Gatesville moved one step closer to state Monday, producing a pair of second-place finishes at the District 18-4A cross country meet.
Competing on Waco Connally’s home course, the Hornets narrowly missed out on sweeping the team championships, accumulating just eight fewer points than first-place China Spring (46) in the boys division and placing 13 points behind champion Lorena (34) in the girls division.
With the silver-medal showings, both Gatesville teams advanced to the Region III-4A meet Oct. 22 at Huntsville, where the top four teams and top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team move on to the state meet.
At district, the Hornets finished with three runners in the top 10 of each race, including Katrina Thoms and Tasha Thoms, who were second and third, respectively. Katrina Thoms, a junior, posted a time of 12 minutes, 43.8 seconds, while freshman Tasha Thoms completed the 3,200-meter course in 12:52.8.
Last season, Katrina Thoms won the district championship en route to placing 24th in her second state appearance.
Waco La Vega freshman Chloe McLellan (12:32.2) won the individual title.
Kiana Taff (10th, 14:00.4) was the next Hornet to cross the finish line, with sophomores Ainsley Warren (17th , 15:18.8) and Sydney Gilbreath (20th, 15:29.6) rounding out the team’s scoring.
Molly Hogan (22nd, 15:34.8) and Caitlyn Chacon (27th, 16:01.1) also competed for Gatesville, but their scores did not count toward the team total.
Third-place China Spring also advanced to the regional meet.
In the boys division, Hornets freshman Luis Macias placed third individually in his district debut, navigating the 5,000-meter course in 18:25.5.
Miles Barnes, a junior, and senior Riley McClure complemented Macias’ performance with top-10 showings. Barnes finished fifth with a time of 19:00.6, while McClure was seventh with a time of 19:15.3.
Mason Edwards (17th, 19:59.1) and Jorge Gamez (22nd, 20:35.7) completed Gatesville’s scoring. Ramon Medina (25th, 20:45.3) and Samuel Belt (30th, 21:04.6) also competed for the Hornets.
Lorena finished third with 68 points to secure the final regional berth.
This is the second consecutive season Gatesville is sending both teams to regionals. Last year, the Hornets placed 10th in the boys division and 12th in the girls division at regionals.