LUBBOCK — They call Region I in Class 6A “the region of doom,” but it didn’t scare Midway’s Cal Johnston.
Johnston assured that he would end his season at the UIL State Cross Country Championships by finishing 16th at the Region I-6A meet on Monday at Mae Simmons Park. Johnston ran to a three-mile time of 15:26:05, which placed him among the top 10 individuals not on an advancing team and allowed him to punch his ticket to state.
He was the ninth of the 10 individuals to earn a spot.
Midway’s boys finished 22nd as a team, just behind district rival Belton. The Belton girls finished 18th, while Midway was 23rd on the girls’ side.
The state meet will be held Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
McGregor runner races to title
HUNTSVILLE — McGregor’s Ivan Solis powered to a gold-medal showing at the Region III-3A cross country meet.
Solis put up a winning time of 16:32.9 over the 5,000-meter course, a season best for the senior at that distance. His performance aided McGregor’s third-place team showing, ensuring that his Bulldog teammates would join him at the state meet next month in Round Rock.
McGregor’s girls also qualified for state with a third-place team finish. Teague’s Lizette Aguilera advanced to state as an individual, based on her ninth-place showing, with a two-mile time of 12:47.3, a season best. Troy’s Cassidy Halfmann (11th) also reached the state stage.
Valley Mills soars at regional meet
HUNTSVILLE — Hannah Dillard and the Valley Mills Lady Eagles continue to fly.
Dillard won the Region III-2A cross country meet on Monday at Kate Barr Ross Park, and spurred her team to a regional title as well. The Valley Mills junior zipped along the two-mile course in a time of 12:28.90, around 10 seconds faster than second-place Holly Dawsen of Crawford (12:38.3).
Valley Mills totaled a winning score of 57 points, as Kyla Zengerle (sixth) and Alyssa Rindorff (seventh) joined Dillard as top 10 finishers. Crawford’s girls came in second and Moody was fourth to both qualify for state as well.
Itasca picked up a fourth-place finish in the boys’ race, punching its ticket to state. Rosebud-Lott’s Jeremy Truesdale (fifth, 18:06.9 over 5,000 meters) and Ty Stock (eighth, 18:21.1) will also run in Round Rock as individual qualifiers.
Fairfield duo punches state tickets
HUNTSVILLE — Fairfield’s girls were surprisingly denied a return trip to state to compete as a team at the Region III-4A cross country meet, but the Lady Eagles will still be represented in Round Rock.
Fairfield’s top two runners, Madison Smith and Morgan Coleman, finished eighth and ninth, respectively, to advance as individuals. Smith had a time of 12:40.7 and Coleman came in at 12:44.5.
Mexia senior Macie Martinez turned in the best effort of any Central Texas runner in the race, coming in fourth with a personal-best time of 12:26.5. Gatesville’s Katrina Thoms finished right on Martinez’s heels, in fifth at 12:28.3, and will make a return engagement at state.
Fairfield finished sixth in the team standings, out of the running for the top four team spots, while Lorena was seventh.
In the boys’ race, no Central Texas team advanced, but China Spring’s top duo of Bryce Girard and Nathan Vanderpool had successful meets. Girard (17:24.0) and Vanderpool (17:31.2) advanced to state by finishing sixth and eighth, respectively. Hillsboro’s Erin Monroy (11th) and Lorena’s Jake Guerrero (12th) also qualified for state as individuals.
Blum girls second at regionals
GRAND PRAIRIE — At the Region III-1A cross country meet, the Blum girls moved on to state with a silver medal in the team race.
Blum tallied 91 points to finish second in the 20-team field behind Cumby Miller Grove (30), which swept the girls and boys titles. Freshman Madison Rowland topped Blum with a 10th-place finish in a personal-best time of 13:05.18.
Abbott brings home team title
CORPUS CHRISTI — Abbott added another trophy to its case, winning the girls team title at the Region IV-1A cross country meet.
The Lady Panthers scored 118 points, three points better than second-place Moulton. Senior Payton Pustejovsky was the first Abbott runner to cross the line, coming in ninth at 14:08.6.
Aquilla’s Hannah Huffines (third, 13:08.1) and Evant’s Amy Pritchard (eighth, 14:04.1) qualified for state as individuals.
No Central Texas teams advanced in the boys division, but Abbott’s Nathan Galuppo qualified as an individual thanks to a sixth-place overall showing.
Hamilton returns to state meet
GRAND PRAIRIE — Hamilton’s girls cross country team, a familiar state qualifier, earned another trip on Monday, coming in fourth at the Region II-2A meet.
Senior Abbey Hale led the Lady Bulldogs, placing 10th with a time of 12:46.03.