Cross Country Races at Camp Tejas Invite

The Cross Country team continued its hallmark season at the Camp Tejas Invite on Sept. 21 in Giddings, TX. The varsity boys managed to place fourth despite unfavorable conditions and the absence of one of their runners. The JV boys took first, beating their closest contender, Vista Ridge, by 12 points. The varsity girls team placed sixth, and the JV girls earned fourth.

The course presented runners with a mental and physical challenge, complete with a slew of rocky hills and uneven surfaces, making it arguably the most difficult course for the team this season.

“The terrain was very harsh but we managed to pull through as a team, and my knees hurt now,” Neil Panwalker ‘21 said.

The varsity boys ran well as a group, with most runners finishing very close to each other. The exception was Pablo Lomeli ‘21, who pulled away from the group a mile into the race and finished second overall, with a time of 16 minutes and 33 seconds, blowing out the third place runner, who finished nearly half a minute behind the sophomore.

“I beat some of the best kids from our district by over thirty seconds, so I’m confident going into the district meet that I’ll qualify for regionals,” Lomeli said.

The JV boys packed the top 10, with Bryce Limbacher ‘21 winning the race, followed by Ben Farrugia ‘22 , Zachary Carver ‘21, and Brittan Samford ‘22 who placed 5th, 7th, and 9th respectively.

The varsity girls were unable to come away with any top 10 placements, and were also missing one of their runners. Ella Moss ‘22 had the best race out of the group, placing 12th, around 40 seconds shy of a spot in the top 10.

The JV girls on the other hand fought through their chaotic race, earning one of the top 10 spots; Francesca Faillace ‘20 finished 9th in the 3200 meter with a time of 15 minutes and four seconds, a personal best.

All teams have high hopes for the McNeil Invitational to be held at McNeil High School on Saturday, Sept. 29. The McNeil Invite has historically had one of the fastest fields in the state, making it an important race for the team looking forward.