HP Girls Place Seventh at State Meet

Led by a pair of freshmen, Highland Park finished seventh in the team standings at the 5A state meet in Round Rock. (Photo: Thao Nguyen)

By Zach Smith / Special Contributor

ROUND ROCK — Cross country is a team sport just as much as it is individual. Arguably no program in the state epitomizes that more than Highland Park.

The Lady Scots finished seventh overall in the team competition and had two runners finish in the top 15 on Saturday at the UIL Class 5A state meet at Old Settlers Park.

“The top three were up where they needed to be and everyone else was working to close that gap,” HP head coach Susan Bailey said. “We were pleased with how we raced. It’s all about the places and they raced well.”

Two freshmen led the way for Highland Park with Cameron Fawcett (18:27.23) and Sophia Oliai (18:27.28) finishing in 14th and 15th place, respectively.

Maddy Stephens finished 46th (19:18.91), Gracyn Applegate was 98th (20:08.17), Grace O’Keefe was 106th (20:18.82), Jordyn Kaplan came in 108th (20:21.74), and Annemarie Whalen finished 133rd (21:08.13).

Highland Park has a long tradition at the event. The school has won the team title a state-record 14 times and has sent at least one runner to the state meet every year since 1974.

“It’s important to the program,” Bailey said. “The expectation is to be here and no one wants to be that one team that doesn’t. We stay consistent in everything we do.”

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