Cross Country teams from all across Texas gathered in Old Settlers Park on Saturday, September 24, 2022 for the opportunity to race on the 5K State XC Championship course at the McNeil Invitational in Round Rock. The top 21 Coppell runners from both the girls’ and boys’ teams were among the competitors.
Coppell placed 1st overall in the Boys Gold division at the McNeil Invitational, a lineup of 48 teams. Senior Andrew Mullen was Coppell’s top runner – he finished 12th with a time of 14:52. Next in were Henry Henze (23rd, 15:02), Vedant Bhattacharyya (25th, 15:03), Samarth Dubey, Samuel Martinson, Kavin Chengavarayan, and Cameron Churchill-Dowd.
“The varsity boys were determined to make a statement on Saturday,” said Coach Landon Wren. “Five out of the top 10 6A teams as well as the #1 5A team were running in the Gold Division. We knew we were going to be running against many of the state's best runners on the course where the state meet is going to be held. I told them to make a statement with their performance, and I believe they did just that. To win that meet, is no easy task.”
In the Boys Silver division, CHS placed 8th overall. Freshman Rohit Kalpathy led the team; he finished 42nd with a time of 16:25. Dominic Piccolo (47th, 16:28), Asheer Jiwani (63rd, 16:38), Jase Wilson, James Martin Tan, Cole Stehly, and Krish Vinish finished strong for the team.
Coppell placed 6th overall in the 6A Girls division, a field of 65 teams. Senior Louisa Ehinger led Coppell with an 10th place finish at 19:12. Mallory Sherrer (15th, 19:36), Ava Beaty (73rd, 20:33), Saanvi Gaddam, Amala Rao, Rachel Arrington, and Annie Reeder rounded out the strong finish for Coppell.
Meanwhile, Coppell runners also competed in the Lewisville Invitational on the 5K course at Lake Park. Coppell placed 3rd overall in the Varsity Boys division. Freshman Ansh Singhal finished in 3rd place with a time of 17:58. Rohan Shanbhag (9th, 18:25), Dillon Khera (23rd, 19:02), Srivanth Rudrangi, and Bunker Harris were the top finishers for Coppell. In the JV Boys division, CHS placed 1st overall. Freshman Rodrigo Abrego finished 1st overall with a time of 19:32. Sarvesh Jagtap (2nd, 19:35), Hugh Harris (3rd, 19:41), Tahir Ali, and Kyle Mobley scored team points for Coppell.
Coppell also placed 3rd overall in the Varsity Girls division at the Lewisville Invitational. Senior Elizabeth Walker finished in 9th place with a time of 22:21. Mahek Khandelwal (11th, 22:26), Lucy Martinson (13th, 22:39), Bess Williams, and Alexa Turati scored team points for Coppell. In the JV Girls division, CHS placed 4th overall. Junior Ashlyn Wilbanks finished 2nd with a time of 24:20. Mehak Gandotra (10th, 24:57), Haneen Awad (14th, 25:22), Brianna Henderson, and Claire Hua scored for Coppell.
“I am super proud of the JV Boys for winning the championship,” noted Coach Wren. “It was a pretty dominating performance by those guys. In fact, all four groups finished high in the standings. Special shout out to Ashlyn Wilbanks who finished 2nd overall in the JV Girls Division. I loved her effort during the race. I am excited about where we are as a team right now with the championship season right around the corner.”
The entire team will be back together for the Jesuit XC Classic at Prestonwood Polo Club in Oak Point on Saturday, October 1. This is the final Invitational of the regular Cross Country season. Coppell will start the Championship season off at the District 6-6A Championship on October 15. Going forward Coppell will be lining up against some of the best teams in the State at the district level and the regional level. Go Cowboys!