Area cross country runners fair well at Tiger Chase cross country meet
From Staff Reports

Sept. 6, 2005 - COMMERCE - A pair of Hopkins County runners broke the tape in their respective divisions Saturday at the Tiger Chase cross country meet, with Sulphur Springs junior Graham Northcutt winning the varsity boys division and Como-Pickton sophomore Bethanie Stinson taking first place among varsity girls.

BOYS

Northcutt, a state finalist last year, continued his improvement by winning the race, which was run on a course slightly longer than 3.1 miles, in a time of 16 minutes 55 seconds. He held off a late charge by a North Mesquite runner, while SSHS sophomore Tate Ramirez was third in 17:33.

"Graham led the whole race, but the North Mesquite runner really made a charge over the last quarter-mile. Graham held him off, because he's such a competitor," said SSHS head coach Andy Holt. "Tate stayed with him for about the first mile.

"Graham looked very good, as well as Tate. Those two guys have worked very hard, and they're picking up where they left off last year, which is good because it means they will improve and their times will improve. They have worked hard in the summer and it's showing."

The Wildcats won the meet with 23 points, thanks to not the depth of the squad.

Holt was also pleased with the top five runners. Freshman Dylan Rutherford placed fifth in 18:14, seniors Ty Stephens and Kasie Carrell were sixth and eighth, respectively, in 18:22 and 18:41. All five of them ran faster than their previous bests.

Rutherford, who set numerous SSMS distance records last year as an eighth-grader, had a hip problem flare up after the race.

"We knew Dylan was good, but I didn't know he was that good," Holt said. "He looked very good in his first meet. Ty and Kasie ran well, so we're looking pretty good right now."

Rolando Larios was 15th overall (20:02) and Ryan Brown was 16th (20:05).

Como-Pickton had one runner participating in the meet. Tony Mercado places 25th in a time of 22:10.

The SSHS JV boys placed second overall, with strong efforts from Josh Dunn and Erich Hartin. Holt said Dunn would be running on varsity next week after placing third in a time of 20:01 in his first cross country meet.

Hartin was three seconds back in fourth. Placing in the top 11 individually were James Hagan (seventh, 20:250), Wilfredo Larios (ninth, 20:39), Chris Rodgers (10th, 20:44) and Brent holly (11th, 20:54).

The Cats had 15 runners participating in the JV division. They were Quinton Larry (21:51), Chris White (21:56), Justin Blount (22:02), Garrett Grey (22:30), Jesus Torres (22:45), Jeremy Potter (23:05), Victor Gonzales (23:50), Andy Ginn (24:30) and Bailey Booher (26:40).

GIRLS

Bethanie Stinson, who also qualified for the state cross country meet last year as a freshman, took first place in Commerce in a time of 12:58 over the two-mile course.

She was the only varsity competitor for the Lady Eagles, though two other girls ran in the JV division.

"All runners did a great job and ran well on a very hot day," said C-P coach Tim Butts.

For Sulphur Springs, the Lady Wildcats placed second overall as team. They were led by junior Jill Wood, who was 11th individually in a time of 14:13.

Three other SS runners came closely packed as Morgan Baima was 16th in 15:05, Emily Bouyear was 17th in 15:06, and freshman Cecily Adams was 18th in 15:15.

"Jill Wood ran real well, and Morgan and Emily stepped it up after training real hard the last couple of weeks," Holt said. "Cecily had a great time. She competes, and that's what is so good about her."

Maria Rodriguez came in 22nd in 15:50, followed by Rachel Brown in 16:14 and Makenzie Kelty in 19:15.

Next week, the team will also have sophomore Kelsey Evans, who did not run because of a volleyball conflict.

Sulphur Springs runners will compete next Saturday at Vandergriff Park in Arlington, the site of the regional meet.

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