Cross Country Boys go the distance

1st in Region 4AAAA

October 28, 2019

 Saturday, November 9 will be the end of a long race for these Panthers that continue to prove they can go the distance. Starting in August, Coach Wells and the Panther coaching staff hit the roads long before the sunrise and hit the gym on off days preparing for a season that was full of questions. Last year, the team was extraordinary, and with Kalen Barlow returning, Panthers were looking for another positive run. But, the big question, can we do it without Coach Jordan Alford, who resigned as coach but is still the biggest fan of her boys and encourages them every step of the way? What about the seniors that left? I think those questions are answered loud and clear. The team has advanced at every meet and earned medals at every invitational. Kalen Barlow is leading this team in true Blue Panther Fashion.
“It is stressful waking up early in the mornings,” Barlow said when asked back in August how the year was going. “But, I have late start so I am luckier than most.”
Most impressively, Barlow uses that time to decrease his time per mile, not to catch up on sleep. He runs to beat his PR each week. His average is better than a military mile. He has placed first in all district meets.
Today, the team brought home first in our Region, qualifying them to advance to state in Round Rock Old Settlers Park on November 9. The team results are: 1st Place Team
Individual Results
3rd – Kalen Barlow
5th – Nick Bodenheimer
18th – Marshall Bodenheimer
21st- Jaden Giddings
24th – Caleb Hutcheson
32nd – Austin Martin
115th – Haden Bray

Ready. Set. State

CX team heads to Round Rock Friday, Nov 8 for a Nov 9 chance at the state title

Jaden+Giddings+runs+early+in+the+season+in+Mineloa.+He+has+reduced+his+PR+by+3+minutes+since+this+run+

Photographer: Laura Borens

Jaden Giddings runs early in the season in Mineloa. He has reduced his PR by 3 minutes since this run

Nerves are a good thing, according to most competitive runners. And nerves are running high in Panther Nation because 8 Spring Hill High School Cross Country Boys will load the bus this Friday morning at 9am to try to take state in the UIL 4A Region, II division finals, after winning Regionals last week.

“We are ready”, Coach Ashton Wells said. “Our boys each have their own preparation rituals, of course, but as a team we do our collective thing too. And we are ready.”

The weather conditions in Round Rock should be relatively mild and should not cause a problem for Panthers,  but the course is another story.

“I have heard the course is challenging,” freshman Jaden Giddings said. ” Some of the team ran it last year, but as a freshman I haven’t. But, I know there is no challenge my team can’t overcome.”

The Panther runners took 9th place last year, and are hoping to take the top this year. With returning runners and new talent the hope seems possible.

“If we can get our head in the run, like we have been, this will be a breeze.” Giddings said. “Our biggest competitor lives in our own head.”

Come out Friday morning at 9am to see of the runners as they head to state.  Check back Monday at pantherspawnews.net for results.

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