GRAND PRAIRIE — While each team in District 10-5A brought its best and brightest to Grand Prairie for the district cross country meet at Lynn Creek Park, only Ellis County teams finished as two of the top five in both varsity competition.
Waxahachie High School's Lady Indians, which finished the meet in fourth place with 88 points scored and had a cumulative top five time of 1:53:16.6, narrowly missed qualifying for next week's regional competition.
"We were a little disappointed because we were hoping for a third place finish, but the girls really did run well," said Todd Alexander, the Lady Indians head coach. "Though that third place finish was a little out of reach today, it was about as close as you could get."
Midlothian High School, recently dropped down to 5A competition after running in 6A last season with the likes of Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Duncanville High Schools, edged Waxahachie by 14.4 seconds and 11 points.
Though they didn't qualify as a team, senior Caymee Bigham will compete for the opportunity to represent WHS in the state meet after finishing second among all 10-5A varsity girls with a time of 20:59.8.
"We know we are losing Caymee after this season, but the future's bright because we're getting all the other girls back and some talented ones from the junior high," Alexander said. "Each of the girls did do their best today and I think that in of itself is something they can go home and have no regrets about. This is a tough sport. Getting up in the morning before the sun comes out and going running isn't easy. When they're working as a team and all your participants are all bought in, it makes for a good foundation for any program."
While the Lady Indians saw their season end prematurely, the Indians lived to see another meet at Lyn Creek Park, placing third with a collective top-five time of 1:33:05.5 and 93 points scored.
The boys were again edged by Midlothian which placed second, scored 70 points and earned a collective top-five time of 1:32:14.8, separating the Panthers from their Indian counterparts by a mere 51.3 seconds.
Waxahachie long distance runners Brandon Gilliland, Brandon Moore and Kirby Chandler also finished in the top 10 individually. Gilliland finished amongst all 10-5A varsity boys and Moore and Chandler finished eighth and ninth respectively.
Sam Molina (36), Dominic Alexander (37), Rafael Aguilar (39) and Will Deen all placed within the top 50 runners.
"Overall there were a lot of kids that really worked hard. Our top three runners, Brandon Gilliland, Brandon Moore and Kirby Chandler, worked really hard and had some good races. Some of our other guys worked hard but didn't have good ones," Indians Head Coach Edward De La Cruz said. "It was a hot and humid day, especially for October. Usually it shouldn't be this warm and humid. Everybody had to run in the same conditions, but I think some runners handled it better than others and some did not and it showed in the performances. Some district opponents didn't have good races.
"Some people finished where they should have and some people didn't. I think it was a lesson that when you have tough situations you don't back down. You find a way to push through. Hopefully, they will run better at regionals."