Off to the races

Foster and Fulshear runners lead the pack out of the gate for the District 24-5A cross country championship.

By the end of Tuesday afternoon, all of the tickets for the 2020 UIL State Cross Country Championships will be handed out.

The price for those tickets for most will be a three-mile run.

Lamar Consolidated, Fort Bend ISD, Katy ISD, East Bernard and Wallis Brazos will have run at the course in Kate Barr-Ross Park.

Needville and Stafford will run on Tuesday in Corpus Christi to round out the Fort Bend schools at Regionals. The Blue Jays will run at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Dugan track and soccer stadium.

While only the top two teams and 10 individual runners advance to regionals from the district meets, three teams and the remaining top 10 individual runners will reach the next round.

The 2020 state meet will return to Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock on Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24.

The 1A, 3A and 5A finals will occur on Monday while the 2A, 4A and 6A will follow on the next day.

In 6A, George Ranch has once again found success at the district with the program’s ninth-straight crown for the girls, but the Longhorns are still seeking a breakthrough at the regional level.

“Now we get to slow down a little bit and with this young group, teach them how to come in, work, rest, work, rest, and let everything come out because we don’t want to peak (too early),” Dutch said.

“We’re one of the top eight teams in the region, but that can change. With only two teams making it to regionals, that will allow us to move up, but it’s how we capitalize on it once (regionals) come up. So it’s a chance, but it’s whether they capitalize on that chance.”

At the 5A level, Foster and Fulshear are seeking return trips to Round Rock.

For Fulshear, the boys’ team is the District 24-5A champion, while senior Briana Roberson medaled last season at the 4A meet.

“We need to drop a little bit more time (at regionals),” Fulshear head coach Dr. Kevin Kean said. “We have the potential to do that.”

The Foster girls have steadily built up the program over the years, with multiple Lady Falcons making it to state last season.

Now Foster turns over the program to young runners with sophomores Mickayla Tosch and Kaitlyn Walsh leading the way.

“We’re excited to (go to regionals) and take care of business,” Foster head coach Julie Yeager said.

For the Foster boys, four-time district champion Caden Cunningham hopes to take that next step to state in his final year with the Falcons.

Among the 4A teams, Needville has two strong runners: Lita Meyer winning the girls’ race and Andrew Pollard finishing second at the District 25-4A meet.

“Our times are looking pretty good,” Needville head coach Cally Croft said. “Our region has pretty fast. We need to get a little faster in certain areas.”

East Bernard and Brazos have been regulars to regionals and state respecify. Both programs are rebuilding but still hope to represent at state.

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