Freshman paces WHS trio at state

Lady Mustangs place 5th in 4A race; Heritage's Elliott 12th

Daily Light report

ROUND ROCK — Freshman Emilee Jones of Waxahachie pulled an upset, edging out senior teammate Emma Curry at the University Interscholastic League Class 6A state cross country championships at Old Settlers Park on Tuesday.

Jones crossed the finish line in 57th place overall just ahead of Curry in 19:23.00, with Curry just 1.07 seconds back in 58th place.

Curry, a senior three-time state qualifier who is headed to run track and cross country at Vanderbilt, had a 10-second lead on Jones at the 2-mile mark, but Jones closed the gap in the last mile. Teammate Alyson Moore, a senior, finished the 5,000-meter race in 94th place in a time of 20:26.69.

Jones has three more years to improve on her showing at state, while she, Curry and Moore will move into the spring track season looking for more medals.

Brynn Brown of Denton Guyer, as expected, ran away with the 6A girls’ gold medal, finishing in 16:25.89. Flower Mound won the team championship and Southlake Carroll was second.

Class 4A girls

Life Waxahachie sophomore Charzell Williams finished in sixth place overall among individual runners on Tuesday, leading the Lady Mustangs to a strong fifth-place team finish in the 4A girls’ state championship meet at Old Settlers Park.

Williams finished the 2-mile race in 11 minutes, 57.91 seconds, just 26 seconds off the winning pace set by Adele Clarke of Celina. Last year at state, Williams just missed out on a top-10 finish, placing 11th in a time of 11:51.

A pair of freshmen, Jordynn West and Emeri Adames, were next for the Lady Mustangs. West finished 16th overall in 12:26.68, and Adames was 19th in 12:31.11. Rounding out the team total were junior Evelyn Rodriguez, who finished 69th in 13:24.23, and junior Kamilah Rodriguez, who was 114th in 14:48.43.

The Lady Mustangs totaled 143 points, just one point behind fourth-place Bandera. Canyon won the 4A girls’ team title, followed by Celina and Kaufman.

Lady Mustang seniors Natacia Ruiz and Kimber Tolliver also participated in the meet and crossed the finish line together. Ruiz finished the race in 15:44.79, and Tolliver in 15:44.93.

Meanwhile, senior medalist Renee Elliott of Midlothian Heritage just missed out on a top-10 finish in her second and final appearance at state. Elliott crossed the finish line in 12:18.50, finishing 12th overall.

Last year at state, Elliott placed ninth after qualifying for the 4A state meet as a medalist.

All girls’ races in Classes 1A through 4A were run on a 2-mile course.

Class 1A boys

The only male from Ellis County to qualify for state in cross country was Jake Ozymy of Avalon. The freshman finished in 93rd place in a time of 19:37.27 in the Class 1A boys’ championship race on Monday.

Ozymy had placed 14th in the 1A Region IV boys’ meet on Nov. 9 in Corpus Christi to qualify for state as a medalist. At state, Ozymy improved on his regional time by more than 44 seconds.

Miller Grove took both the gold medal and team trophy, as Miller Grove’s Isaiah Billingsley won the individual title in 15:22.33, more than 18 seconds ahead of silver medalist Garrett Tarver of Saltillo.