Written by Michael Florek
Southlake Carroll runs up 2 more 5A state cross country titles
Highland Park girls also repeat in 4A; Sanger girls take 3A
ROUND ROCK — Southlake Carroll’s day was done early at the UIL State Cross Country Meet on Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
It ended with 14 runners on a stage holding two state championship trophies. In the first two races of the day, Southlake Carroll defended its boys and girls 5A state titles.
“It’s our second one; [it feels] twice as good,” said senior Nate Sullivan, who took third, one spot ahead of teammate Joe Sansone and the highest individual placement for a Carroll runner. “We wanted to prove to everyone we’re here to stay as a dynasty.”
The boys beat The Woodlands by 44 points. The girls won by 63 places despite graduating five runners from last year’s title team. One of the two returners, senior Courtney Kriegshauser, led the girls by taking fifth. Southlake Carroll had four runners in the top 10 in both races.
“We talked about it last night,” Southlake Carroll coach Justin Leonard said. “I said we had three in the top 10 last year; our goal is to get four in the top 10 this year. They went out, and they executed.”
Joining the Dragons as repeat champions were the Highland Park girls. They won their third consecutive 4A title. Junior Natalie Rathjen finished fourth while teammate Mary Beth Hamilton finished 11th.
Domanic dominant: Hebron’s Robert Domanic trailed throughout all but about 20 meters of the 5A boys state championship. But those 20 meters came at the right time: the end.
At the final turn with 400 meters left, Domanic was second behind The Woodlands’ Brigham Hedges.
“I was dying like crazy,” Domanic said. “I was honestly just about to accept second place.”
But Domanic saw that Hedges kept looking behind him and decided to make one final charge.
He surpassed Hedges with room to spare, taking the boys individual title by two seconds. Domanic was the only Dallas- area runner to capture an individual state championship.
Sanger squeaks out title: Sanger coach Clint Davidson had little time in between his girls and boys meets. He knew his girls had a rough start to the race and knew they recovered nicely. But that’s about all he knew before he had to go coach the Sanger boys.
He would learn during the boys race that his girls had edged out La Vernia by one point to capture the state title. While Davidson would have a lot of company to yell with later, that initial celebration was a lonely one.
“I was screaming by myself,” Davidson said at the awards ceremony amid screams of his runners and handshakes from fellow coaches and parents. “We didn’t get a great start but we came back strong. That’s what I’ve been preaching to them about, you have to finish to win the state championship.”
Senior Bryce Perry led the Indians, finishing ninth and one spot ahead of a La Vernia runner — the final margin — despite believing after the meet that she broke her toe.
Follow Michael Florek on Twitter at @michaelflorek