By Kelly Morris / Special Contributor
WACO — Ursuline braved a sloppy mess of a course on Saturday, reclaiming the TAPPS state cross country championship for the third time in four years.
Kate Patrick and Caroline Miller led the way, placing seventh and eighth overall. The Bears scored 55 points, comfortably ahead of second-place Houston St. Agnes (83 points), third-place San Antonio Antonian (84 points), and fourth-place Houston AWTY (85 points).
“The conditions were brutally tough, with the four races before ours churning the already muddy course into a quagmire,” said Ursuline coach Jonathan Moody. “Times were 3-4 minutes slower than typical for a 3,200-meter course, but our team stuck with the game plan — stick together as best as possible, and work as small groups in passing our competitors.”
Having four runners finish in rapid succession behind Patrick and Miller proved pivotal. It was Ursuline’s 13th state title in school history. Maddie Fynes (14th), Anna Miller (15th), and Eugenia Scala (16th) rounded out Ursuline’s top five. Elise Welch placed 18th, and Ann Gehan placed 26th.
The future looks especially bright for the Running Bears, as 22 of their top 25 runners return next season.
“We are especially excited to have all seven state runners back next year,” Moody said. “We are already beginning to work on winning another title next season.”