Northcutt leads SSHS boys with fourth place finish
From Staff Reports

Oct. 9, 2006 - Headed in different directions on different days, the Sulphur Springs cross country teams came through on Friday and Saturday with noteworthy performances.

SSHS head coach Andy Holt took three of his top runners Saturday to the McNeil Invitational in Round Rock, the site of the state meet, while the other runners competed Friday at Lindale.

In Round Rock, seniors Graham Northcutt and Kasie Carrell competed in the Gold Boys division, while sophomore Dylan Rutherford ran in the 4A boys classification.

They all three performed well, with Northcutt placing fourth in the 3.1-mile event in a time of 16 minutes, 1 second and Carrell coming in 39th in 17:01. Rutherford was ninth in his division in a time of 17:22.

"Especially those guys that went to McNeil, we're just looking at their times, not really how well they placed," Holt said. "Graham and Kasie both ran in the elite division and performed well.

"That's Graham's second-fastest time he's ever ran on a legitimate 5K course, and that's probably Kasie's fastest time. That's encouraging to see they're getting better and faster. That's one of Dylan's top times, too."

The rest of the varsity and JV boys ran in Lindale on Friday, with two runners getting under 19 minutes and three more running under 20.

In the varsity division, Erich Hartin placed 18th in a time of 18:37 to be the first SSHS runner to finish. He was followed by freshman Preston Weaver in 19:26, Garrett Gray in 19:41 and Quinton Larry in 19:47. Chris White finished in 20:01, Zach Junot in 20:14 and Jesus Torres in 20:15.

In the JV division, Tyler Wilson was the top runner for Sulphur Springs. He would have ran with the varsity, but he missed the bus after getting in after midnight on Thursday night following the JV football game in Texas High.

Wilson won the JV division in a time of 18:46.

"I was happy to see almost all of those guys under 20 minutes because they've been JV runners battling for varsity spots," Holt explained. "I was definitely pleased to see how well they ran."

Eleven other SSHS runners competed on JV, with Ross Hicks finished 21st in 20:37 and Tristan Crook coming in 25th in 20:48. Others who ran included Victor Gonzales, Andy Ginn, Bailey Booher, Rodrigo Larios, Cody Brown, Brad Worsham, Ethan Mitchell, Tyler Usher and Robby Moore.

On the girls side, the Lady Cats once again had a tight grouping of their runners, with the top four finishing within 12 seconds of each other.

Junior Kelsey Evans was 23rd overall in a time of 14:08 on the two-mile course, while Katie Dodd was one place back in 14:10. Robin Grafton finished 26th in 14:30 and Karlie Junot was 31st in 14:20. Cecily Adams finished in a time of 15:06 and Kacie Crowson came in at 16:08.

Holt said the strategy for the girls was to even out their times by running a little slower on the first mile and to be stronger on the second half of the race.

"We tried to mix it up a little bit. We tried to go out a little slower and run a 6:50 to 7-minute pace and that's what they did," Holt said. "All of them ran that pace, and then that last mile we wanted them to give it all they had.

"It was a different mindset to see how it worked, and we'll try something different next week because you can do that with these meets."

Sulphur Springs will run at Mesquite Poteet next week, then go to North Lamar on Wednesday, Oct. 25 for the District 11-4A meet.

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