39 area runners advance to state meet

The area will be well-represented at the UIL cross country state championships in Round Rock after 39 athletes advanced through regional competition Monday.

At the Class 6A Region II meet in Grand Prairie, Belton’s Olivia Brillhart was 14th with a time of 18 minutes, 58.32 seconds and Harker Heights’ Ella Perry (18:56.09) was 13th in the girls race to earn their trips to state, and Killeen Ellison’s Aaron Crittenden (16:11.40) was 16th in the boys race to punch his ticket.

Belton was 10th, Temple 12th and Ellison 13th in the boys team standings, and Belton finished 10th, Heights 16th and Ellison 19th on the girls side.

The Salado girls finished fourth in the team standings at the 4A-III meet in Huntsville to advance along with Jarrell’s Jasmine Benavidez (13:03.11), who was ninth. Alexa Williams (12:50.92) finished sixth to pace the Lady Eagles and will be joined in Round Rock by teammates Penelope Anderson, Natalie Burleson, Anna Redelsheimer, Cassie Vargas, Ally Ihler and Ida Bogsted. In the boys race, Salado’s Ryan Novotny (17:38.90) was 15th and teammate Luke Anderson (17:44.89) was 17th to advance.

Salado was seventh and Lake Belton was ninth in the boys standings, and the Lake Belton girls finished fifth.

Gatesville advanced four runners from the 4A-I meet in Lubbock, with finishes of fourth by Vania Martinez (12:14.30) and 20th by Bethani Penrod (12:59.50) in the girls race and third by Carlo Martinez (15:56.20) and 11th by Luis Macias (16:31.90) on the boys side.

Nineteen of the area’s 39 qualifiers came out of the 3A-III meet in Huntsville, where the Cameron Yoe boys won the regional title. Yoe’s Nathan Evans (16:38.47) won the race and will be joined at state by teammates Damon Flemings, Brady Havens, Tracer Lopez, Brock Wright, Zachary Frausto and Cesar Munoz, along with Rogers’ Kade Sebek (eighth, 17:04.04), Rockdale’s Jesus Bocanegra (10th, 17:09.53) and Troy’s Carlos Jose Cortez (13th, 17:17.43). Rockdale was fifth in the team standings, and Rogers was eighth.

In the 3A-III girls competition, the Rogers squad advanced with a fourth-place finish. Cruz Avila (10th, 12:56.80) paced the Lady Eagles and will joined in Round Rock by teammates Karley Gomez, Karley Powell, Ashlyn Talafuse, Alaina Mungia, Rubi Llanas and Marisa Llanas, along with Yoe’s Logan Pevehouse (seventh, 12:54.60) and Troy’s Josephine Peters (14th, 13:03.40).

Moody’s Cooper Staton (fifth, 18:26.35) and Bruceville-Eddy’s Lastin Madson (seventh, 18:40.77) punched their state tickets at the 2A-III meet in Huntsville, where Moody’s Katelyn Hale (143th, 13:47.26) advanced on the girls side.

The state meet will be held Nov. 5-6 at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park.