LUBBOCK – The Carroll Dragon boys’ and girls’ cross country teams advanced to the Class 5A state meet after winning the Region I Meet in Lubbock on Saturday. The Lady Dragons have won won six consecutive regional titles and the Dragons have won three consecutive titles.
“They came out hard, and it was a great team performance,” Carroll coach Justin Leonard said of his team. “We’re going to try to come away with some hardware at the state meet. That’s the ultimate goal, and it’s going to be tough. You add Region II and Region III, and the competition will be challenging, but this is our goal every year.”
In a field of nearly 200 regionally qualified runners, the Lady Dragons had two top 10 finishers, Sam Young (5th) and Tig Archer (6th). Senior Katie Burnham kept the fast pace and grabbed 14th, Moriah Dadson was 21st, sealing the first place title was Kayli Jones 37th-place finish and completing the seven runners was Ari Lopez 52nd and Haley McFadden (58th). The Lady Dragons scored 70 points as a team and were followed by Flower Mound 76 and Hebron with 89 points and will advance to the State Meet.
In the boys’ race, Jacob Pickle took the individual Gold and Connor Hendrickson won the Silver.
“They are both seniors, and for them to have finished first and second at their last regional meet was a good thing to see,” Leonard said.
Eli Canal finished 13th, senior Brent Aydon 38th, Ansel Richards 41st, Johnny Kemps 70th and Luke Lanham 79th for the Carroll Boys. The team scored 89 points, Timber Creek 98 and Keller 110 and will compete in Round Rock on Nov.9.
5th Place – Sam Young (17:56)
6th Place – Tig Archer (18:06)
14th Place – Katie Burnham (18:32)
21st Place – Moriah Dadson (18:50)
37th Place – Kayli Jones (19:21)
52nd Place – Ari Lopez (19:38)
58th Place – Haley McFadden (19:50)
1st Place – Jacob Pickle (14:52)
2nd Place – Connor Hendrickson (15:00)
13th Place – Eli Canal (15:28)
38th Place – Brent Aydon (16:04)
41st Place – Ansel Richards (16:06)
70th Place – Johnny Kemps (16:29)
79th Place – Luke Lanham (16:39)
Carroll Dragon cross country coach Justin Leonard has been named the National Federation of High Schools Texas Boys’ Cross Country Coach of the Year. Leonard led the Dragons to their second consecutive Class 5A state title during the fall.
Leonard has also led the Lady Dragons to back-to-back titles the past two seasons. Carroll has produced one of the top cross country programs in the nation and was honored as the National Program of the Year in December for the second consecutive year.