By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HUNTSVILLE – A gaggle of runners descended on Huntsville last Saturday, Oct. 29 to see who would qualify to advance to the UIL State Cross Country Meet in two weeks. Runners from Class 2A to Class 6A toed the starting line in Kate Barr-Ross Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. and while many did not fare as well as they would like, several were able to punch their tickets to state.

The Grapeland Sandietgrapeland-cc-statetes will be sending two runners to the 2016 UIL State Meet at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. Freshman Kenya Woods finished in third place at the Regional Meet with a time of 13:06.02. She will be joined at the state meet by sophomore teammate Ragan Bowie who finished in seventh place with a time of 13:26.93.

The Latexo Tigers will also be sending several runners to Round Rock as the team finished third overall with a score of 175.  Team members include: Tristan Curless; Carter Catoe; Conner McKinnon; Kase Miller; Randell Holcomb; Sonny Townsend; and Dolan Mullins.

Curless and Catoe also qualified individually. Curless, a sophomore, finished in fourth place with a time of 18:22.60 while Catoe, also a sophomore, finished in seventh with a time of 18:30.40.

Other individual area runners in Huntsville who qualified for the state competition included Cayuga Wildcat Adrian Mickens, with a time of 19:23.40 and Palestine Wildcat Michael Guzman, with a time of 17:36.80.

The Centerville Lady Tigers team scored 69 points and finished in second place, one point behind the regional champion Crawford Lady Pirates. The Lady Tigers’ team is comprised of:  Hamilton McKinzie; Sarah Rivenbark; Michaela Kmeic; Marissa Wall; Katelyn Colmbs; Averi Hancock; and Haley Miranda.

The girls run a course approximately two miles in length while the boylatexo-cc-states run a course approximately three miles in length. According to the 2016-2017 UIL Cross Country Manual, “The top four teams and the top 10 individuals (who are not already on the advancing teams) shall qualify from regional to the state meet.”

While the Class 2A – 6A runners were in Huntsville, the Class 1A runners were in Corpus Christi. The Slocum Mustangs and Lady Mustangs were in competition and will be sending both the girls’ and boys’ teams to Round Rock.

The Lady Mustangs team finished in second place with 114 points. The team members are: Christy Dunnam; Courtney January; Caroline Gray; Shelby Bowman; Jalyn Fletcher; Laney Lasiter; and Tiffany Jackson.

The Mustangs team finished in fourth place with 124 points to qualify for the state meet. The team is comprised of: Justin Neal; Jordan Randall; Gage Horn; Randall Guess; Trevor Stewart; Jonathan Watson; and Chase Lomax.

The state meet will be held at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Nov. 12. The Class 4A Boys’ State Championship begins at 9:00 a.m. The Class 1A Girls’ State Championship begins at 12:20 p.m.  The Class 1A Boys’ State Championship begins at 12:50 p.m.  The Class 2A Girls’ State Championship begins at 1:30 p.m.  The Class 2A Boys’ State Championship begins at 2:00 p.m.

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