MANSFIELD — Brandon Gilliland, Brandon Moore, Kirby Chandler and the Indians finished inside the top 10 during Saturday's Dallas Baptist University Patriot Cross Country Opener at the Mansfield Sports Complex.
The girls, too, found a winning stride after placing three among the top runners in the meet's final standings.
Gilliland, a senior and Waxahachie High School's first runner to cross the finish line, placed first out of more than a 100 runners with a time of 16:28.1. Moore, who finished five spots behind the meet champion, ran a 16:58.3.
Chandler's 17:22.5 time was good for 10th place during the DBU opener. It helped Waxahachie's male team place first in the meet.
Gilliland's time was only 13 seconds slower than his finish in the Waxahachie Woodhouse Invitational — a school record. Moore, a sophomore, was also 13 seconds behind a personal record set on Aug. 26.
Sophomore Sam Molina finished 17th with an 18:17.3 and senior Rafael Aguilar came in 19th at 18:24.9, added performances that helped Waxahachie place five in the top 20 and two more — Joshua Kane and Joshua Manning — in the top 50.
One-hundred and seventeen runners, including Dallas Bishop Dunne's Martin Chavez and Ennis' Stoney Duke ran Saturday. Chavez (16:42.4) finished second overall and Duke (16:56.6) finished fifth.
Head Coach Todd Alexander and the girls' team also finished first out of six teams. Three runners — Alyson Moore, Emma Curry and Emily Mackel — finished No. 7 or better and four more finished inside the top 40.
Moore's 20:33.4 placed her third among all 5A and 6A competitors while Curry and Mackel's 21:10.9 and 21:40.4 back-to-back finishes earned sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Brooke Trull, who placed just outside the 10 best, crossed the finish line in 23:06.8 at No. 14. Cathryn Bigham crossed two runners later at No. 16 and 23:27.6.
Waxahachie will compete in the 24-team, 7 a.m. Friday Spartan Invitational at Burleson Centennial High School. Ellis County's Italy High School, as well as Indian District 10-5A rivals Mansfield Legacy and Timberview High Schools, will take part in the 5,000-meter varsity and 3,200-meter junior varsity male and female weekend meet.
Ava Corey and Mariel Camargo finished as the JV girls' top two runners during Saturday's DBU Cross Country Opener. Corey finished fifth in the race and Camargo finished sixth.
Marcus S. Marion is the sports editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light and Midlothian Mirror. He can be reached by phone at (469) 517-1456 or across social media platforms @MarcusSMarion.