JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
WACO — Faith Academy of Marble Falls sophomore runner Sophie McCannon is the Class 3A state cross-country champion for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
She won the state meet in 12 minutes three seconds on Oct. 25 to lead the Lady Flames to a fourth-place finish. Freshman Abraham Lewis finished 72nd in the boys race in 21:44.
“Sophie took over the race at about the 800-meter mark and took care of business,” said her father and head coach Steve McCannon. “She hit her 1,600-meter pace time right on the money, and there was never any doubt that she was in total control.”
The runner beat the second-place finisher by 33 seconds, and McCannon dropped 23 seconds from her time a year ago. She ends the season with first-place finishes in all six meets.
Thirteen points separated the top four teams with The Woodlands Christian winning the state title followed by Boerne Geneva and Austin Brentwood.
“Tough loss and tough to swallow,” Steve McCannon said. “This was the closet we have been to winning the state cross-country title since we started the program in 2007.”
With 1,600 meters remaining, the Lady Flames needed better finishes from the other runners, the coach said.
“We have high expectations, so there is actually disappointment in getting fourth place and on the podium,” he said. “I think it’s a good start now that we are in 3A, but we must learn from this and react with hard work.”
Last season as a 2A squad, Faith finished seventh at state with McCannon taking third.
The coach noted that senior Sierra Brinkley competed well, running from 25th to 13th place in the final meters. He believes the results of the cross-country season will fuel Rachel Ormsby and Christina Lykken for the track season. And Danyelle Morris and Kristina Lane showed improvement throughout the season.
McCannon said Lewis competed though he was not injury free.
“I am proud of him for pushing through and finishing,” McCannon said. “He had a really good season and will be a force in track. He has a ton of potential.
“Tradition does not graduate or change because we moved up to 3A, so I am glad we were able to get on the podium again and add another plaque to the wall,” McCannon said. ” As a leader, I set the standards high. We drive to Waco each year to compete and give ourselves a chance to contend for the title. The girls did that, and I am proud of them.”
RESULTS: Girls — 1, Sophie McCannon (state champion, all-state), 12:03; 13, Sierra Brinkley (academic all-state), 13:38; 26, Christina Lykken, 14:16; 40, Kristina Lane, 14:56; 52, Danyelle Morris, 15:18; 64, Rachel Ormsby, 15:41; 89, Jessica Beckner, 17:28. Boys — 72, Abraham Lewis, 21:44