Cross country district meets in full flight next week

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Oct. 19, 2007 - High school cross country will be in full flight this coming week as districts will determine their champions and regional qualifiers.

District meets will be held Monday and Wednesday across East Texas.

Sulphur Springs will be competing in the District 11-4A meet at 9 a.m. Monday at Mount Pleasant High School.

The Wildcats are the defending district champions, while the Lady Cats qualified for regional last year after finishing third in the district.

The SSHS boys got a lift last week with the return of senior Tate Ramirez, who missed about a month due to a stress fracture in his leg. Ramirez finished fourth at district last year, and classmate Tyler Wilson was ninth. They will anchor the SSHS team along with Ross Hicks, Preston Weaver, Garrett Gray and Jarod Morgan.

The Wildcats will be challenged for the team title most strongly by Lindale.

The Lady Cats will be looking to get back to regional behind senior Ana Sanchez, who emerged as their top runner despite not having ran cross country before this season. Along with returning lettermen Kelsey Evans, Katie Dodd (seventh last year) and Kacie Crowson, Sanchez will be looking for a top 10 finish individually to qualify for regional.

The top three teams will also qualify, and the Lady Cats will be trying to lock up one of those spots with district favorites North Lamar and Lindale.

In Class A, the Sulphur Bluff boys will also be trying to get a regional berth when they run in a massive District 19-A meet Monday at Lake Bob Sandlin. Everett Wilder and Trey Henderson are two of the top runners in that district, which includes 14 teams from as far away as Waxahachie and Irving.

Miller Grove's Stormie Combs will also be vying for a return trip to regional and state as the Hornets and Saltillo also run in that meet.

The District 20-A meet, featuring the state-ranked North Hopkins boys and girls, is set for Wednesday on the North Hopkins campus.

The NH girls, led by senior Jessi Mannis who has won six races this year, are ranked No. 3 in the state. The NH boys, who finished third at the state meet, are ranked No. 6 this year and must face off at the district meet against ninth-rated McLeod.

Yantis and Cumby will also be running at the meet.

Como-Pickton senior Bethanie Stinson will be one of the top runners in the District 20-2A meet, which will be ran Monday at Lake Tawakoni's Thousand Trails.

Stinson will be trying to reach the state meet for the fourth consecutive year.

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