She did it again.

After cruising to an individual championship in last week’s season-opening Temple Invitational, Salado junior Jaci McGregor repeated the feat, winning the Belton Invitational by almost nine seconds.

With a time of 12 minutes, 11.4 seconds, McGregor, a two-time state qualifier with a pair of top-10 finishes, collected her second gold medal of the young season and guided the Lady Eagles to a second-place showing as a team.

En route to 54 points, all five members placed in the top 20. Anna Lesley, a sophomore, was sixth, crossing the finish line of the two-mile course at Wildflower Country Club in 13:27.6, while teammates Samantha Vargas (12th, 13:51.4), Avery Fossum (18th, 14:17.5) and Taylor Rich (20th, 14:23.4) rounded out the scoring.

Liberty Hill won the team title with 54 points, while Lampasas (112) finished a distant third.

Abby Valdez, a sophomore, guided the Lady Badgers, placing 10th with a time of 13:46.7.

In the Class 1A-4A boys division, Salado junior Logan Rickey followed up his championship outing at the Temple Invitational with a second-place performance Friday. His time across the three-mile course was 16:58.1, helping the Eagles (59) emerge with silver medals.

Along with Rickey, teammates Grant Sellers (6th, 18:00.4), Isaac Huerta (13th, 18:46.9) and Trey Graham (20th, 19:21.3) each placed in the top 20 while Owen Pitcock (27th, 20:04.8) completed the team’s scoring.

Liberty Hill swept the team titles as the Panthers won with 29 points.

The Badgers (192) finished sixth as junior Hinson Cody (21st, 19:22.0) and sophomore Tate Rainwater (22nd, 19:31.1) led the way.


Competing in its home meet, Belton defended its turf by winning the Class 5A-6A boys division, and it was not close.

With all five of their harriers placing in the top 21, the Tigers tallied just 61 points — 57 fewer than second-place Georgetown.

Zachary Dennison, a sophomore, delivered the team’s best time, completing the three-mile course in 16:42.7, while teammates Brysin Minosky (6th, 17:08.1), Eli Cable (13th, 17:23.5), Zachary White (17th, 17:32.6) and Clayton Oaks (21st, 17:38.1) rounded out Belton’s scoring.

No other area team placed in the top 10 with Shoemaker (262) finishing 11th followed by Harker Heights (12th, 263), Copperas Cove (15th, 386) and Killeen (16th, 398).

There were some impressive outings, though.

Knights senior Luke Lawhorn was fifth overall with a time of 16:49.8, while Quinton Johnson (27th) paced the Grey Wolves with a time of 17:46.6, and Killeen junior Gian Mikel Pulido (34th, 18:01.5) and Copperas Cove junior Evan Thomas (43rd, 18:17.0) led their respective teams.

In the girls division, Harker Heights freshman Kailynn Denney produced the area’s top showing with a fifth-place finish, recording a time of 19:53.9.

As a team, the Lady Knights placed seventh with 206 points. Georgetown (44) won the championship with Georgetown East View (72) and Leander Rouse (85) completing the top three.

Belton placed fourth with 92 points as two runners — Sydney Phelps (8th, 20:28.9) and Jordan Jones (9th, 20:47.7) — were in the top 10.

Killeen junior Abigail Brown finished 11th with a time of 20:58.3, helping the Lady Kangaroos (289) to a 12th-place showing.

The Lady Bulldawgs were also in attendance, but they could not produce a team score, missing their top performer in senior Madisen Honea, who placed third overall at the Temple Invitational. Breonna McCarthy-Reese (50th, 23:04.0) posted Copperas Cove’s best time.

Contact Clay Whittington at

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