With district meets this week, area cross country teams are going through final tuneups.
The District 7-3A Meet is Wednesday (Oct. 19) in Eastland and includes Brock, Peaster and Millsap. That same day, Poolville will host the 11-2A Meet.
Weatherford will compete in the District 3-6A Meet Friday (Oct. 21) in Haltom City. Also Friday, Aledo will compete in the District 6-5A Meet in White Settlement.
From district, the top three teams and the top 10 individuals qualify for their respective regional meets. From regional, the four teams and top 10 not already on a qualifying team advance to state.
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Several area runners are at or near the top of their divisions entering district. Millsap senior Buster Lee leads all Class 3A Region I runners, posting a season-best time of 16:16.9 over 3.1 miles at the Lipan Invitational. His time is ranked eighth in the state in 3A.
Brock has three runners among the top five in the region covering 2 miles. Freshman Ashlynn Tutter is third with a top time of 12:15.6, sophomore Kylee Laverty is fourth with a 12:41.6, and freshman Jessica Steele is fifth with a 12:43.7. Tutter is 10th in all of 3A.
From Aledo, freshman Graydon Morris has the top time among boys in Region I, 14:58.7 at the McNeil Invitational on Oct. 1. Senior Harrison Tillman is fourth with a PR of 15:41, also at the McNeil Invitational.
Gracie Morris, Graydon's twin sister, likewise, has the top time in the region, 17:56.8 at the McNeil Invitational.
The Morris twins are each second in the state in 5A.
Poolville has two boys ranked in the top five in Class 2A Region II, both from results in the Keene Invitational. Junior Christopher Tunnell is third, clocking 19:47, and sophomore Sterling Morgan is fourth with a 19:50.
The Bearcats and Ladycats competed at the Dragon Classic in Southlake. Gracie and Graydon Morris continued their strong season, with each finishing second in the 6A division.
Aledo is a 5A school.
Graydon clocked a time of 15 minutes, 49 seconds over 3.1 miles. Gracie posted a time of 18:04.
Also for the Bearcats, Tillman placed fourth in 16:12.
"Our boys are looking to win district," Aledo coach Stan Reid said. "Azle and Northwest have deep competitors.
"Graydon and Harrison are looking to go 1-2 at district. Gracie should win the MVP as district champion. The girls team will be competing against some stiff competition with from Boswell and Azle."
The Weatherford Lady Kangaroos placed third and the Kangaroos seventh in the 5A-6A division at the Reunion Run in Decatur this past weekend.
Freshman Sadie Tharp paced the Lady Roos, finishing second with a personal-best time of 18:16 over 3.1 miles, while sophomore Hanul Lewis was fourth, also running a personal-record 18:46.
Two other Lady Roos posted personal-bests as sophomore Anna Wilson was 23rd with a 20:37 and freshman Gina Limon was 28th in 20:47. All together, the four girls ran six minutes faster than the top four did last year for Weatherford.
For the Weatherford boys, junior Austin Christmas placed 14th with a personal-best time of 16:38 and senior Victor Castro was 19th with a 16:46.
"We are getting faster each week. Almost everyone ran PR's this past weekend," coach Ty Comstock said. "My girls' top four are really strong to be so young.
"If you look at projections, our district has three teams in the top 10 in the region on the girls side. On the boys side we have four teams in the top 25. We definitely have our work cut out for us."
The Brock boys and girls teams each finished second in the Stephenville Thrill of the Hill Meet, famous for a large hill on the course. The Millsap boys were fourth.
Lee of Millsap took the top spot among the boys, running 3.1 miles in 17:45.
Medalists for the Brock girls were Laverty, ninth; Tutter, 10th; and Jessica Steele, 15th. Senior Jared Steele of the Eagles led all Brock runners, placing seventh among the boys.
The Millsap girls were led by Hailey Allen in sixth place. Also for the Millsap boys, Colby O'Bannon placed 15th.
"Our district should be very competitive in both varsity races," Brock coach Chance Westmoreland said. "I have several kids nursing injuries, but I hope we have enough depth to win both divisions."
The Greyhounds and Lady Greyhounds also competed at Decatur in the 4A and under division. The boys were 12th and the girls 15th.
Sophomore Brice Hardin was 10th with a time of 16:52.
"He was over a minute faster than on the same course last year. All the other boys ran a PR," said coach Debra Wood. "This is a very young team, Brice is the only veteran runner.
"Four of the seven girls ran a PR. We have lost three of our top girls to medical issues, but the others are stepping it up and making good improvements."