In all likelihood, the District 4-5A cross country meet on Thursday will be a battle for second place on both the boys and girls sides of the spectrum.
The Southlake Carroll teams are nationally ranked, and should once again, rival for a state title when the season comes to an end.
Boys Top 5
David Strome, Colleyville Heritage: Won the district warm up with a time of 16:45.98.
Brian Collard, Azle: Second at the district warm up with a time of 17:02.67.
Michael Batson, Fort Worth Nolan Catholic: Third in the 5A division of the TAPPS state meet with a time of 16:47.90.
Aloys Muga, Arlington Lamar: Third at the district warm up with a time of 17:19.40.
Tyler Johnson, Azle: Fourth at the district warm up with a time of 17:20.44.Girls Top 5
Rana Ryan, Trophy Club Nelson: Fourth at the district warm up with a time of 19:33.70.
Tamerah Gorham, Arlington Lamar: Sixth at the district warm up with a time of 20:32. 55.
Abby Holloway, Bethesda Christian: Second in the 3A division of the TAPPS state meet with at time of 12:51.50.
Noelle Davis, Bethesda Christian: Second in the 3A division of the TAPPS state meet with a time of 13:18.20.
Jaden Thompson, Colleyville Heritage: Seventh at the district warm up with a time of 20:40.02.
For the other two regional qualifying spots, however, there are at least three teams on each side that could legitimately advance to region, and at least one very talented team will be left out of the mix.
The Keller Timber Creek program might have the best shot of getting both teams out, and coach Dan Strong said, while he is confident in his teams' abilities, he does not want his runners to get ahead of themselves.
"I'm confident that our kids are going to do well, but it's one of those things that is very exciting going in," Strong said. "Keller's boys are running well, Keller Central's girls are doing very well, and then, of course, we are going against the nationally ranked Southlake Dragons."
Strong said he does believe it is a fight for the second and third places in the district, and said that it is understandable given the Dragons track record.
"I do feel like our kids are improving on a weekly basis," Strong said. "One of our goals as a team and a school is to be the best in the state, and obviously, that goes through Southlake. But they put up such a strong performance at the state meet last year, and for anybody to say that they are going to beat Southlake at the district meet would be a little arrogant and out of line at this point.
"To say that we won't be there in the future -- not at all. That is definitely our goal."
Last season, the Carroll boys team broke a state record for fewest points scored with 20 points.
For Keller Coach Brian Zaring, a trip to region is a legitimate possibility, especially on the boys side, and said district 6-5A is stacked.
"We're going to have to run well," Zaring said. "Our district is pretty deep, and there are going to be a couple of teams sitting at home when we go to regionals that probably shouldn't be sitting at home.
"It is going to be tough, but I am pretty sure that we are going to at least get third on the boys side, and I think the girls have a real shot."
Zaring said he believes it will be a battle between Keller, Northwest and Timber Creek for the second and third places on the boys side.
Northwest coach George Lutkenhaus said he believes his girls and boys have a good shot of advancing to region, and said he believes the Texans chances come down to a couple of different factors.
"The district we're in, we're going to have to run well and have a few things go our way to advance," Lutkenhaus said. "It's just going to come down to who runs the best. Running is kind of a fickle thing. It's like a roller coaster. You're up, you're down, and I think that if we got it right when it comes to training, we've got a good shot at advancing."
The district 4-5A meet will be held on Oct. 25 at Oak Grove Park in Grapevine.
Bethesda Christian wins state
The Haltom City Bethesda Christian girls cross country team won a 3A championship at the TAPPS state meet this past weekend.
Abby Holloway finished second individually with a time of 12:51.50, while teammate Noelle Davis was fourth overall with a time of 13:18.20.
Bethesda Christian finished the meet with 48 points, 19 points ahead of second place Bulverde Bracken Christian.
2 Carroll girls nationally ranked
The Southlake Carroll girls cross country team had two runners selected as honorable mentions in the USA XC individual national rankings on Oct. 22.
Carroll freshman Antigone Archer and senior Courtney Kriegshauser were both chosen.
The Dragons boys cross country team was ranked second nationally on the the list.
Nolan Catholic 3rd at state
The Fort Worth Nolan Catholic cross country teams both finished third Saturday in the 5A division of the TAPPS state meet.
Michael Batson was the top runner on the boys side, finishing third individually with a time of 16:47.90, while Elizabeth Havenhill finished ninth overall on the girls side with a time of 12:47.50.
Fort Worth Christian 3rd in 4A
The Fort Worth Christian boys cross country team finished third Saturday at the TAPPS state championship meet in the 4A division.
Riley Gage was the top runner for the Cardinals with a time of 16:50.00.
Fort Worth Southwest Christian finished fourth in the state meet in the 4A division.
Ashley Bratton was the top runner for FWSC with a time of 12:43.70, good enough for seventh overall.
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