It may not have been the exact result they wanted the weather could have had something to do with that but Copperas Cove's Derwin Graham and Ellison's Silvester Harrison accomplished what they needed to Saturday.
Each advanced to next weekend's state cross country meet.
Graham, Harrison and the rest of an ultra-competitive 5A-Region II battled cold temperatures at Arlington's Vandergriff Park. Graham finished ninth, running the course in 15 minutes 12.39 seconds, while Harrison finished 10th, posting a time of 15:14.15. "It was around 46 degrees that's what it said this morning on the forecast," said Graham, a two-time state qualifier. "It changes up the whole game plan. ... You can't really do anything when you're still frozen."
The top 10 individual finishers and top three teams qualify for the 5A state meet Saturday at Round Rock's Old Settlers Park.
Harrison, a junior who finished 19th at region last year, almost didn't make it, trailing Nathaniel Jones of Klein Oak entering the final 100 yards.
"It was nerve-racking going into the last bit, because I felt like I didn't have anything left, and I knew I was sitting right at the edge of making it or not making it," Harrison said. "... But I saw someone that didn't look strong for one last sprint and I just kind of picked them off."
Graham and Harrison finished first and second at the District 12-5A meet last week, with Graham winning his second title in as many years. The two also went one-two in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter races during the spring's 12-5A track meet.
Brian Gohlke (14:45.18) of The Woodlands College Park took the boys' individual title, finishing more than 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Justin Brinkley of Humble Kingwood.
Kingwood had three top-15 finishers and five in the top 20 to win the Region II team title. College Park's Katherine Jensen won the girls' title and was one of three top-10 finishers for the Lady Cavaliers, who took the team title.
Harker Heights, which won its first District 12-5A cross country meet Oct. 27, didn't advance a single runner despite seniors Kyle Thompson and Mike Odeh finishing 20th (15:44.90) and 33rd (16:07.71), respectively. As a team, the Knights led all 12-5A teams in eighth place with 232 points, two places ahead of Ellison (287 points).
Lady Roos' Mitchell headed to state
Killeen freshman Brittany Mitchell qualified for the state meet with her fifth-place finish Saturday at the Region I-4A cross country meet at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.
Mitchell finished the course in 11 minutes, 32.60 seconds and led the Lady Roos to a 15th-place team finish.
The Roos, led by senior Alonso Rivera, placed 14th.
Rivera was one of four Roos runners to place in the top 100 with his 23rd-place finish in 16:24.63. Junior Jalen Wade finished 64th (17:05.93) and seniors Matthew Rodell (17:15.18) and Stephen Cumbee (17:18.57) finished 71st and 76th, respectively.
Decara Waters, also a freshman, placed 65th for the Lady Roos in 13:01.86.
Hornets' Gonzalez qualifies for state
Gatesville's Alyssa Gonzalez ran a minute a faster than she did a week ago at the District 19-3A cross country meet, finishing sixth at the Region III-3A meet at Humble Atascocita High School to qualify for state.
Gonzalez, the 19-3A runner up, posted a time of 12:12.4, finishing behind a trio of runners from Huffman Hargrave and 19-3A champion Talea Turner.
On the boys' side, Gatesville finished 10th in the team competition, with junior Jordan Klossner (17:10.6) being the Hornets' top finisher at 20th overall. John Austin Moreno (17:32.9) finished 36th.
Salado boys take 8th, Lady Badgers 10th
Despite a pair of runners in the top 15, the Salado boys didn't advance anybody to state in their first season in 3A.
Eagles junior Jada Kornegay finished 13th with a time of 16:20.5, two seconds ahead of sophomore teammate Patrick Murray, who was 14th (16:22.2) at the Region IV-3A meet at Brooks City Base Golf Course in San Antonio.
On the girls side, Lampasas put three runners in the top 40 finishers, taking 10th as a team while Salado took 13th with only one finisher in the top 50.
Lady Eagles freshman Ashley Adams, who finished sixth at the District 12-5A meet last week, was 17th with a time of 12:30. Lady Badgers junior Hailey Morrison was the team's top finisher, posting a 12:44 to place 35th overall. Michaela Ellison, who took third at the 25-3A meet, placed 39th (12:46), while Tiffany Fagg was 44th (12:49.7).
Kevin Posival contributed to this report