 28:51. Mario Black came in 13th with a time of 29:26; and Kaleb Simon came in 14th with a time of 29:27.

The Palestine Wildcats and LadyCats Cross Country teams traveled to Hallsville on Friday, Sept. 16 for the Hallsville Invitational at Lear Park.

The boys’ team finished in first place as a team with 28 points. Individually for the Wildcats: Manny Romero finished first with a time of 17:56.36; Michael Guzman finished fourth with a time of 18:27.81; Grant Attaway finished eighth with a time of 18:59.46; Daniel Sanchez finished tenth with a time of 19:12.94; Taylor Rosson finished 15th with a time of 19:30.36; Frank Durugbor finished 23rd with a time of 19:54.11; and Cristian Castillo finished 33rd with a time of 20:36.44.

The LadyCats finished in third place as a team with 125 points. Individually, the LadyCats were led by: Amber Taylor in 14th place with a time of 15:45.82; Mayra Gonzales in 25th place with a time of 16:09.59; Ashley Davis in 27th place with a time of 16:15.07; Yarizeth Garcia in 28th place with a time of 16:16.73; Madison Hill in 31st place with a time of 16:22.37; Macey Everhart in 42nd place with a time of 16:45.36; and Noelia Hernandez in 47th place with a time of 16:57.88.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.