Both the boys’ and girls’ Sealy Tiger cross country teams took second in their respective team competitions at the Sealy Invitational last Friday, hosted at Sealy High School.
Tiger head cross country coach Anthony Branch said he was happy to host a meet in the team’s backyard and hoped to expand on it in the coming years.
“It was nice to be able to run here. I know we’re kind of restricted now but eventually we want to showcase to the community and have people come out and watch them run,” Branch said. “We get to have it here at our place and that’s the whole goal of where this program’s been going. I was telling Cameron (Eschenburg), it’s come full circle where we hosted a meet for the first time (in a long time).”
Teams were split into two divisions to adhere to the University Interscholastic League’s requirements in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Sealy ran against Brazos, Bellville, Boling, East Bernard, Columbus, Danbury, Needville and Somerville in the varsity gold division and Industrial, El Campo, Van Vleck, La Grange, Royal, Sweeny, Rice and Hempstead competed in the varsity black division.
The two divisions ran at different times with the gold going first. Prior to the boys races, the girls got their race in first. The Lady Tigers had their top three finishers (Bailey Lopez, Annabelle Williams and Madison Manak) all fall in the top 10 – and added two more (Allyson Guerrero and Trinity Anderson) in the top 25 – but all seven of East Bernard’s point-scoring runners finished in the top 25 to take the team competition by 16 points.
“I was really pleased with the girls. I knew it was going to be a really tough field,” Branch said. “(Boling, East Bernard, Brazos and Needville are all) very good, legit teams that can go win the district wherever they’re at.”
The Tigers had two top-10 finishers (Xavier Olvera and Daniel Medrano) and two more finish in the top 20 (Fernando Garza and Julius Aguilar) but similarly finished 25 points behind first-place Boling which had three finishers in the top 10 and the other four in the top 25. Bellville tied with Sealy for second thanks to two finishers in the top 10 (Lawsone Meiers and Erick Aguilar) and three more in the top 25 (Matthew deCarval, Brian Aguilar and Hayden Mahlmann).
“I thought Julius stepped up a level. Xavier’s getting there and I know Daniel would like to have run better but I think he just got out too fast at the beginning,” Branch said of some of the Tigers’ top finishers.
The course itself was not an easy one, Branch said, with hills and valleys throughout.
“They enjoyed the course, it was fun. The guys commented on how tough the course was,” the head coach said. “It was a good test with the big hill going up then when you come back you’ve gotta go up the steep end. There’s a small mound at the start then the next big hill so I thought it was good competition and the kids ran hard.”
Sealy will compete in four more meets over the next five weeks before the top runners battle for the District 24-4A championship in Brookshire on Oct. 28. Branch said he looks forward to seeing the improvement in that time.
“We’ll take the good and build on what we learned and get better on those things to be better for the next meet which will be a good one too,” he said of the Weimar meet this Saturday. “I’m excited, thought we did some good things, we’ll build on what we learned today and continue getting better.”
Brahmanettes earn sixth
The Bellville Brahmanettes took sixth place in their second action of the season last Friday in Sealy. Bellville’s top two finishers registered top-20 spots with three more landing in the top 30. All of the point-scoring Brahmanettes finished in the top 35 for a team total of 114 points, just five points behind fifth-place Needville and 13 back from fourth-place Brazos.
The Bellville boys’ team tied for second place with two top-10 finishers and had three more Brahmas in the top 25 to finish 25 points behind first-place Boling. Bellville will compete in three more meets before the District 24-4A championship on Oct. 28 in Brookshire.
Bellville’s full results from the Sealy Invitational can be found on SealyNews.com.
Kneips pace Cougarettes
The Kneip sisters Makinzy and Maddie led the Brazos Cougarettes to a fourth-place finish in their first race of the season following the extended offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic. With three
finishers in the top 25 – including Makinzy’s top-5 finish – and two more in the top 35, the Cougarettes totaled 106 points to finish 36 points away from the podium.
Two-time state competitor Zachary Cortez led the Brazos boys’ team with a 13th-place finish and although all of the point-scoring Cougars fell inside the top 45, the team point total ran up to 143 points which put them in sixth place overall.
Brazos will run in three more meets – including its host meet on Oct. 17 – before the District 24-3A championship on Oct. 26, also at Brazos High School. Brazos’ full results from the Sealy Invitational can be found on SealyNews.com.
All three Austin County cross country teams will compete against each other once again this weekend at the Weimar Invitational.