JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
AUSTIN — During the week leading up to the Class 4A state meet, Burnet High School cross-country coach Stuart Dixon told his runners the key to hitting their marks came down to one thing.
“If we could somehow have a moment where everyone comes together,” he said. “Everybody did so well.”
The Lady Dawgs finished fifth overall out of 16 teams at the state contest paced by Abby Bullock’s fifth-place individual finish in 12 minutes 3 seconds. In all, the race drew 150 runners.
Autumn Freasier, a senior, was 20th in 12:30, while Crista Paik was 31st in 12:41. That was the best finish by a freshman in the race. Tara Evers was 75th in 13:09, Jordan Boyles was 100th in 13:26 and Zoe Stubblefield was 142nd in 14:29.
In the boys race, Drew Kiser was 19th out of 151 runners in 15:54 and was the fourth sophomore to cross the finish line.
“We did a great job,” Dixon said. “It was fun to watch.”
The coach said he was happy for Bullock, who competed consistently all year. Leading up to the meet, Bullock concentrated on being more aggressive to start the race.
“She was much more aggressive,” he said. “It didn’t have to be a Herculean effort to get to the top spot. You felt like she’d do a good job. She surpassed that and did an amazing job.”
As for Kiser, Dixon said said the sophomore’s finish goes back to his desire to compete. Officials initially signaled a false start, so the runners were careful in beginning their run after the gun sounded.
“That messed with you, that messed him up a little bit,” Dixon said. “He did an amazing job of getting better and having a good time.”
The Lady Dawgs lose only Freasier to graduation. And Dixon said a strong group of eighth-graders will contribute next fall.
“They’ll keep the momentum,” he said. “We’re excited about the future.”