The Coppell High School Cross Country Varsity Boys team started its post-season emphatically as Henry Henze’s first place finish catapulted the team to back-to-back 6A district championships.
Coming into the meet, Coach Landon Wren put a premium on executing the team’s race plan perfectly. “I knew on the boys’ side it was going to be close between us and Flower Mound. I told the guys that we didn’t have to be extraordinary; we just needed to do what we are capable of doing and we would be okay. On the course, the boys needed to know exactly where Flower Mound was, and do everything they could to finish ahead of them”, Coach Wren said.
Henze ran unchallenged down the closing stretch of gravel-topped levee at the North Lakes Park cross country district championship course in Denton, TX to a winning time of 15:35. Team depth again proved decisive as three other Coppell runners – Samarth Dubey (5th, 15:58), Rohit Kalpathy (8th, 16:07) and Pranav Vegiraju (9th, 16:10) finished in the top ten. Ansh Singhal (16th, 16:35) brought the team home to a closing score of 39, 12 points ahead of second place Flower Mound High School.
“I am so proud of how the kids ran on Friday at the District Meet. Henry ran his best race of the year and I’m so happy for him being the District champ. Ansh Singhal stepped up big for us also. District Championships are a huge deal and are tough to win. Winning District again just shows the heart of this team considering we graduated so many from last year,” Wren said.
Coach Wren heaped praise on the Varsity Girl’s squad noting its improvement over last year’s showing, “As excited as I am for the boys, I’m just as excited for the girls. Finishing 4th in this district is no easy task. We finished 7th last year so I feel like we are headed in the right direction.”
In a day marked by bright individual performances, Maya Easterwood (4th, 18:34) and Mallory Sherrer (10th, 19:15) shone to lead the Varsity Girls team to a fourth-place finish.
Coach Wren highlighted these standout performances, saying “Maya Easterwood absolutely killed it. She attacked the course and ran her best race of the year. A fourth-place overall finish is absolutely incredible. She’s young, but she’s not scared to compete. After not making it to regionals the last two years, I was so happy for Mallory Sherrer getting into the top 10 and qualifying this year. She did what it took not to be denied.”
Annie Reeder (20:47, PR), quickly returning to form, stepped up in a big way, placing third for the Cowgirls followed closely by Rachel Arrington (21:01) and Lucy Martinson (21:36).
“I love the fact that all seven girls are returning for next season. The future looks bright for the girls”, Wren said, expressing high optimism for the future.
Junior Varsity Boys were also dominant, capturing first place with a winning score of 24, 10 ahead of second place finisher Flower Mound. Cole Stehly (17:02) was district JV Boy’s champion, partnering with Srivanth Rudrangi (17:10) and Jayden Benjamin (17:17) to lead Coppell to a 1-2-3 finish. Bartosz Wendland (6th, 17:22) and Dillon Khera (12th, 17:32) capped a successful meet for the Boy’s teams.
Junior Varsity Girls were powered to fourth place, a bare nine points behind Plano East, by Amala Rao (9th, 21:03). Rao was supported by top 25 times from seniors Ashlyn Wilbanks (19th, 22:03), Hanna Noyola (20th, 22:04) and Jeana Scheurich (23rd, 22:13). Avery Fishman (22:28) closed the scoring for the JV Cowgirls.
Up next for Coppell High School Cross Country is the 6A Region 1 Final on October 24, 2023 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock, Texas. Maya Easterwood and Mallory Scherrer are slated to run as individual competitors in the Varsity Girl’s event and will join the Varsity Boys team in taking the next step in the road to State.