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Cross country: Carroll the nation's best
During the fall, Southlake Carroll's cross country program cemented itself as the elite in the state as the Dragons and Lady Dragons won their respective state titles for a second consecutive season.
Last Saturday at the Nike Cross National Open at Portland's Meadows Horse Track in Oregon, Carroll did the same thing on a bigger scale, returning home from the Nike Cross National Meet as the "Top Program in the Nation" for the second straight year.
The Lady Dragons finished as runner-up in Portland, while the boys team placed eighth. The race featured 22 clubs and nearly 200 runners (45 individuals).
Competitors also had to cope with torrential rains, leading to a puddle-filled terrain.
"NXN was a great meet for our runners and a tremendous racing environment," said Justin Leonard, Carroll head coach. "The course conditions were extremely difficult but our kids persevered and once again brought home the award for Top Program in the Nation."
Success from the Metroplex didn't stop with Carroll, however, as Hebron's Robert Domanic took fifth overall on the boys side (17:22).
"I got off to a really good start and that was the key," Domanic said. "That was the main thing. Every here that has been here before told me that if you don't start well, it's going to be really tough to make up time. Especially given the conditions today."
Domanic was pleased with his performance and actually had a little extra motivation for the meet.
"It feels great to know all the hard work has paid off," he said. "I actually came in a little pissed off because last year I missed out on qualifying by one spot and felt I deserved to be here."
For Carroll, Shelby Chapin paced the Lady Dragons in 11th and 33rd overall (20:28), while Courtney Kriegshauser grabbed 21st for team and 54th overall (20:53). Elena Arriaza took 41st for team and 84th overall (21:27) and was followed by teammates Antigone Archer in 86th (21:30), Maddie Keen in 126th (22:10), Katie Burnham in 148th (22:47) and Taylor Ullmann in 149th (22:47).
Nate Sullivan's overall finish of 20th (17:42) gave him the title of All American and led the team to eighth. Finishing in the top 20 of the team competition, Connor Hendrickson placed 14th, 30th overall (17:53) with Joe Sansone on his heels with a team run of 15th and 31st overall (17:54). Rounding out the Dragons runners were Eli Canal in 138th (19:11), Trevor Gilley in 154th (19:25), Chase Wichman in 167th (19:42) and Alec Garner in 193rd (20:43).