Dragons runners ‘three-peat’ at state

Posted Monday, Nov. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Carroll cross country team completed the proverbial treble on Saturday afternoon, winning state championships on both the boys and girls sides for the third straight season.

The boys team finished with a score of 80, holding off College Park, which took second place overall with a score of 85 points.

On the the girls side, the Dragons (110 points) beat out New Braunfels (116) by six points to claim a state title, their seventh in school history.

Coach Justin Leonard said he was very impressed with his team's showing at the state race, especially considering the level of competition at this years meet.

“It was a crazy meet,” Leonard said. “Going into it, we had about five teams on both the boys and girls side that had a chance to win. The last few years, it has only been two or three, so we really felt like things were wide open. We were happy with the way that we were progressing.

“We knew it was going to be close, and I just told the kids that every person counts and if you all just go out and run your race and have a great day, we will be fine. I'm just really proud that their hard work paid off for them.”

Jacob Pickle finished second at the meet with a time of 15:31.08 on the boys side, while teammate Connor Hendrickson finished fifth with a time of 15:35.68.

On the girls side, Antigone Archer finished fifth with a time of 18:20.51.

Leonard said his coaching philosophy is very simple and does not involve making a goal of winning any races.

“The way we view it is that we don't target other teams or race other teams; we go out and the kids run their race,” Leonard said. “Our feeling is that when we run our race and focus on our abilities, good things are going to happen. We can't control what other people do — we can only control what we do.”

The Dragons have achieved dynasty status with their third consecutive sweep of the state cross country meet, and Leonard said it is a little overwhelming to think of it that way.

“It's pretty indescribable to think about it,” Leonard said. “It's so hard to win just one. So for both the boys and girls to do it three years in a row, it's a real testament to the kids and their parents and the buy in to our system that has helped us have the success we've enjoyed.”

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