GRAND PRAIRIE – All three area 1A schools were in action at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie on Monday, Oct. 23 for the UIL cross country Region 3 Championship, and a pair of runners, Preston Tabor from Graford and Cassidy Barfield from Gordon, ran well enough to qualify for the state meet.
Leading the way for the Graford Jackrabbits, the junior Tabor took 19th place overall in the varsity boys 5K with a time of 18 minutes, 50.99 seconds. All seven of the Graford varsity boys finished in the top-100 with sophomore Colton Mathews in 30th place at 19:22 and senior Jacob Moss in 38th at 19:41.
Another top-50 finish for the Jackrabbits was 50th place Dustin Mathews with a time of 21 minutes, 12 seconds. After the freshman, junior Micah Manley took 74th overall at 21:12, and senior James Kincaid closed things out in 94th place with a time of 22 minutes, 30 seconds.
As a team, the Jackrabbits finished in sixth place overall. The top three schools in order were Cumby Miller Grove, Saltillo and Sulphur Bluff.
For the 1A girls, Gordon Longhorn Cassidy Barfield was the only state qualifier. The senior finished in 11th place overall at the Region 3 Championship with a time of 13 minutes, 11 seconds. The top varsity girls finishers were Jorja Bessonett from Cumby Miller Grove (11:53) and Sienna Collins from Saltillo (12:10).
Other 1A girls in action included seven Graford Lady Jackrabbits and a pair of Strawn Lady Greyhounds.
Top times for Strawn were turned in by freshman Sara Ross in 32nd place and sophomore Jocelyn Mallory in 44th place. Ross ran a strong time of 14 minutes, 6 seconds, and Mallory managed a well-paced result of 14 minutes, 35 seconds.
For the Graford girls, freshman Shelby Gaver had the top time at regionals with a 26th place result of 13 minutes, 53 seconds. Elsewhere, sophomore Hollie Baldwin finished in 102nd place at 16:32, freshman Emma Lee took 110th overall at 17:17 and sophomore Chelsie Baldwin took 112th in a time of 17:20.
Rounding out the results for the Lady Jackrabbits were senior Damita Montalvo with a 130th place result in 18 minutes, 39 seconds, freshman Makenna Carlyle in 132nd at 18 minutes, 55 seconds and junior Jacque Feregrino with a 134th place finish in 19 minutes, 2 seconds.
Up next for area cross country runners is the UIL State Meet, which will be held at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Saturday, Nov. 4. The state meet is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., while 1A girls will run around 11 a.m. and 1A boys will run shortly before noon.