Midway’s Ryan Day (middle) finished first, Cal Johnston (front) placed 2nd and Peter Ferretter finished 3rd.

Every cross country coach wants his team striving for a pack mentality. Midway’s top three runners stayed together, but finished ahead of the entire pack.

Midway’s boys went 1-2-3 at the District 8-6A cross country meet on Thursday at the Heart O’Texas Soccer Complex, claiming the district championship for a second straight year and a berth in the regional meet.

Senior Ryan Day won the three-mile race with a time of 15:33.40, followed shortly thereafter by his teammates Cal Johnston (15:53.20) and Peter Ferretter (16:04.10), respectively.

“I felt pretty confident they would run well,” Midway coach Ronnie Boles said. “They’re good. You can’t get lucky in the three-mile. The ball can’t bounce your way, the refs can’t give you anything. If you can run, you can run.”

Rounding out Midway’s top five were Andrew Majors in 11th place and Chris Taylor in 13th. The Panthers had a winning score of 30 points, while Killeen Ellison (54 points) was second and Copperas Cove (96) was third.

Boles was pleased with how Majors and Taylor ran, trimming some time between themselves and the Panthers’ top trio.

“They’d been about two minutes behind, but today they cut it to about a minute, which is huge,” Boles said.

On the girls’ side, Belton senior Brooke Gilmore left her challengers behind in winning the individual title at 17:29.20, roughly 44 seconds faster than the next finisher.

Belton also won the team title with 39 points, while Copperas Cove (55 points) and Midway (67) also qualified for regionals in second and third, respectively. Mia Miller led Midway with a 10th-place effort.

Next up will be the Region I-6A Championships in Lubbock on Oct. 29. Boles knows the competition at regionals will be as stiff as a West Texas wind, but he thinks Day and Johnston have an especially strong chance of reaching state as individuals. Day finished 15th earlier this year at the Chile Pepper Festival in Arkansas, in a field of more than 800.

“Getting to state is tough, especially in 6A,” Boles said. “But I told them, be proud of winning district, because that doesn’t happen every time.”

Central Texas well represented at HOT Soccer Complex

Also, at the HOT Soccer Complex, Crawford’s girls and Rosebud-Lott’s boys claimed district titles at the 17-2A meet on Wednesday.

Rosebud-Lott had a winning score of 29 points, led by overall champ Jeremy Truesdale (17:37.30). Crawford and Valley Mills took second and third in the team race.

In the girls’ race, Crawford placed five runners in the top 15 to post a winning score of 46. The Moody and Valley Mills girls also qualified their teams for regionals.

Valley Mills sophomore Hannah Dillard darted to the overall crown at 12:19.60 in the two-mile race.

Axtell sweeps district titles

Axtell’s boys and girls turned in tremendous showings in sweeping the District 18-2A cross country titles on Wednesday at Battle Lake Golf Course.

Led by overall champ River Smith (19:20.40), the Longhorns placed all five of their top runners in the top 10. Cody Reineke was second, Zach Breeland fourth, Tucker Lucien seventh and Austin Sauceda was 10th.

Dawson finished second in the boys’ team race and Riesel was third.

On the girls’ side, the Lady Longhorns raced to a sparkling total of 19 points. Sophomore Gracie Rainey won the race at 14:52.20, while Anna Powell was third, Kaitlyn Stevenson took fourth, Reagan Moore was fifth and Hailey Tingle grabbed seventh.

Riesel finished second with 52 points, followed by Wortham (59) in third.

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