For the second time in four years, Killeen senior Alonso Rivera leads the Roos boys cross country team to a regional meet. The bus leaving Killeen High School, though, will be not be as roomy as in years past and it's going in a different direction, yet again.
Rivera placed second at the District 8-4A meet a week ago to the lead the Roos to their fourth-straight district team title. The Lady Roos, paced by front-running freshman Brittany Mitchell, also won a district team title for the first time in recent memory.
"We're so happy because nobody remembers the last time we made district champion so it's just cool how we're stepping out," Mitchell said of the Lady Roos' success. "We're looking pretty hopeful (for regionals). I think we're going to do great. We've trained a lot and we've worked hard. We're going to give all that we've got during this race."
Buses from all over the area will be travelling to the four corners this weekend to regional cross country meets in Arlington, Humble, Lubbock and San Antonio.
Both Killeen teams will compete at the Region I-4A meet on Saturday at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock - the third different regional meet location for Killeen runners in the last four years.
"We get to see where we stand in 4A as a team," senior Stephen Cumbee said of the competing in the various regions. "... Our region is pretty stacked. Everybody in the top-10 came in under 16 (minutes), so we're looking to make it. Alonso has a pretty good shot and Matt (Rodell) has a pretty good shot, we're just hoping to push them up as a team and go to state."
For the last two years, Killeen ran its Region IV meet in San Antonio while the Roos were a part of District 25-4A. As recently as 2007, when Rivera won the individual District 16-4A title as a freshman, the Roos' Region II meet was in Arlington.
Seniors Rodell and Cumbee placed fourth and 11th, respectively, and junior Jalen Wade placed eighth, helping the Roos win their fifth district title in six years.
"We feel like we're a dynasty now," said Cumbee. "We feel like we've set the standard pretty high for anybody to come in, a freshman class to come in and dominate like we did."
On the girls team, junior Kayven Sambula placed second behind Mitchell at the district meet and freshman Decara Waters placed fifth. The Lady Roos had five top-15 finishers.
Region II-5A meet, at Vandergriff Park, Arlington
The Harker Heights and Ellison boys teams qualified for the Region II-5A meet at Vandergriff Park in Arlington with their first- and third-place team finishes, respectively, at the District 12-5A meet.
The Knights had three runners finish in the top-15, led by Mike Odeh's third-place overall finish, and the Eagles had three finish in the top-10, led by second-place Silvester Harrison. Copperas Cove's Derwin Graham won the individial 12-5A title and will be joined by teammate Cameron Woodbury. Alicia Pitrucha was the Lady Dawgs' only qualifier after her ninth-place individual finish.
The Belton Lady Tigers, led by five top-18 runners, finished third overall behind Katelin Huckabee's third-place individual finish and also qualified for the regional meet. Harker Heights' Kassandra Booker placed sixth individualy to also qualify.
Region III-3A meet, at Atascocita High School, Humble
The Gatesville boys team won the District 19-3A title with three top-5 finishers and compete in the Region III-3A meet at Atascocita High School in Humble. The Hornets were led by Jordan Klossner's second-place finish and Ricardo Romero's third-place finish. The Lady Hornets send three to the regional meet led by Alyssa Gonzalez's runner-up finish at the district meet.
Region IV-3A meet, at Brooks City Base golf course, San Antonio
Going to the Region IV-3A meet at Brooks City Base golf course in San Antonio with the be Salado's boys and girls teams as well as the Lampasas Lady Badgers.
The Salado boys team, led by Patrick Murray's fourth-place finish, had four top-10 finishers and placed second overall at the District 25-3A meet and the Salado girls' team, finished third behind Lampasas, was led by Ashley Adams' sixth-place finish. Michaela Ellison led the Lady Badgers with her third-place individual finish.
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.