Timber Creek runs to fourth place at state; Keller’s Dalquist third, team sixth

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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After placing third at the cross country regional meet, Timber Creek finished in fourth at the state meet last Saturday in Round Rock.

At the regional meet in Lubbock, Carroll, Timber Creek and Keller represented District 4-5A well, finishing first, third and fourth, respectively.

Keller finished sixth at the state meet, with Austen Dalquist taking third-place individual honors.

Two Timber Creek runners, Erik Wingfield (7th) and Blake Contreras (9th), achieved All-State honors along with Dalquist, as they finished in the top 10.

Carroll’s boys and girls teams again brought home state championships for the third year in a row.

Timber Creek’s success this year hinged on young runners stepping in and stepping up.

“We have a special group of kids,” Timber Creek head coach Dan Strong said. “Three of our boys ran at the state meet two years ago in 4A and five of our boys ran at regionals last year.

Seniors Contreras and Wingfield and junior Alonzo Pollum ran in the 4A meet previously. This year boasts first time runners Carson Burnside, Alex Arnold, Trevor Taylor and Matthew Rogers.

The collection of experienced with novice has proven successful.

At the regional meet, Timber Creek was just nine points behind Carroll.

“I told the guys that if they all had caught just two more or if one had caught nine, we would’ve won it,” Strong said.

The Falcons program has made the transition to Class 5A and is looking to stay at the top.

“There’s an opportunity to win the whole thing,” Strong said prior to heading to the state meet. “You have the opportunity or you’re wasting your time otherwise. It used to be that just getting there was good enough. Not this year.”

“There’s no question which district is the best,” Strong said of the regional and state finishes.

Strong noted that the other strong contenders, College Park and The Woodlands, are also members of the same district.

“It’s interesting,” Strong pointed out, “that College Park and The Woodlands are within a four to five mile range and it’s maybe nine miles between Timber Creek, Keller and Carroll. The top five teams went all the way to Lubbock to race each other.”

Due to recent heavy rains and flooding in the Austin area, there were concerns about a slow, muddy course for the state meet.

“It was slower than the regional course, for sure,” Strong said. “It definitely favored the mentally tough runners. We stayed calm and relaxed.”

Strong said a big difference between last year and this year hinged on how the team performed following an early season meet at Flower Mound Marcus.

“Last year we started well and got second at Marcus,” he said. “From there, we fell apart after that.”

Although the Falcons finished fourth at this year’s Marcus meet, Strong said the team built on that outing and kept getting better.

The focus was just getting to the state meet, Strong said. “You can’t win state until you get to the state meet.”

With the superior talent of the District 4-5A runners, Strong said the spring should be exciting.

“The two-mile run at the district meet will be wild.”

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