The Azle boys cross country team has struggled all season long to get its top five runners to finish close enough together and high enough in the standings to emerge victorious at one of its meets.
That is until the Metroplex Challenge this past week, where the Hornets won the 4A division of the meet with a total score of 39, 24 points better than second place Argyle, a perennial powerhouse among 3A schools.
Boys Top 5
Jeffrey Weisheit, Mansfield Legacy: Won the Patriot Stampede with a time of 16:23.24.
Austen Dalquist, Keller: Won the Metroplex Challenge with a time of 16:02.30.
Colby Caldwell, Aledo: Finished fourth at the Patriot Stampede with a time of 16:42.24.
Christian Culpepper, North Crowley: Finished seventh at the Patriot Stampede with a time of 17:04.80.
Aloys Muga, Arlington Lamar: Finished eighth at the Metroplex Challenge with a time of 17:20.14.
Girls Top 5
Katherine Chavez, Justin Northwest: Won the Metroplex Challenge 5A race with a time of 19:30.62.
Kellee McCann, Justin Northwest: Finished second at the Metroplex Challenge 5A race with a time of 20:05.23.
Maria Castillo, Mansfield Legacy: Finished second at the Patriot Stampede with a time of 19:41.92.
Tiffany Miller, Mansfield Legacy: Finished third at the Patriot Stamped with a time of 20:20.98.
Angelly Rodriguez, FW Diamond Hill: Finished eighth at the Metroplex Challenge 4A race with a time of 23:04.96.
Coach Don Ostermann said his team really stepped it up this week, and said he was proud of his runners' efforts.
"We ran very well," Ostermann said. "I think it is the culmination of a couple of months of hard work, and our kids just kind of put it all together.
"Earlier in the year, we were kind of spread out-- there was almost two minutes between our first and fifth runner. We've closed that gap quite a bit and that has helped us a lot."
Brian Collard finished second at the Metroplex Challenge with a time of 17:35.17, Dylan Tritton took fifth place with a time of 18:13.16, Jacob Self was eighth with a time of 19:09.51, and Levi Campbell finished ninth with a time of 19:13.70.
Ostermann said this was the best meet of the season for the Azle boys and said he believes his team is starting to gel when it really counts.
"We're getting there," Ostermann said. "Our district is going to be very tough, and we've got a ways to go yet, but we're gradually getting there, and I think that we will get to th point that we will have a good district meet."
Ostermann said he sees Denton Guyer, Trophy Club Nelson and Azle as the top three teams in the district and said to qualify for region, it will take a concerted effort.
"It will take a great effort out of our whole team," Ostermann said. "We could have the best runner in the district, and he wins the race, but if the fourth and fifth runner aren't up there as well, we aren't going to place well.
"We have to have a good effort from every varsity runner that day. If we run how we are capable of running, we will should qualify for regionals."
Azle girls win
The Azle girls won the Metroplex Challenge this past weekend, finishing with a score of 39, four points of ahead of second place Argyle.
Valerie Matlock won the meet with a time of 21:39.53 and Sarah Perna was third with a time of 22:17.76.
Lindsay Schlueter was sixth overall at the Challenge with a time of 22:34.56.
Mansfield boys, girls take Patriot Stampede
The Mansfield boys cross country team won the Arlington Baptist Patriot Stampede this past weekend with a total of 82 points.
Mansfield finished with three runners in the top 15 at the meet with an average time 17:17.49 among its top five runners.
Connor McLain finished second at the meet with a time of 16:23.24, while John Stivers finished sixth at the meet with a time of 16:45.93.
Kyler Hitt finished 14th at the meet with a time of 17:23.03.
The Mansfield girls also won the Patriot Stampede, as Shanice Prevot, Sami Grena, Caela Lehman, and Taylor Parker all finished in the top 10.
Prevot finished fifth with a time of 20:38.08, Grena was sixth with a time of 20:42.86, Lehman finished eighth with a time of 20:51.83 and Parker was ninth with a time of 20:58.61.
Megan Reynolds finished 11th overall at the meet with a time of 20:59.86.
The Mansfield girls finished with 29 points, while Kaufman finished second overall with 50.
Cross country fans caught a glimpse of what the district 4-5A meet should hold in store this past week as Keller, Justin Northwest and Richland finished first, second and third at the Metroplex Challenge 5A meet.
Keller and Northwest both finished with three runners in the top 10, as the Indians edged out the Texans by a score of 38 to 47.
Richland runner Christian Cuadra finished fifth at the meet overall with a time of 17:09.68.
All three schools, along with Timber Creek, which finished third at The Colony Cougar Invitational on Saturday, should rival for the second and third spots behind Southlake Carroll at the coming district meet on Oct. 25 at Oak Grove Park in Grapevine.
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