The trophy case at Cedar Park just got a little bit more crowded.
After winning both the boys’ and girls’ district and regional cross country titles, the Timberwolves continued their success as the girls’ team finished third at the UIL State Cross Country meet Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
“We’ve trained for months now and it takes a lot of guts to do what we do,” senior Alena Albertson said. “It was a tough race today, but I think we all put in as much effort as we could and we all fought for each other, so I’m really proud of that.”
Sophomore Kaitlyn Childress was the top finisher for Cedar Park, coming in 16th place with a time of 18:51.36. Albertson (19:07.19) finished 26th overall, Gracie Hall (19:16.41) took 32nd, Sophia Roach finished 53rd, Samantha Pettey (19:34.31) finished 54th, Reese Barucky (20:07.70) came in 77th and Juliana Lozano (20:57.34) finished 125th.
It was a marked improvement from last season’s state meet, where the Timberwolves finished sixth in the girls’ competition. The average time for each individual runner was more than 10 seconds faster this year.
“I’ve never been more proud to be part of this team,” Roach said. “We’re happy that we improved a lot from last year. We would not be on the podium if it weren’t for that team fighting for each other.”
Rouse also had a pair of runners at this season’s meet. Senior Megan Ombres finished 66th overall with a time of 19:47.85 and sophomore Sydney Knight came in 134th with a time of 21:21.08.
The Cedar Park boys’ team just missed out on the podium, finishing in fourth place.
Junior Owen Daugherty was the quickest of the group, finishing in 25th place with a time of 15:52.79. Austin Grendel (16:03.68) finished 36th, Jack Woods (16:26.30) came in 61st, John Scott (16:30.26) finished 66th, Nate Maki (16:35.90) finished 75th, Alden Yi ( 16:47.44) finished 89th and Peyton Chriswisser (17:06.32) came in 112th place.
This was the second year in a row that both the boys’ and girls’ teams advanced to the state meet.
“Our last two years, we’ve been focused,” Albertson said. “I know for a lot of the freshman, we’ve helped create a good mindset going forward. And hopefully, in the future, they’ll get what we hoped for today.”
Albertson and Roach — who will continue her cross-country career at Northern Arizona next season — were the only two seniors running for the Cedar Park girls. So the expectations going forward aren’t expected to be dampened.
“They’re such great leaders and they’re such an inspiration to all of us,” Childress said. “We just have to follow their lead. They’re the hardest working girls I know and it just gives me and the underclassmen even more confidence to continue what they do.”