VAN ALSTYNE — Despite great challenges that faced the Van Alstyne varsity cross country teams have made history with both the boys and girls varsity teams qualifying to make a state appearance after their regional runs at Jesse Owen Complex on Oct. 22.


The first speed bump came when the course was changed from Lynn Creek Park in Dallas to Jesse Owen Complex due to excessive flooding at the former location. Neither team had been given a preview of the course until the Sunday night before their runs, causing another issue with unfamiliarity with the new course. The course was full of mud and was a complete pain to navigate with the muck and water swallowing up shoes and ankles.


Kate Carson, an important piece to the girls’ team, twisted her ankle at the beginning of the race, but Carson’s teammates Margie Carson and Olivia Edward picked her up with incredible performances to help make up for their injured teammate.


“The girls are really close and encourage each other is it didn’t surprise me that they saw the need and stepped up,” cross country coach Rachel Sevarino said of the exceptional teamwork, “I’m really looking forward to their performance at the state course as I think the girls will hit their peak and run their best times to hopefully medal and get a podium win.”


The boys varsity, led by Bryce Sevarino who individually medaled with a 5th place finish in the regionals run, just barely missed a third-place finish by two points, however, a fourth-place finish is more than enough to make a state appearance. The boys will also be looking towards the future as the top two teams form regionals will be graduating a good number of seniors this year, they will be eyeing a top 3 finish and another regional appearance next year.


“I’m really proud of their accomplishments and making it to state this year,” coach Sevarino said of the boys team, “they are a dedicated group of runners.”


For the boys — Bryce Sevarino led the pack with a fifth place finish with a 16:34 time, Ashton Dennis finished eleventh with a 16:46 time, Marcus Cooper finished twenty-eighth with a 17:40 time, Blake Hyatt finished thirty-eighth with a 18:04 time, Jordan Caldwell finished fifty-seventh with an 18:45 time and Sergio Castillo wrapped things up for Van Alstyne with a ninety-sixth place finish with a 19:42 time.


For the girls — Sara Fernandez had a great run for the girls team with a twentieth place finish and a 13:20 time, G’Daiya Hall finished twenty-fourth with a 13:26 time, Jenna Leinart finished twenty-eighth with a 13:29 time, Margie Carson finished forty-fifth with a 13:58 time, Olivia Edwards finished forty-seventh with a 14:00 time and Kate Carson finished with an eighty-first place finish with a 14:40 time.