|Northcutt leads Cats to fourth place|
|From Staff Reports|
Sept. 13, 2004 - TYLER - Sulphur Springs sophomore Graham Northcutt finished fourth again on Saturday to lead the Wildcats to a fourth-place finish overall at the Robert E. Lee Invitational cross country meet held on the campus of UT-Tyler.
Northcutt ran his personal best time of 16 minutes, 14 seconds on the 3.1-mile course, and finished ahead of last year's top two district runners, Tyler Tyndell and Ben Donnan, who finished fifth and sixth on Saturday.
"That shows Graham's improved a lot over the last year, and he's really dedicated to getting better and dedicated to winning and to what it takes to get there," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "He had his best meet - that's a personal best - so I'm looking for good things from Graham."
Ty Stephens came in 18th in a time of 16:52, also his best time of the year, and Victor Rodriguez was 22nd in 17:09, more than a minute improvement over his best clocking.
Kasie Carrell placed 34th in 17:21 and Wilson Jones was 57th in 18:14. The Wildcats were without one of their top runners in freshman Tate Ramirez, who did not compete because he was ill. David Miranda clocked an 18:51 and Gerardo Yanez finished in 18:58, both of which were season-best times.
The Wildcats came in fourth overall, behind Class 5A teams Lufkin, Rockwall and Robert E. Lee.
"The three teams that finished ahead of us were 5A schools, and there were some good 4A schools there," Holt said. "The boys really had a good meet, and we were missing one of our better runners. Tate Ramirez was out sick this week, so that shows that we've got some depth and we've got a bunch of good kids running for us."
All of the SSHS runners ran their season-best times, including Jill Wood, who was the top local finisher in 14:04 on the two-mile course. None of the girls finished in the top 10.
"I thought the girls ran well because it was a really tough meet. They improved their times, each of them by a minute if not a little more," Holt said. "That shows they started working a little harder this week and got results."
Behind Wood, the next three runners came in just a few steps apart. Senior Betsy Blount was the second Lady Cat to finish in 14:24, followed by Maria Rodriguez in 14:25 and Emily Bouyear in 14:27. Morgan Baima rounded out the scoring by coming in at 14:41.
Tess Bragg finished in 15:15, Gayle Grand-Lienard in 15:17 and Rachel Brown in 16:34.
SSMS eighth-grader Dillon Rutherford ran an 11:37 over the two-mile course to win the middle school division. Rutherford had not been training for cross country because he also plays football, but entered the race and was the top finisher.