Grapevine cross country looking good this season

Posted Monday, Sep. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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With a multiple top-five finishes this season and a strong returning corps of runners, the Grapevine cross country team is hoping to pick up right where it left off in 2012.

Coach Rick Miller said he was impressed with his team’s effort at the Southlake Invitational last weekend and said so far, things are shaping up well for the season.

“It's been good so far,” Miller said. “We've run in a couple of big meets. We have competed well and are continuing to improve.”

Miller said he has a couple of players that he is expecting to have a good season.

“Skyler Simon on the girls side was 16th in the state last year as a ninth grader,” Miller said. “So I am certainly expecting her to have a good season. We also have a senior, Brook Smyth, and we are looking for her to have a great year. Those are our top two girls.

“On the boys side, Alex Cleveland and Kirby Simon are leading our team right now. They placed sixth and 10th at Southlake, and to have two boys finish in the 15s (under 16 minutes) is huge for us.”

Miller said he was fairly satisfied with the team’s effort at the Southlake Invitational, but added that there are some areas where the team still needs work.

“I was pleased with our performance, but as a coach, you are never satisfied because you are always trying to get to the next level,” Miller said. “Our goal is to get to the state meet, and for that to happen, we have to improve as the season progresses. I know how tough Region I is, and we are going to get better and have a great day on the day of that meet.”

Grapevine will compete in the Lake Highlands Invitational this week, and Miller said he would like to see his team to continue to progress.

“We just want to continue to build,” Miller said. “To me it is all about progression. That's our philosophy. We want to get better every day. It is a cultivating process, and we are looking to learn from every experience.”

To have a strong season and advance to the state meet, Miller said he believes it will take a couple of things from his runners.

“I like our chances to be a regional team, because I think we will be very strong in our district,” Miller said. “What we will have to do regionally is that everyone is going to have to improve, particularly runners three, four and five. They've got to move up. If that happens, and we can move that pack up, then we certainly increase our chances of reaching the highest level.”

Colleyville Heritage also competed at the Southlake Invitational.

David Strome finished 12th on the boys side with a time of 16:07.40, while Julie Culbertson was 37th on the girls side with a time of 20:27.60.

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