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The CFISD HS #12 High School girls pose with their medals after placing third as a team at the Region II-6A Cross Country Championship, held Oct. 22 at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in Dallas. Their finish advances them for the UIL Cross Country State Championships and they are CFISD HS #12’s first-ever state qualifier as a team. The state meet will be Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
CYPRESS — The CFISD HS #12 High School girls joined two runners from different CFISD high schools in qualifying for the UIL Cross Country State Championships at two regional competitions held Oct. 22.
In its debut in the state’s largest classification, CFISD HS #12 will send seven runners to the Class 6A championships, while Cypress Springs and Cypress Woods high school each qualified one runner to the state meet.
Cypress Woods High School senior Mary Rodriguez crosses the finish line at the Region II-6A Cross Country Championships, held Oct. 22 at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in Dallas. Rodriguez placed 23rd overall, qualifying a second time for the UIL Cross Country State Championships.
CFISD HS #12 placed four runners among the top 20 finishers to place third as a team at the Region II-6A Championships, which were held at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in Dallas. Freshman Cassidy Graham led the Bears, finishing fifth overall (18:02.05). Sophomore Natalie Mason (10th overall, 18:25.32), sophomore Athena Reyna (15th, 18:36.36), freshman Allison Millan (18th, 18:42.65) and freshman Madeleine Wilson (40th, 19:13.48) helped comprise CFISD HS #12’s third-place score of 88 points. Also running were freshman Elisa Grillo (60th, 19:47.10) and junior Haley Williams (68th, 20:02.70).
“I’m proud of the girls for becoming (CFISD HS #12’s) first state-qualifying team,” said Tom Kennedy, CFISD HS #12 girls’ cross country head coach. “They placed third among a very strong field from the Austin, Houston and Dallas areas and they were only 16 points back from the regional champion. I am looking forward to seeing them compete for a podium spot in Round Rock this weekend.”
Two years after qualifying with her team, Cypress Woods’ senior Mary Rodriguez earned her second state berth in three years after placing 23rd overall (18:48.34) at the Region II championships.
Cypress Springs High School senior Allen Gonzalez poses with his running shoes after he competed at the Region II-6A Cross Country Championships, held Oct. 22 at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex in Dallas. Gonzalez finished 14th and qualified for the UIL Cross Country State Championships for a third consecutive year. The state competition will be Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
“Mary is the epitome of what it means to never give up and to get up no matter how many times you are knocked down or dealt an unfavorable hand in life,” said Gregory Zarate, Cypress Woods head cross country coach. “She has had two years of ups and downs yet she never wavered from her goals and dreams to make it back to state. Seeing her battle at the regional meet and qualify for state really hit me in a very special way because I know what it meant to Mary and what she has overcome to get back to where she is today. She is a very special person and I am so proud of her.”
Also in Region II, Cypress Springs’ Allen Gonzalez returns to state for a third consecutive year after he finished 14th. The senior was CFISD’s top finisher on the boys’ side, finishing the course in 15:29.89.
“This will be the last race of his outstanding high school career, which has consisted of numerous first-place and top-ten finishes, two district individual championships and now, his state appearance,” said Larry Boykin, Cypress Springs boys’ cross country head coach. “He looks to finish this off with his best race yet on Saturday at state.”
In the team competition, the Cypress Woods (208) and Cypress Ranch (271) high school girls placed eighth and 11th, respectively.
Cypress Woods (265) finished 10th on the boys’ side, one spot ahead of CFISD HS #12 (305).
In the Region III-6A competition at Kate-Barr Ross Park in Huntsville, the Cypress Ridge (454) boys placed 19th as CFISD’s lone qualifying team. The top individual performers were Cypress Ridge senior Jarrell Reynolds (61st overall, 17:19.90) and Cy-Fair sophomore Sidharth Shyamkumar (66th, 17:25.60).
The UIL Cross Country State Championships will be held Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
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