Kingwood High School cross country competed in a chilly District 22-6A meet Thursday, Oct. 17 at Atascocita High School. It was a good showing for KHS runners at all levels.
Where low points are the name of the game, the KHS varsity girls lived up to the hype and expectations with a close-to-perfect score of 20 points to claim the district title over runner-up Atascocita (86 points). AHS’ Avery Clover took the individual gold with a time of 18:18 but it was all blue after that. The Lady ‘Stangs ran a commanding race, taking places second through eighth. Senior Rachel James was the first to cross the line for Kingwood in second place overall with time of 18:56. She was followed by freshman Carly Ahrens (19:16 in third), freshman Rebecca Rhodes (19:21 in fourth), senior Daniela Wisniewski (19:22 in fifth), sophomore Carson Parker (19:27 in sixth), freshman Jenna Carter (19:28 in seventh), and freshman Skye Hoffman (19:30 in eighth).
Kingwood senior Rachel James said, “As a team, we’ve been really pushing each other this whole season ... and I’m really excited about what comes next.”
And next for the ladies is taking their amazing talent to the regional competition where they hope to continue the outstanding success they have accomplished this season. Atascocita and Pasadena Memorial also qualified for the regional race.
The Mustang varsity boys showed some grit to take the District 22-6A Runner-Up spot. The ‘Stangs scored 61 points with an average time of 16:45. Kingwood standout senior Nicholas Majerus ran a predictably strong race, holding a sharp lead from start to finish. Majerus won the individual gold, finishing first overall with a time of 15:35. KHS senior Justin Moore posted a season best 16:31 to finish in fourth overall, followed by sophomore Diego Contreras (16:37) in sixth. Sophomore Kailash Pilai and freshman Jack Snowden rounded out the ‘Stang scoring.
Three-time district individual champ Majerus had praise for Coach Tate Symons this season and for his teammates after the race.
Majerus said, “We put together a good team race today ... and for me personally, it’s nice to have a good group of guys to keep it fun because cross country is a hard sport.”
The team will be moving on to regionals, along with Atascocita (team champs with 38 points) and Pasadena Rayburn (72 points in third place).
In junior varsity action, Kingwood girls dominated with a one-off perfect score of 16 points to claim the title. Mustangs swept the podium with a first, second and third finish with junior Helena Karlstrom in gold, sophomore Kelsie Grassman in silver, and freshman Anastasia Small in bronze. KHS JV boys (28 points) were edged out by Atascocita (27 points) by just one point to take the runner-up spot. Mustang sophomore Tyler Wadell won gold and junior Matthew Villarreal snagged bronze. Kingwood freshman boys fought hard for the team runner-up prize, with Jack Stanton on the podium with an individual silver.
Up next for the varsity Mustangs will be the Region III 6A Cross Country Championship Monday, Oct. 28 in Huntsville at Kate Barr Ross Park. The regional will be a 24-team meet featuring the top three teams from each district. Top four teams and top 10 individuals from each region advance to the ultimate prize, the Texas State 6A Championship in Round Rock Nov. 9.