by Hale Hughes
The Woodville High School cross country teams traveled to Woden to compete in the district meet and Coach Ryan Kelly had his runners prepared. Both of the boys' and girls' teams raced hard and both teams earned second place to qualify for the regional cross-country meet to be held in Huntsville on Monday, October 26.
"This is really good for both teams," Kelly said. "To not have either team qualify for regionals last year and then for both to go this year, that's definitely a step in the right direction for our program. This is where we wanted to be, and I feel like we can build off of this for the future."
Kelly continued that he just hopes this success regenerates with his runners. Now they have seen and felt what it's like to qualify, he hopes success at the district level spills over to the regional level. Kelly expressed, "I am not putting any pressure on the runners as far as expectations in the form of finishes or times, I just want them to do at Huntsville what they did today, and that is to go out, have fun, and compete."
Kelly said, "The experience of the regional meet will do well for the future of the WHS cross country program, especially having both entire teams of runners participating rather than a few individuals." Kelly planned for this scenario early in the season. He deliberately scheduled a race at Huntsville and took the team to the course earlier this year and he feels like his teams will now have a leg up on some of the teams by having already raced on it.
Only the top three teams based on points of finishers in each district qualify for the regional meet and then the top ten individual finishers also qualify. Central Heights, Woodville and Corrigan will be the girls teams that compete in Huntsville and for the boys, it will be Central, Woodville and Central Heights.
The teams were awarded a UIL trophy plaque for their efforts to be displayed at the school in the trophy case as well as medals for each team runner. Top ten finishers were also awarded additional medals to recognize their top ten finishes.
Woodville had two runners from each of the varsity races for boys and girls who finished in the top ten. In the girls' race, Woodville junior Jordan Ogden finished in third place and freshman Ella Standley finished seventh.
Woodville senior Ben Worsley finished in fifth place overall with fellow senior Tyler Hollingsworth close behind in seventh in the boy's race.