By BRAD KEITH
(October 19, 2015) — Stephenville is again sending two teams – 14 individuals – to the Region I-4A Cross Country Championships in Lubbock.
“It was a great day to be a Jacket and a Bee,” said Stephenville head coach Kristi Mayes, whose varsity boys and girls were first and second, respectively, while her junior varsity teams swept girls and boys titles. “In all four races (including JV) I had expectations of the kids, and I can honestly say in all four of them they exceeded those expectations, so I’m very proud of them and all the hard work they put in to accomplish this level of success.”
The Stephenville boys captured their second straight 6-4A district championship in dominant fashion with four runners in the top 10 and all seven in the top 20. The first five Yellow Jackets across the finish line tallied 29 points, almost half as many as second-place Graham with 56. Mineral Wells also qualified for regionals with 65 points.
Stephenville senior Riley Forehand is the boys district champion, covering the three-mile course in 18 minutes, 4.8 seconds for his first career win at just the right time. Almost 18 seconds back in second place was Stephenville sophomore Gilberto Garcia, who reached the finish line in 18:22.4.
“It’s the first race Riley has won and he’s a senior who’s been on our varsity team all four years, so that was really special to see him coming to the line and winning,” said Mayes. “The first mile to a mile and a half of the boys race was tight. Riley and Gilberto were up there with two Mineral Wells kids and two Graham kids, but our boys separated from the pack, then over the last 800 (meters) or so, Riley really found another gear. I think you could see that he really wanted that first win.”
Graham got on the board in third and sixth place, but Stephenville clinched the championship with senior Pedro Manrriquez and freshman Christian Brown finishing seventh and eight, followed moments later by Jose Hernandez in 11th. Manrriquez finished in 18:50.4, Brown in 18:58.4 and Hernandez in 19:04.1.
Displacing other runners for Stephenville were Evan Moody, a senior who finished 15th in 19:13.4, and sophomore Miguel Carrillo, who was 18th in 19:45.4.
The Honeybees were unable to make it a sweep, but they did finish second to claim a spot at the Region I-4A event next Monday at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock.
Brownwood had seven of the top 11 finishers and won the meet with 28 points. Stephenville scored 59 with two of the top seven and five of the top 20.
Freshman Emily Kirbo medaled in fourth place, completing the two-mile course in 12:52.5. She was followed in seventh by Peyton Wood, a senior, in 13:15.5. Shelby Wood, Peyton’s twin sister, placed 12th in 13:35.8, freshman Anahi Rivas finished 17th in 14:00.4 and freshman Odalys Salazer completed the Honeybee scoring in 19th in 14:20.0.
“Kate (Daugherty) was sick, so we put Anahi on the varsity again and she ends up being our number four,” Mayes said. “Another freshman stepping up, these kids never cease to amaze me.”
Displacing runners for the Bees were sophomore Kayliana Castillo, who was 22nd in 14:31.0, and freshman Allissa Adams, 26th in 14:39.3.
“I can’t wait to get to Lubbock and see what the kids can do against that level of competition,” Mayes said. “Our goal is for our teams to finish in the top 10 and try to get someone to state.”
Both Stephenville junior varsity teams won district titles. Julie Morken, a junior, won the JV individual title in 14:23.7 to lead the girls to 22 total points. Brownwood was second with 34. Junior Leo Delpon and senior Kendall Williams were the top finishers in the JV boys race. The JV Jackets scored 25 points, holding off the 32 posted by second-place Brownwood.
Here’s a look at all Stephenville results from Monday’s 6-4A district meet:
1. Riley Forehand, Sr. 18:04.8
2. Gilberto Garcia, So. 18:22.4
7. Pedro Manrriquez, Sr. 18:50.4
8. Christian Brown, Fr. 18:58.4
11. Jose Hernandez 19:04.1
15. Evan Moody, Sr. 19:13.4
18. Miguel Carrillo, So. 19:45.4
4. Emily Kirbo, Fr. 12:52.5
7. Peyton Wood, Sr. 13:15.5
12. Shelby Wood, Sr. 13:35.8
17. Anahi Rivas, Fr. 14:00.4
19. Odalys Salazer, Fr. 14:20.0
22. Kayliana Castillo, So. 14:31.0
26. Allissa Adams, Fr. 14:39.3
1. Leo Delpon, Jr. 19:54.5
2. Kendall Williams, Sr. 20:04.0
4. Gustavo Vazquez, So. 20:28.5
7. Brett Deviney, Fr. 20:49.0
14. Herman Vazquez, So. 21:42.1
16. Dawson Gray, Sr. 21:49.6
24. Conner McKinzi, Sr. 24:21.5
1. Julie Morken, Jr. 14:23.7
3. Hailey Sieperda, Jr. 14:41.2
4. Kate Daugherty, Jr. 14:47.9
7. Baylie Deviney, Jr. 15:38.5
11. Hanna Powell, Fr. 16:09.3
15 Lene Johannesen, 16:32.2
20. Morgan Diciccio, So. 17:18.6
24. Marisah Johnson, 18:31.9
Photos courtesy KRISTI MAYES