Only five Fort-Worth area girls teams will be traveling down to Round Rock on Saturday when the UIL crowns cross country winners. The first state race starts at 8:30 a.m. from Old Settlers Park.
One of those teams is Boswell after the Pioneers narrowly clinched the final spot during the 5A Region I meet in Lubbock on Oct. 22. The Class 5A girls state race is at 2:30 p.m.
The Pioneers, who secured the fourth spot, are headed to state for the first time since 2011. They finished ninth that year.
The top four teams and top 10 runners (not already on qualifying teams) make it to the state meet.
“It was an extremely tough field where 8-10 tams could have qualified this year,” head coach Andrew Acuna said. “Former state qualifiers like Colleyville Heritage and Canyon Randall couldn’t say the same as they didn’t qualify.”
Boswell scored 136 points as a team, beating out El Paso Jefferson by seven points.
Seven runners finished the three-mile race; Andrea Acuna (third overall), Alex Pineda, Kari Sosa, Reem Mazza, Sam Konen, Virginia Hernandez and Nicole Keller, who all finished in the top 70 of 176 runners.
“I’m extremely impressed by all my runners. It was the best finish I’d seen in my career,” Acuna said. “They ran by so many girls in the last 200 meters of the race to solidify the qualification. It was a tremendous battle between several quality cross country teams and I’m just happy we came up on the better end of the stick.”
Acuna, a junior, led the team by earning the bronze. She finished in 18:22.30, five seconds behind second and five in front of fourth.
“Going into the race, we knew we had a good chance of making it to state as a team. It was just a matter of running the fastest and hardest race of our season,” she said. “I just remember as soon as we finished our race, we gathered in a circle and prayed that we made it. When I found out we did, I was in shock with the results and started to cry. I was speechless, but after gaining my thoughts I immediately thanked God for our accomplishment and how we worked, trained and practiced for that very moment for months.”
Seniors Alex Pineda and Kari Sosa were next at 26th and 27th.
“We were scared that this was going to be our last race so we made sure to make it the best one,” Pineda said. “We knew that if we didn’t finish that race with everything that we had that we wouldn’t make it. So the moment we crossed the bridge we just took off to the finish.”
Pineda finished with a time of 19:46.80.
“Within 15 minutes of crossing the line we found out that we made it. There were tears and hugs and lots of praying. To know that all of our training paid off was truly amazing,” she said. “We know our coach has put so much work into us and we were happy to make him proud. I’ve been on a three-year journey with my girls and we finally crossed that finish line.”
Sosa was right behind Pineda at 19:48.20.
“I felt pretty confident about the meet going into it and I was grateful to have Alex right beside me throughout the race,” she said. “I was ecstatic when I found out my team finally qualified for state and all of our hard work had finally paid off. I’m really looking forward to us competing in state.”
Reem Mazza, Sam Konen, Virginia Hernandez and Nicole Keller finished strong to help secure a spot.
“Making it to state has been a goal for this team for a long time now and the fact that it’s happening is surreal and extremely exciting,” Mazza said. “This race was one of the most competitive races I’ve ever run so it was very rewarding to know that all the work my teammates and I put in this season was worth it.”
“We’ve worked so hard these past three years to make it to this next level so when we found out that we qualified for the state meet we were ecstatic,” Konen added. “I personally feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to compete with my running family at the state level and cannot wait to run one final race together.”
Boswell joins Grapevine, Amarillo and El Paso Eastwood as state qualifying teams in Class 5A.
“I fought through the pain I had during the race and just focused on how hard my team and I have been practicing for this race,” Hernandez said. “When I found out that my team had qualified for state, I felt really excited and accomplished because we finally made it after all those tiring and tough early practices.”
“Being able to run at regional was a honor,” Keller added. “I never thought that I would even get the chance to run because of my times. The day of the race I was very nervous, but I was ready to give it all I got. I am so excited to go to state with such an amazing team.”
6A Region I Boys
1. Southlake Carroll
Braden Lange, Timber Creek
Whit Dennis, Paschal
Patrick Estes, Paschal
6A Region I Girls
2. Southlake Carroll
Sadie Carey, Weatherford
Gabi Barrera, Timber Creek
Olivia Christmas, Weatherford
5A Region I Boys
Graydon Morris, Aledo (3rd straight regional title)
Carlos Vallejo, North Side
5A Region I Girls
Sarah Trammel, Burleson Centennial
Harli Woolsey, Burleson Centennial
Felisa Saheib, Colleyville Heritage
5A Region II Girls
Maggie Marshall, Cleburne
Caitlyn Cron, Cleburne
4A Region II Boys
Eduardo Lopez, Diamond Hill-Jarvis
Said Morua, Lake Worth
4A Region II Girls
3A Region I Boys
Peyton Murley, Brock