Cross Country Reaches New Heights at Giddings Invitational


Westwood Cross Country

Priya Gangadharan ’23 races to the finish line in the 5000-meter run. The team worked hard all summer in preparation for this meet and the rest of our season.

The cross country teams had another week of success at the Giddings Invitational at Camp Tejas. Varsity boys claimed a third place score in the 5000-meter run, and JV boys also excelled in the event. While the girls’ team did not reach the same placements as they have in the past, new members displayed their improvement with higher rankings.

Ganesh Kumarappan ‘23 took the lead with a fourth place overall in the varsity boys 5000-meter run finals. His race met the MileSplit US Second Team standard, designating it an elite performance. Korban Murphy ‘23 was close behind in eighth place, along with James Robinson ‘23 in eleventh.

The JV boys team also saw great success with Sivin Naik ‘26 in fourth place and Thomas LeBlanc ‘26 and Zach Maynes ‘23 finishing in the top 10. These high placements led the team to second place out of the twelve teams that competed.

“It was fairly hot and sunny out, which I definitely feel affected my time,” Maynes said. “However, my ninth place spot showed that I was still at the front of the pack in this race, which was a good feeling.”

In the varsity girls 5000-meter run, freshmen Theresa Bell finished in 18th, with Adelaide Murphy ’25 on her heels in 23rd. Although the girl’s team ended up placing sixth out of 10, several members still got a chance to shine as part of the team. 

“[My teammates] are really nice and they help me during practices a lot,” Bell said. “They prepared me for the races and everything.”

The team continued to show the work they have been putting in during practices. Facing challenges, they continue to prevail and accomplish new feats.

“Running in these races ends up being both a mental and physical endurance since your body and mind tend to tire out at different rates,” Maynes said. “You do start experiencing that runner’s high where a lot of the pain melts away, and you can have this extreme focus on passing as many people as possible before the finish. [It’s] definitely the best part of the race for me at least.”

The cross country’s next meet is at Round Rock on Wednesday, Oct. 5.