|Northcutt leads Cats to cross country gold|
|From Staff Reports|
Oct. 11, 2004 - MOUNT VERNON - With sophomore Graham Northcutt out-dueling Mount Vernon's Chris Pearson for the gold medal, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats ran their way to the team championship Saturday at the Mount Vernon Invitational cross country meet.
Running on a three-mile course, which is about 170 yards shorter than the regulation 5K course, the Wildcats had all five of their top runners come in under 18 minutes, and had six of their runners in the top 15 individually.
They scored 34 points to beat out second-place Whitehouse by 50 points.
"They ran really, really well," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "Whitehouse was second at the meet, and they advanced to state last year, and they have a good squad this year."
Northcutt clocked a 15:55 on the muddy course, out-sprinting Pearson, who qualified for the state track meet last year in that 1,600-meter run, who finished in 15:59. It was the first win of the year for Northcutt, who has consistently been in the top four.
"He and the kid from Mount Vernon battled it out, and it was really fun to watch," said Holt. "It was a good race, and it's good for Graham to see that kind of competition. Graham's really progressing and looking good. Ty Stephens really ran well for us this week, as well.
Stephens ran a 17:14 to finish in fifth place, with Victor Rodriguez coming in sixth at 17:22. Wilson Jones finished 10th in 17:39, Tate Ramirez was 12th in 17:48, and Kasie Carrell came in 15h in 18:02. David Miranda was 30th in 18:51.
The SSHS girls finished fourth as a team, with all seven of the varsity runners clocking their best times of the season on the two-mile course.
Senior Betsy Blount, a multi-sport athlete, was the top Lady Cat finisher, coming in 13th in a time of 13:20. Sophomore Jill Wood was 18th in 13:31, and Maria Rodriguez was 24th in 13:43, as they all came in under 14 minutes.
Blount's time was her best of the season by eight seconds, Wood by 12 seconds and Rodriguez by 1:13.
Emily Bouyear finished 31st in a time of 14:02, Morgan Baima was 37th in 14:20, Makenzie Kelty was 56th in 15:01, and Tess Bragg was one place behind her in 15:04. They all ran their fastest times of the year by at least 15 seconds.
"The top five girls all run under 15 minutes. That's big time better than it's been," Holt said. "Betsy and Jill Wood are both coming on. All the girls ran really well. It was one of their better finishes of the year.
"This past week they ran really hard and got after it, and it's really starting to show. I think Betsy's starting to come along now that she doesn't have volleyball tournaments on the weekend."
The SSHS teams will travel to North Lamar on Saturday for their final meet before the District 12-4A competition, which will also be held at North Lamar on Thursday, Oct. 28.
Como-Pickton finished sixth overall, with Bethanie Stinson finishing second individually in a time of 12:27.
Also for C-P, Martha Vellenga was 19th in 13:32, Aeron Green came in 32nd in 14:03, Samantha Jones finished in 15:22, Cortney Thompson in 15:46, and Rebecca Humphrey in 16:06. The C-P runners will compete at the 17-2A district meet Monday, Oct. 25 at Lake Tawakoni.
Sulphur Springs had three boys finish in the top 13 as Gerardo Yanez came in eighth in 19:02, Ryan Brown was 12th in 19:19, and Braden Womack was 13th in 19:30. They all ran their fastest times of the season.
Also for SS, Eric Hartin finished 25th in 20:25, James Hagan was 31st in 21:07, Quinton Larry was 33rd in 21:09, and Mike Walley finished 37th in 21:29.
Como-Pickton had a pair of runners finish as top 10 medalists as Tony Mercado was ninth place in a time of 19:04, and Alex Mowat was one place back in 19:11. Johnathan Garrett finished in 22:06, Jensen Mabe in 23:15, and Anthone Low in 23:33.
Saltillo's Nick Van Gerwin came in third in a time of 18:44.
The race was won by Saltillo's Jessica Gilbreath and her teammate, Winter Stevens, placed 10th.
SSHS had three girls in the JV division, and Gayle Grand-Lienard was a medalist with a ninth-place finish in 15:05. Nancy Iberra came in 18th in 15:43, and Rachel Brown was 27th in 17:45.
JUNIOR HIGH BOYS
Sulphur Springs' Dylan Rutherford won again, this time running the course in a time of 11:06, bettering his previous time of 11:25.
Sulphur Bluff's Trey Henderson finished ninth, and Como-Pickton's Phillip Cox outran a stray cow, which chased him to a 12th-place time of 12:46. Cox' teammate, Dylan Mowat, was 22nd in 13:24.
JUNIOR HIGH GIRLS
Yantis' Amanda McMurry was the top local finisher, coming in eighth place in a time of 14:18. Saltillo's Cara Geerts finished 13th in 14:45.
For Como-Pickton, Lindsey Watkins came in 18th with a time of 15:07, Irma Tellez was 21st in 15:14, and Deanna Garrett finished in 20:46.