BLUE RIDGE — The Van Alstyne High School Cross Country teams are looking strong after overcoming steep obstacles on Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Blue Ridge Tiger Trail Invitational. The Lady Panthers varsity cross country team outperformed the competition and took home first place, while the varsity boys were not far behind earning second place in the men’s category.


Howe High School’s varsity Lady Bulldogs enjoyed a superior showing with varsity runner Kristian Sutherland taking home the gold with 13:18 in the girls’ 2-mile. Bethany Masters ran the course in 15:03 which placed the Lady Bulldog in the top runners in the seventeen spot.


Lady Panther runners dominated the top ten of women’s 2-mile with Emma Morgan earning third place among the varsity girls with a time of 13:46, Jenna Leinart taking fourth with a time of 13:56, Kate Carson coming in at sixth with a time of 14:05 and G’Daiya Hall topping it off for the Lady Panthers at the tenth spot with a 14:27 time.


Panther runner Bryce Sevarino continued a hot-streak taking home the silver medal after finishing the race in the top three once again at second in the men’s 5K with a time of 17:39. Daniel Morris earned a medal after finishing with a time of 19:18 in seventh place for Van Alstyne.


While the exceptional performances from Van Alstyne’s runners is a cause for pride and celebration, cross country Head Coach Rachel Sevarino says the team is not letting up and remains focused on the upcoming district action.


“It was a very hilly course with one very steep hill of 200 meters at the end,” Sevarino said. “The runners named that ‘part-death hill’.” Sevarino said the course was one of the most challenging for teams of the Panther Cross Country program.


Junior varsity Lady Panther runners Faith Griffin and Alli Cholette earned spots in the 2-mile top ten securing fourth and tenth places with times of 16:16 and 16:55, respectively.


Olivia Edwards finished in the top ten at ninth in the middle school girls’ 2-mile with a time of 12:59. The Lady Panthers middle school team took second place overall at the Tiger Trail Invitational.


Van Alstyne continued to fill the top ten in the middle school boys’ category with Gavin Montgomery, Blake Hyatt and Sergio Castillo in the fourth, fifth and sixth places with times of 12:48, 12:51 and 12:56, respectively.


“We are looking forward to our district meet at Commerce High School this week,” Sevarino said. “My team is prepared and looking forward to moving on to regionals.”


Be sure to follow the Panther Cross Country program online as they begin district competition on Oct. 11 in Commerce at www. VanAlstyneLeader.com/Sports for all of the latest cross country updates and results.