Tyler Legacy’s Nick Knight and Jacksonville’s Taylor Gutierrez took the top spots in the Tyler Legacy Cross Country Invitational Saturday morning at UT Tyler.
Facing district nemesis River Hill of Rockwall, Knight sprinted through the finish line in a time of 15 minutes and 36.32 seconds, just ahead of Hill, who posted a time of 15:44.46.
“Honestly, I went into it a little nervous because I heard River was going to be here, and me and him have been rivals for a while now,” Knight said. “My plan was just to stay with him and try to drop him after the first mile and a half or so because he outkicked me the last time we were here. But he stayed with me the whole time. The only thing after that was kick it at the end. And it worked, so I was happy about that.”
Knight and Hill will square off once again at the District 10-6A Meet on Oct. 27 at the Jesse Owens Athletic Complex in Dallas.
“It gives me a feeling kind of what it’s going to be like at district, so now I know what to expect from him” Knight said. “He’s kind of my biggest rival, so if I can get him, I’ll be good I think.”
Rounding out the top 10 were Adan Hernandez, Lufkin; Henry Hasz, Tyler Home Education; Christian Vargas, Lufkin; Daniel Robles, Mount Pleasant; Trenton Porte, Eustace; Chala Dandena, Rockwall-Heath; Brandon Jaime, Lufkin; and Kevin Nava, Jacksonville.
Legacy’s Iain Salter placed 23rd. Other Legacy finishers were Brady Filla, 34th; Iesu Agapito, 43rd; and Luke Pearson, 53rd.
Running for Tyler High were John Vega, 60th; Jose Victoriano, 68th; and Alfreda Meza, 70th.
Lufkin was the top finishing team in the boys’ race, followed by Mount Pleasant and Rockwall. Legacy placed sixth.
In the girls’ race, Gutierrez finished in first in a time of 18:53.64.
“I was trying to hit a 6-minute even pace kind of per mile,” Gutierrez said. “I kind of reached the limit, and the third mile, I slowed down.
“We’re trying to get to regionals and hopefully make it to state as a team this year. I’ve made it individually before, but I’m working with the team, with a new program and with our coach to get there as a team.”
Lindy Stevens of Tyler Home Education placed second with a time of 19:30.51.
Gertrude Lamb was the top finisher for Legacy with a time of 20:10.47, placing fifth.
Other top 10 finishers were Emily Martinez, Jacksonville; Madisen Kulsa, Eustace; Paula Bautista, Lufkin; Emma Santoro, Rockwall; Paige Row, Eustace; and Reyna Munoz, Jacksonville.
Other runners for Legacy were Hewan Knight, 11th; Sarah Hamlin, 12th; Faith Rivera, 33rd; Angel Turcios, 43rd; and Karen Molina, 54th.
Tyler High runners were Emma Arteaga, 36th; Mikayli Mata, 53rd; and Mikalah Brown, 56th.
Jacksonville was the top finishing team, followed by Rockwall-Heath and Rockwall. Legacy placed fifth.
Team results: 1. Lufkin 44; 2. Mount Pleasant 89; 3. Rockwall 100; 4. Rockwall-Heath 100; 5. Eustace 104; 6. Tyler Legacy 137; 7. Jacksonville 159; 8. New Summerfield 176.
1. Nick Knight, Tyler Legacy, 15:36.32
2. River Hill, Rockwall, 15:44.46
3. Adan Hernandez, Lufkin, 15:52.03
4. Henry Hasz, Tyler Home Education, 16:27
5. Christian Vargas, Lufkin, 16:28.42
6. Daniel Robles, Mount Pleasant, 16:32.69
7. Trenton Porte, Eustace, 16:33.82
8. Chala Dandena, Rockwall-Heath, 16:34.40
9. Brandon Jaime, Lufkin, 16:36.38
10. Kevin Nava, Jacksonville,
Team results: 1. Jacksonville 37; 2. Rockwall-Heath 77; 3. Rockwall 78; 4. Lufkin 80; 5. Tyler Legacy 83; 6. Mount Pleasant 167.
1. Taylor Gutierrez, Jacksonville, 18:53.64
2. Lindy Stevens, Tyler Home Education, 19:30.51
3. Jordyn Brown, Rockwall-Heath, 19:46.24
4. Emily Martinez, Jacksonville, 20:05.97
5. Gertrude Lamb, Tyler Legacy, 20:10.47
6. Madisen Kulsa, Eustace, 20:18.06
7. Paula Bautista, Lufkin, 20:18.27
8. Emma Santoro, Rockwall, 20:20.61
9. Paige Row, Eustace, 20:27.70
10. Reyna Munoz, Jacksonville, 20:34.81