ROUND ROCK — The Van Alstyne cross country team finished a record breaking winning season at the UIL State Cross Country meet on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock after making school history with their qualification. Coach Rachel Sevarino made back-to-back appearances at the state meet, as the Lady Panthers competed hard to earn a 12th place finish out of the 232 3A schools and Bryce Sevarino ran as an individual runner.

Jenna Leinart was the top finisher for the Van Alstyne girls, finishing 43rd with a time of 12:46, followed by Emma Morgan in 80th with a time 13:10 , G’daiya Hall in 96th with a time of 13:22, Kate Carson in 99th with a time of 13:25, Natailia Herrera in 144th with a time of 15:18, Faith Griffin in 146th with a time of 15:46 and Rachel Greve in 147th with a time of 15:59.

This was the first time in school history that the Lady Panthers had qualified for a state appearance. “The girls worked hard and can be proud of their state showing,” Coach Sevarino said.

Sophomore Bryce Sevarino ran individually in the state competition with a time of 17:24 and a place of 55th overall, which qualified him as the 12th place finisher amongst competing sophomores — all the while battling a lingering flu bug.

Qualification for the state meet was determined on Monday, Oct. 23 at the 2017 UIL 3A Region II Cross Country Championship, where Leinart and Bryce Sevarino both qualified for the meet as individual runners. Leinart placed 12th in the women’s 2-mile with a time of 12:43.89 at the meet, while Bryce Sevarino took the 14th spot overall with a time of 17:34.46 in the men’s 5K and the Lady Panthers team advanced with a fourth place overall standing.

“The program had an amazing year,” Coach Sevarino said. “We started practices in the summer and ran a lot of miles. My runners earned mileage shirts for every milestone. All my runners earned 150 (miles) and most earned 300 (miles). Bryce had earned a 750 (mile) shirt. I am already looking ahead to next year and hoping to bring both teams to state for a third time.”