Ready to run

Cross country teams prepared for UTA meet


Parker Nolan

Senior varsity runner Katherine Powell maintains her speed after clearing a hill at the Aug. 28 meet.

Joe Vastano, Staff Writer

With the Gerald Ritchey Invitational meet coming up at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the University of Texas-Arlington, cross country runners have been preparing every day after school. The Leopard boys and girls teams will be running against many different schools across the area, and a division for collegiate teams will compete as well.

“There will be about 30 teams in the meet, but the main focuses are Jesuit and Austin Westlake for the boys, and for the girls the main focuses are on Prosper, Forney and Frisco,” head coach Greg Christensen said.

The top boy runners are Noah Landguth, Grant Tiff, Cole Hinton, Will Wise, Ryan Brands, Hunter Joiner, Nate Hartter and Jacob Myers. The top girl runners are Carson Hockersmith, Ariaan Cnossen, Shaelyn Ballard, Katie Albers, Hallie Fischer, Libby Britton, and Carol Xia. Madison Sutter, also a top runner for the girls, is out with metatarsal sprain.

Varsity runner Collin Jones described the emotional process he goes through with a meet.

“When I go into a cross country meet I feel nice and loose from our team stretches,” Jones said. “I am a little nervous before the race when I’m standing on the line, but it’s good because it keeps me on my toes. Once the race starts, I am no longer nervous.”

Hinton said Lovejoy is predicted to do well in the meet, but they have to stay focused in order to achieve their goals on Saturday. Christensen agreed.

“The main focus going into the meet is to race to our level and have everybody stay healthy,” Christensen said.

Varsity runner Christian Sutter said the teams are looking forward to competing in their first meet since Aug. 28.

“I’m very excited because it’s cool to see where all of our hard work pays off,” Sutter said. “I think we are going to do great.”