WACO — When three-time district champion Brittany Mitchell crossed the finish line, the runner-up was nowhere to be seen.
With a personal record of 17 minutes, 47 seconds, Mitchell outran the remainder of the 55-runner field by 40 seconds, as she earned her fourth District 8-5A championship.
“I’m really happy,” Mitchell said. “I’m just excited about going to regionals.”
While Killeen’s girls missed the regional qualifying field, Mitchell earned an individual spot at the Nov. 2 regional meet at Texas Tech.
With respective total times of 1:35:38, 1:39:54 and 1:40:27, Belton, Waco Midway and Harker Heights finished first, second and third, punching their tickets for the race in Lubbock.
Freshman Brooke Gilmore, freshman Olivia Houlden and junior Katey Hatter finished second, fourth and sixth overall for Belton, and helped shave their team’s point total to 38, 45 points lower than Midway.
“Every single one of my runners (got personal records) today, so we’re really excited about this,” said Belton girls cross country coach Holly Lamberte. “This was a stepping stone to where we wanted to get at regionals.”
Senior Macy Banfield and sophomore Sydney Siegfried rounded out the scoring field for Belton, whose runners averaged a time of 19:07.
With 96 points, Temple yielded three points to Harker Heights, whose runners averaged 20:05.
With times of 19:21 and 19:27, respectively, junior E’Talia Graves and sophomore Charlotte Fleming led the Lady Knights, and finished eighth and 10th overall.
“They did a fantastic job,” said Heights girls cross country coach Michelle Womack. “I’m proud of them. I told them to leave it all on the line today and they did.”
Freshman Gracie Grimm, senior Emma Pannell and senior Kaylee Kellam finished 22nd, 23rd and 30th overall with respective times of 20:20, 20:23 and 20:53.
Killeen finished fifth with a total time of 1:41:18; Copperas Cove came in sixth with a time of 1:45:50; Ellison was seventh with a time of 1:46:01 and Shoemaker finished eighth with a time of 1:51:58.