Two runners place at state meet

Rachel Sloan

Two runners placed at the state cross country meet, Saturday, Nov. 12. Senior Daniel Belcik finished 15th in the boys’ three-mile race while senior Nicole Kastens was 17th in the girls’ two-mile race.

“We competed well,” head coach Kelly Thompson said. “For their first time they did really well, and especially from their district finishes they had solid standings.”

The state race was held at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock, a route the runners were familiar with after earlier races there this year.

“It’s a hard route because the whole [race] is uphill so it makes it really tough,” junior Andy Mask said. “But we ran the course a lot so we have an advantage at that.”

Belcik and Kastens advanced to state after strong finishes at the regional meet. At regionals in San Antonio, Nov. 4, Kastens finished 10th.

“I felt strong,” Kastens said. “It was a great way to extend my last year of cross country.”

Belcik also finished in the top 10, taking fourth place.

“I wasn’t too happy about getting fourth at regionals, but it showed me how hard the competition is out there,” Belcik said.

Thompson thought regionals was “tough” on his two runners.

“They haven’t seen big races this year and the pace went out fast,” Thompson said. “Luckily, they are talented enough runners to hold on and cover their mistakes.”

At district, Belcik won the District 25-4A cross country championship, Friday, Oct. 28 at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock. Belcik placed first with a time of 15:45 beating former teammate, Adam Waldum of Vista Ridge, by seven seconds.

“I felt really good [about my time],” said Belcik who transferred from Vista Ridge this year.

Thompson was pleased to have his first district champion in cross country.

“Daniel winning district is awesome for him,” Thompson said. “He set his mind to winning last year and he was able to stay focused throughout the winter, spring and summer.”

Also finishing in the top 25 at district were Kieren Allowitz who took 23rd and Trey Douthitt who was 24th.

“I did a lot better than I thought,” Douthitt said. “We made a lot of improvements from last year.”

In the girls’ varsity race, senior Nicole Kastens took second with a time of 11:54. Her time was five seconds behind Cedar Park’s Brittany Innis.

“The whole race we were right by each other,” Kastens said. “We battled it out at the end, and she just kind of busted it out.”

Three other runners finished in the top 20: freshman Karigan Allowitz placed 15th, sophomore Helena Castle took 17th and Adriana Reyes was 18th.

“Overall, [we did] really good, we worked pretty hard,” Allowitz said. “We had good teamwork; we were very supportive and helpful to each other.”

The girls finished fourth, with the same amount of points as Dripping Springs who ended up third.

“The varsity girls had a good day,” Thompson said. “To lose on a tie is tough. We should have been better prepared and not let it come down to a tie. We were beat by better prepared teams.”

In the junior varsity races, Gabriel Lopez was the top finisher for the boys taking 19th, and Mariah Gallegos led the girls, taking fifth with a time of 13:27.

“I was really happy, I worked hard,” Gallegos said. “It was windy and cold, but I worked hard and pushed myself through it. I hope to do better next year.”

In the freshman races, Logan Zipkes was second for the boys and Elise Coleman won the girls’ freshman race.

“It felt like I was running on air,” Coleman said. “It was magical. I didn’t think I would win. My motivation was to get a medal. It felt good. I had great support from my peers.”

District cross country results
Old Settler’s Park, Round Rock, Oct. 28

Freshman Girls
1st – Elise Coleman, 13:22
3rd – Kenna Dekle, 14:45
4th – Savy Escobar, 14:48

Freshman Boys
2nd – Logan Zipkes, 18:27
8th – Michael Belcik, 19:42
10th – Connor Brooks, 20:18
15th – Carlos Ramirez, 21:09

Junior Varsity Girls
5th – Mariah Gallegos, 13:27
14th – Jessica Forster, 14:02
22nd – Justine Franklin, 14:30
33rd – Becca Alvara, 15:20
40th – Stephanie Juranek, 15:55

Junior Varsity Boys
19th – Gabriel Lopez, 19:18
23rd – Tucker Hytrek, 19:43
26th – Aaron Rodriguez, 19:57

Varsity Girls
Team Overall – 4th
2nd – Nicole Kastens, 11:45
15th – Karigan Allowitz, 12:29
17th – Helena Castle, 12:32
18th – Adriana Reyes, 12:33
27th – Stephany Rubalcalba 13:04
32nd – Marissa Naab, 13:13
36th – Annie Wingard, 13:32

Varsity Boys
Team Overall – 5th
1st – Daniel Belcik, 15:45
23rd – Kieren Allowitz, 17:38
24th – Trey Douthitt, 17:39
27th – Jake Tipps, 17:52
29th – Andy Mask, 17:54
39th – Casey McMahan, 18:39
40th – Zach Stevens, 18:42