The Coppell High School Cross Country Team ran strong in a fast field at the 2023 Southlake Cross Country Invitational at Bob Jones Park. A higher level of challenge was expected from the start. “We knew this week the competition was going to be much tougher than last week. I was hoping that the tougher competition would push us to run faster. I feel like that's exactly what happened” Head Coach Landon Wren remarked.
Elite Varsity Boys were paced to a sixth-place finish by Henry Henze (27th overall, 15:17) and Samarth Dubey (15:22). Close behind were Rohit Kalpathy (15:53), Pranav Vegiraju (15:59) and Grant O’Neal (16:00).
Junior Mallory Sherrer finished 28th with a personal record time of 18:29. Maya Easterwood (20:00, PR), Rachel Arrington (20:17, PR), Lucy Martinson (20:39, PR) and Ava Beatty (21:02) rounded out an encouraging race for the Elite Varsity Girls.
Kalpathy and Sherrer’s performances were singled out by Coach Wren, who said “I was especially excited about how Rohit Kalpathy bounced back with an awesome run today. Mallory Sherrer crushed her PR. Her hard work is paying off.”
Jase Wilson (16:54) led Varsity Boys to a sixth place finish with Aiden George (17:01), James Tan (17:02), Dillon Khera (17:03) and Krish Sirpal (17:30) following in a tight pack.
Sophomore Bess Williams ran well finishing with a 21:13 to guide the Varsity Girls to ninth place. Amala Rao (21:18), Jeana Scheurich (21:36), Hanna Noyola (21:43) and Avery Fishman (22:32) also scored.
Bright performances from Bartosz Wendland and Ashlyn Wilbanks in the two-mile JV events also drew praise from Coach Wren, “Bartosz Wendland really stood out during the JV Boys' race. Ashlyn Wilbanks ran well in the JV Girls' race after having to sit out last week because of an injury.”
Freshman Wendland (10:04) capped a sixth place finish by JV Boys with Rodrigo Abrego (10:15), Marco Noyola (10:23), Edmar Perez (10:50) and Samuel Daly (11:15) closing out the group.
Joining Wilbanks (12:21) at the finish for JV Girls were Pragna Vykuntam (13:23), Daniela Mazzini (14:19), Navya Avvaru (14:32) and Sofia Rincon (15:48).
Coach Wren emphasized both continuous improvement and consistency at this early stage of the season. “Many of our runners PR'd on the course today. Some of our kids that were a little disappointed in how they ran last week, ran much better today. I loved to see them bounce back and have a good day. As a young team, we continue to learn lessons in every meet in which we compete. Hopefully, we can take those lessons learned and apply them to meets during the championship part of the season”.
“I'm encouraging the kids to continue to focus on each individual workout and to continue to stack good workouts on top of one another. If we continue to do that, I'm confident that we'll be right where we need to be at the end of the season”, he said in closing.
The team will be competing next at the Steve Telaneus Invitational in North Lake Park, Denton over Labor Day weekend.