|Wildcat cross country finishes fourth at Vandergriff Park|
|From Staff Reports|
Sept. 12, 2005 - ARLINGTON - Getting a feel for the course on which the regional meet will be run, the Sulphur Springs cross country boys had a strong performance on Saturday, finishing fourth out of 18 teams at the UTA Movin' Mavs Challenge at Vandergriff Park.
Sulphur Springs was competing in the Division I (Class 4A and 5A schools), and were the second finisher in Class 4A, Region II with 143 points, behind McKinney North in second (93 points) and winner Class 5A Fort Worth North Side (78).
Of Sulphur Springs' top seven varsity runners, five of them improved on their best time of the year, led by junior Graham Northcutt, who placed ninth individually in a time of 16 minutes, 55 seconds on the 3.1-mile course.
Northcutt was the second-fastest 4A runner, behind Saginaw Boswell's Jared McNeil, who won the meet in 15 minutes, 35 seconds.
Sophomore Tate Ramirez had the second-best SSHS finish, coming in 18th in 17:16, while Ty Stephens was 27th in 17:50 and Kasie Carrell was 38th in 18:07. All four of the top runners improved their times from last week by at least 15 seconds, said coach Andy Holt.
"That's the key thing and the most important thing is that it looks like everybody is getting better and considerably better," Holt said. "Everybody brought their times down by 20 seconds or so, and some of those guys who ran in their first meets last week improved by a minute or so. So, it's encouraging for us."
"Graham ran well. He got ninth against some stiff competition. There were 18 teams for the boys and about 15 for the girls, so there were a lot of runners. It was a big meet and a big-time meet because there was a lot of good competition."
Finishing fifth for the Wildcats was freshman Dylan Rutherford, who competed despite a sore hip that has plagued him all year. His time of 18:33 placed him 51st. Rolando Larios (18:48) and Josh Dunn (20:06) also ran on varsity.
Dylan was kind of limping the whole way. You could tell his hip was still bothering him and he still only ran about 15 seconds slower than he did last week," Holt said. "He gutted it out and showed a lot of courage."
For the JV boys, James Hagan had the top finish, placing 15th in a time of 19:22, which will put him on varsity next week. The other top five finishers for the JV were Wilfredo Larios (20:14), Chris Rodgers (20:33), Chris White (21:45) and Brent Holly (21:46).
There were about 230 runners in the JV division. Also competing for SSHS were Justin Blount (22:00), Jesus Torres (22:14), Ethan Mitchell (22:24), Garrett Gray (22:30), Jeremy Potter (22:43), Quinton Larry (22:44), Victor Gonzalez (23:36), Bailey Booher (25:05) and Andy Ginn (26:20).
The Lady Cats had two varsity runners out with injuries and sent the minimum five to compete.
Sophomore Kelsey Evans, running in her first meet, had the Lady Cats' best finish, placing 51st in a time of 14:14. She was followed by junior Emily Bouyear (15:40), freshman Cecily Adams (15:49), Maria Rodriguez (15:55) and Rachel Brown (17:50).
Jill Wood and Makenzie Kelty were both out with injuries. Holt said the girls who went ran hard.
"Kelsey ran a 14:14, which is very good," Holt said. "Jill Wood didn't run, and that's usually her running partner in the mornings, so she had to find someone else to pace her. Jill and her have kind of paced each other in practice.
"She ran well and had a good kick at the end, which tells me and tells her than she can run a little faster. We got to taste what regional will be like."