Shoemaker senior Jeremias Serrano Velez took the first step toward state Thursday morning by winning the District 12-6A championship at Waco’s Heart of Texas Soccer Complex.
With a time of 15 minutes, 38.4 seconds, he easy claimed the individual title, beating Temple’s Jesse Chuey Hernandez (15:54.9) by 16 seconds.
Despite the performance, it was not enough to send the Grey Wolves to the upcoming Region II-6A meet.
Belton scored a field-low 52 points to win the team championship, while Ellison (67) and Temple (75) captured the district’s final two regional berths.
Led by junior Eli Cable (3rd, 15:55.9), the Tigers placed three runners in the top 10, including Brysin Minosky (7th, 16:10.0) and Zachary Dennison (9th, 16:23.0), while all five of the Eagles completed the 4,850-meter course in the top 20.
Ikel Hernandez produced Ellison’s top showing, placing fourth with a time of 15:58.4, while teammates Jeremiah Tomlin (10th, 16:27.2), Michael A. Kelly (15th, 16:53.4), Javontae Padilla (18th, 17:03.6) and Cedric Johnson (20th, 17:07.8) followed.
Outside of the top three teams, Waco sophomore Jonathan Carl (6th, 16:08.9) and Harker Heights junior Luke Lawhorn (8th, 16:13.0) joined Serrano Velez in qualifying for regionals by placing in the top 10.
The Knights placed fourth overall with 101 points, while Shoemaker (152), Waco Midway (153), Waco (157), Killeen (192) and Copperas Cove (252) rounded out the final standings.
In the girls division, Copperas Cove junior Madisen Honea, Ellison senior Alejandra Collier and Harker Heights junior Grace Wallace all qualified for the regional meet.
Honea was second individually, crossing the finish line in 18:42.3, while Collier was eighth with a time of 19:47.8, and Wallace posted a time of 19:56.3 to place ninth.
Anna Garner, of Waco, won the championship with a time of 18:25.7.
Belton won the team title thanks to all five runners placing in the top 12. Jordan Jones (3rd, 19:00.7) led the way for the Lady Tigers with teammates Sela Anderson (4th, 19:22.8), Michaela Decker (10th, 19:57.6), Abigail Cargile (11th, 20:04.1) and Nadia Meyer (12th, 20:04.7) following.
Second-place Midway (52) finished a dozen points behind Belton, and Temple earned the final regional berth, placing third with 109 points behind freshman Nadia Mireles, who was 13th with a time of 20:06.5.
Harker Heights (113) placed fourth and missed out on a regional berth by four points, while Ellison (127), Copperas Cove (158), Waco (161), Shoemaker (185) and Killeen (255) completed the standings.
The regional meet will be held Oct. 22 with the top four teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team advancing to the state meet Nov. 3 at Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park.