Vanessa Tan – Guest Contributor
Sep 11 @ 9:00 am
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Freshman Maya Easterwood with a 4th place finish for Varsity Girls

The Coppell Cross Country team raced to dominant results at the Northwest Invitational in Justin Community Park on September 9, 2023.  Coach Landon Wren expressed satisfaction with the outcome saying “I feel like many of our kids ran well today.  Anytime you finish the day with 3 first place finishes and 1 second place finish as a team, it has been a good day.”

Boys Varsity captured first place with 37 points powered by top five finishes from Rohit Kalpathy (3rd, 16:05) and Grant O’Neal (5th, 16:25).   Dominic Piccolo (8th, 16:45) and Pranav Vegiraju (9th, 16:50) also had top 10 finishes with Srivanth Rudrangi (12th, 16:57) closing out the scoring.

Girls Varsity had a convincing second place showing with Mallory Sherrer (3rd, 19:13) and Maya Easterwood (4th, 19:39) among the top five runners.  Top twenty finishes were secured by Rachel Arrington (12th, 21:05), Lucy Martinson (16th, 21:35) and Lauren Bennett (17th, 21:39).

James Tan paced JV Boys to a 21 point first place win with a time of 17:26, followed closely by Bartosz Wendland (2nd, 17:30) and Tanish Neelapu (3rd, 17:30), who raced neck and neck down the stretch to secure a 1-2-3 finish for Coppell.  Kyle Mobley (5th, 18:03) and Rodrigo Abrego (10th, 18:21) capped a strong race for the squad.

Ashlyn Wilbanks finished with a team-leading 22:51 for JV Girls with Ishitha Mallidi (2nd, 22:55), Avery Fishman (3rd, 23:05), Akshaya Ashokanand (4th, 23:35) and Brianna Henderson (5th, 23:49) rounding out a successful morning for the team.

“I was pleased with how Mallory Sherrer, Maya Easterwood, Ashlyn Wilbanks, and Ishitha Mallidi ran on the girls' team.  On the boys' team, I felt like Rohit Kalpathy, James Tan, Bartosz Wendland, Tanish Neelapu, and Kyle Mobley ran well today”, Coach Wren noted.

At the same time, a view towards the post-season was on his mind.  “It was important for our kids to still compete hard against one another.  Every week, we are continuing to evaluate.  We are hoping to have a clearer picture of who our top runners will be entering district”, Coach Wren said. 

He closed with a challenge, “We talked a lot this week about not just waiting to turn it up on Saturday, but rather do the things during practice that will prepare us to run well on Saturday.  We have to continue to have a strong mindset going into every race regardless of the competition.  We are looking forward to running in a highly competitive meet next week at Lovejoy.”

The Coppell Cross Country team will next run at the Lovejoy XC Fall Festival at Myers Park in McKinney, TX on September 16, 2023.

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