FROM STAFF REPORTS
SAN ANTONIO — The Burnet High School girls cross-country team and boys sophomore runner Drew Kiser finished in the top five of the Class 4A Region IV meet Nov. 1 to advance to the state meet Nov. 8.
Meanwhile, Marble Falls High School senior cross-country runners Tess Johnson and James Ramos finished their seasons at the Class 5A Region IV meet, also Nov. 1.
The Lady Dawgs were fourth in the region and paced by Abby Bullocks’s 11 minutes and 47 seconds in the two-mile event. Her performance earned her a bronze medal.
“I felt like we had a legitimate chance,” Burnet head coach Stuart Dixon said. “I didn’t feel like we had to run an amazing race. But I felt like it was going to be by hitting 13:30s by five girls.”
Autumn Freasier finished 17th in 12:34, while Crista Paik was 22nd in 12:38. Jordan Boyles came in 40th in 12:55, and Tara Evers rounded out the scoring in 13:36. Zoe Stubblefield was 122nd in 14:12.
Paik dropped 25 seconds off her District 25-4A time, while Freasier turned in her usual performance and Bullock dropped a few seconds.
“Our three, four and five runners did better at regionals than they did at the district meet,” the coach said. “Coming into this meet, that’s what I was concerned about. But they rebounded today. With young kids, you never know what’s going to happen. They did a great job.”
Kiser was fifth in 16:36 in the 3.2-mile event. He dropped about three seconds for a new record.
“He had to run what he’s run before,” the coach said. “He had the stomach virus going on, but he ran through it.”
Dixon said his runners had the “character and desire” to advance to state.
“A word we use is ‘grit,’” he said. “We decided to have the patience and perseverance and definitely grit. They stayed the course and did what they had to do. They started coming together.”
Marble Falls’ Johnson was 32nd in the Class 5A Region IV girls race with a time of 20:12, while Ramos came in 77th in 17:15.
Marble Falls head coach Anthony Torns said he was not surprised by how fast the 5K races were finished.
“Those are very, very good times,” he said. “While we were looking for a different result, I am extremely proud of each of them for the hard work they put in during both of their senior years.”