Adiam Michael

For the first time, Cumberland Academy will be represented at the UIL Cross Country State Championships.

Freshman Adiam Michael placed 18th in the Class 4A Region II girls’ race in a time of 12 minutes, 51.23 seconds to earn the final bid to the state meet.

“I was surprised at first,” Michael said. “I didn’t expect to get the last spot in qualifying. I’m very excited, because I didn’t expect to go to state my freshman year.”

Michael’s goal for the season was straightforward.

“My goal was just to stay in cross country and not quit because it was too hard,” she said.

Michael stuck with it and has now made school history.

“We are extremely proud of her,” Cumberland Academy cross country coach William Ritter said. “It’s a huge accomplishment because there’s not many freshmen that qualify for state their first time. We knew she had the potential going in. She was right there in position and passed about 12 girls toward the end and qualified by less than a second.”

Michael, who came to the United States from Ethiopia eight years ago, went to Ethiopia this summer to train.

Michael will compete in the Class 4A race at noon Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

“I just want to go out there and run my best,” Michael said.

“I just want her to have fun and run her best time,” Ritter said.

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East Texas Girls Cross Country State Qualifiers

Class 5A

Hallsville’s Carolyn Hale; Jacksonville’s Taylor Gutierrez.

Class 4A

Canton’s Lexus Eudy; Kilgore’s Zoe Craven, Emma Taylor.

Class 3A

Hughes Springs’ Macall Strinckland; Mineola’s Shylah Kratzmeyer, Alyssa Lankford, Kapri Riley, Keilee Riley, Juliana Stanley, Emily Wiley, Hannah Zoch; Troup’s Marigold Hunter.

Class 2A

Cayuga’s Alexis Chambers, Claire Drinkard, Isabelle Mills, Emma Reynolds, Aerin Thompson, Andria Thompson; Douglass’ Madison Freeman; Garrison’s Jaiyah Hodge; Gary’s Carlee Linebarger; Union Grove’s Macey Alston; Martin’s Mill’s Mattie Burns; Woden’s Kaeli Bentley, Tessa Bentley, Emily Drewery, Morgan Hoya, Laura Taylor, Briley Watkins, Abigail Williams.

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