Van Alstyne senior Hannah Taylor and the boys’ cross-country team will be heading to Old Settlers Park in Round Rock to compete in the state championships after their qualifying finishes in the Region II meet in Grand Prairie on Oct. 29.
Hannah had a personal best time of 12:17 over the 3,200-meter Lynn Creek Park course, good enough for fifth place in the 3A girls’ division.
This will be Hannah’s third trip to the state meet and she is aiming for a top ten finish.
Sophomore Jenna Leinart also had her best time at that distance with a 13:13 effort, finishing 23rd.
Senior Jacob Taylor finished sixth in the boys’ division, running the 5,000 meter course in 17:40. That paced the boys’ team to a fourth-place finish and earned them a trip to state.
Senior Blake Broussard finished 28th and senior Travor Boyer 80th in their final regional race.
Hannah Taylor had a game plan going in on the hot and windy afternoon and a positive attitude for sure.
“The weather’s not the best for cross country but obstacles are opportunities,” Taylor said.
She said she was pretty excited after earning a repeat trip to state.
“I’m anxious to get back and hopefully we will have better weather down there,” she said.
She said she was also proud that her brother, Jacob, and the boys’ team had qualified.
For Jacob Taylor, this will be his first time to compete at the state level, and he is looking forward to the trip.
“It’s great that we all get to go down there and continue our season,” he said. “We worked so hard to get it done and now we are going to state.”
First-year varsity coach Rachel Sevarino said she was pretty excited as well about her teams’ accomplishment.
“The boys didn’t have their best times of the season, but getting a top four finish was our goal going in and we did it.”
Prior to the race, Sevarino gave us her studied opinion on how the team races would shape up. She listed her top four teams in both the girls and boys divisions, missing on just two.
Had the field scouted pretty good.
On Nov. 12 Hannah Taylor and the Van Alstyne boys’ cross-country team will be making history again for Panther athletics.