The recent District 14-5A cross country meet left at least one thing standing out. Summit is a step ahead of everyone else.
The Summit boys and girls varsity squads brought home the district title and more importantly, set themselves up for a trip to the regional meet at Lynn Creek Park at Joe Pool Lake on Oct. 26.
The Lady Jaguars’ Lauren Doublet finished as an individual district champion. Doublet ran a 19:36 5K, close to her personal record of 19:24.
The junior had run competitive times amongst other district athletes and had a good sense that she could take the title.
Never miss a local story.
Doublet also qualified for state last year and feels she can improve on her 54th-place finish now that she knows what to expect on the big stage.
Other Lady Jags helping to take the title include Ya Ya Mendoza, who finished fifth overall; Alexis Jackson, eighth and Diana Hernandez, 10th.
“Our strategy was to close the gap between our fourth and fifth runners,” said coach Shannon Utley. “Closing that gap would make all the difference to us.”
Utley noted that Doublet and Mendoza setting the tone would also take some pressure off the fifth runner.
“We want the top four as close to the top 10 as possible,” Utley said. “We focused on that in our training and it worked.”
Ennis, a team which had been the frontrunner in most meets throughout the season, finished second in the girls division, and Summit had finished second the previous four years.
It wasn’t just the Summit girls shining. The Jaguars took the boys title with Waxahachie in second place.
The team championship is the first for the boys program.
The boys weren’t the surprise like the girls team, but they still performed better than expected. Asa Rice was the individual runner-up for Summit, turning in a 16:29. His personal best mark is 16:09.
“I knew I could get first or second,” Rice said, but breathing during the run hindered his ability to catch the winner from Waxahachie. Now it’s on to the regionals, where Rice said the team has been training to peak.
“We’re hoping to run our fastest times and after that go on to state and make our name known and get on the radar,” he said.
Other Jaguars making good showings were Matt Anderson and freshman Ty’Rik Merriweather.
“Over the last three weeks, Ty’Rik confirmed his status as the number three runner,” Utley said. “When he ran his first meet in JV, we knew he was talented.”
Merriweather ran a PR of 17:11.
“They outperformed themselves,” Utley said of the boys. “The boys had been doing really well and we were confident as a team.”
Even the JV boys won at the district meet. Seven of the top 10 were all from Summit, including the 11th and 15th finishers.
Preparing for the regional meet may take on a twist, as the meet will be on a Monday for the first time.
From the regional meet, the top four teams will advance to the state meet on Nov. 7 at Round Rock’s Old Settler’s Park. Also, the top 10 individual runners who are not a part of a top-four team will advance to the state meet.