For the fifth year in a row, the Sealy boys’ varsity cross country team punched a ticket to regionals with a third-place finish at the District 25-4A Championship Monday morning in Brookshire.
In addition, a freshman qualified individually on the girls’ side with Hollie Brown taking eighth overall in 13:16.62 although the squad altogether came just short of qualifying, trailing third place El Campo by 17 points.
Although the Tigers’ head coach Anthony Branch wanted to take more to the next meet, he was proud of the effort put forth by all runners and only graduates one female runner and will look to continue the success next year with a solid core.
That senior on her way out, Trinity Hall, finished her career on a positive note with a 14th-place finish where she knew the only option was to give everything she had.
“Knowing that I did everything that I could, it felt amazing to break 14,” she said after the race. “I was excited, I said ‘You know what, if I don’t go to regionals I don’t care, I did my best I ran my best time I’m going to leave here knowing I left it all on this course.’”
That all-out effort helped her best her times from one of her better years to close things out with a bang.
“I’ve come really far, junior year I hit a bump but that’s in the past and I ran my best time at the end of that season but freshman year I started out running in the 14’s and I thought that was pretty darn good,” Hall said. “Leaving here knowing that I broke my best time from sophomore year I’m excited and I’m proud of where I’ve come.”
She also mentioned how proud of Brown she was and that she looks forward to traveling to the Region IV Championship meet at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Oct. 28 to cheer her teammate on.
After Brown and Hall for the Lady Tigers, Coral Becerra took 17th, Hailey Artega finished 26th and Madison Manak came in 30th to round out Sealy’s team score to 94 and set the stage for the years to come with plenty of returners coming back for Branch next year.
On the boys’ side, two top-10 finishes on top of three more top-20 finishes solidified a third-place position for the Tigers well ahead of fourth-place Stafford.
Vladimir Hernandez paced Sealy with a time of 17:48.48 which was good enough for fourth not far ahead of Xavier Olvera who completed the course in 18:20.06 to take eighth overall. James Gassiott, the lone male senior runner, turned in a 12th-place finish with Daniel Medrano (16th) and Julius Aguiar (17th) finishing consecutively, rounding out the top five runners.
Logan and Cameron Eschenburg supplied 24th- and 26th-place finishes respectively to bolster Branch’s lineup moving into their fifth consecutive trip to the Region IV Championship and ninth in the last 12 years.
On the junior varsity level, the Tigers collected the runner-up spot behind a Fulshear squad that took the first 10 spots. Daniel Eschenburg was the first Sealy finisher, taking 14th in 13:01.86 with Ike Konvicka (16th in 13:22.62), Eric Fredriksson (17th in 13:24.31) and Colby Eschenburg (18th in 13:31.56) not far behind.
Another trio of Sealy runners took up spots 24-26 with Swayeb Ahmed, Max Mock and Cody Prause taking those spots, respectively, ahead of Brayden Ashorn who rounded out the Tigers’ junior varsity lineup in 28th overall.
On the girls’ side in the junior varsity ranks, Jenna Forrester led the way for Sealy, taking fourth overall in 14:57.38 to earn a spot on next year’s varsity roster. Jada Burton took ninth in 15:46.98 and Rosa Alvarez (11th in 15:55.22) and Hattie Schalla (12th in 16:09.06) finished consecutively for the Lady Tigers.
The Region IV Championship will be held on the Islander Cross Country Course at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Dugan Track and Soccer Stadium on Oct. 28.