|Northcutt places first at Vandergriff Park|
|From Staff Reports|
Oct. 10, 2005 - ARLINGTON - Sulphur Springs junior Graham Northcutt has competed in cross country meets at Vandergriff Park a half-dozen times, but he's never ran faster there than he did Saturday - in fact, it was faster than anyone else at the meet.
Northcutt broke the tape in first place, winning the race with a time of 16 minutes, 10 seconds for the 3.1-mile course.
He led the Wildcats to a fourth-place overall finish.
SSHS head coach Andy Holt challenged the Wildcats and Lady Cats to run 30 seconds faster than they did on the same course a month ago. Vandergriff Park is also the site of the regional meet on Nov. 5.
Northcutt bettered his time by 45 seconds and Kasie Carrell ran a 17:11, which was almost a full minute faster than his last outing. Carrell was SSHS's second runner, but his overall placing was not posted.
Holt said the Northcutt rose to the level of the competition, which included district rivals from Paris, Tyler Tyndell and Aiden Mosher.
"Graham ran well, and he had some good guys pushing him," Holt said. "The more they pushed Graham, the better he ran.
"Before we got off the bus, I told them I expected their times to be 30 seconds better than they were when we ran this meet a month ago. Even Graham - when you're running as low of times as he is, it's hard to improve by 30 seconds - but he did. Next time, I hope he cuts it by another 20 seconds and get below 16 minutes. If he does that, I think he has a good chance to win the regional meet."
Sophomore Tate Ramirez was third for the Cats, finishing in 17:48, followed by Ryan Brown in 18:24 and Erich Hartin in 18:50 to round out the top five. Jesus Torres and Ethan Mitchell finished in 19:22 and 20:03, with both of them running at least two full minutes faster than their last time at Vandergriff.
In the JV boys, Ty Stephens came across in 18:03, followed by Braden Womack in 19:21, Chris White in 19:40, Quinton Larry in 19:56, Justin Blount in 20:08, Andy Ginn in 22:09, and Bailey Booher in 22:29.
In the girls' race, Kesley Evans led the SSHS runner with a time of 13:28 on the two-mile course. She improved by 46 seconds over her last time.
In fact, of the six girls running, all three who had competed at Vandergriff Park before ran faster than their last times.
Morgan Baima and Jill Wood, who did not run earlier in the year because of illness and injury, both finished in 14:15. Freshman Cecily Adams came in at 14:34, which was over a minute faster than last time, followed by Emily Bouyear in 15:40 and Makenzie Kelty in 17:35.
"Kelsey Evans ran well, and Morgan and Jill are competing every day, getting better," Holt said.
The runners will compete at the Mesquite Poteet race next Saturday, which will draw most of the top regional teams. The Wildcats will then run at the District 12-4A meet on Thursday, Oct. 27 in Mount Pleasant.
The regional meet is set for Saturday, Nov. 5.