Randall’s McConnell wins state; Sandies standout McGill earns silver on opening day

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Randall’s Cameron McConnell races through the final 400 meters of the UIL Class state cross country meet Friday in Round Rock. McConnell took gold in the 5A girls race with a time of 17:15 on the 5000 meter course. [Travis Harsch/ For Press Pass Sports]

Note: Texas Panhandle teams and individuals are competing at the University Scholastic League cross country championship at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Friday and Saturday. Please visit this link below for Friday’s results from Class 5A, 3A, and 1A.

https://mychiptime.com/searchevent.php?id=13857

Randall’s Cameron McConnell capped off an unbelievable season with an unforgettable performance at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock on Friday.

McConnell led the 5K run from start to end, holding off Allie Love of Colleyville Heritage by six seconds to claim the UIL Class 5A individual state championship.

The senior finished her first mile in 5:17, making the 2-mile turn at 11:07, before finishing with a great time of 17:15.4.

“She went in lnto this race confident,” Randall cross country coach Rebekah James said. “Cameron has a fighting spirit, and gets stronger the tougher things get. She had the same lead on everyone throughout the race. The Heritage girl tried to catch up, but Cameron held her off. This just shows what a great runner Cameron is, and how great she’s been all season.”

McConnell, an Oklahoma State commit, is the first Randall runner to win an individual state championship since Karlee Kleiber did it in 2010.

McConnell finished this fantastic cross country season off never losing a meet, winning all eight regular season meets before claiming the District 3-5A, Region I-5A, and the Class 5A title.

“Winning an individual title today has honestly been a dream come true,” McConnell said. “Coming in second the last two years definitely gave me a lot of motivation for this year. I just trusted my training today and gave it all I got to try and get the win. I went into it knowing I had a chance if I just remained tough the entire race. This is for sure an amazing ending to a great season. I have some post season races I’m also excited for. This was my goal since the start and I’m extremely happy with how the entire season went.”

The Randall girls team placed sixth overall. Lucas Lovejoy was the Class 5A state team champions. Amarillo High came in 12th.

Amarillo High’s Isaac McGill, center, leads the pack at the start of the UIL Class 5A boys state cross country meet Friday in Round Rock. [Travis Harsch/ For Press Pass Sports]

On the boys side, Amarillo High’s Isaac McGill brought it down the home stretch earning a sliver medal behind Class 5A individual state champ, Walker St. John of Grapevine by four seconds. St. John, now a two-time state champ, ran a 15:06.6 to McGill’s 15:10, in a very competitive state meet.

“It was kind of muddy out on course,” McGill said. “It sure wasn’t a very fast day. I closed in on St. John from what I did last year, and I ran with him. He’s one of the top 20 runners in the nation. But the best part was being with my team. That was fun. It hurt to get second, and I was so close to winning. But a little time it felt like it paid off, and I’m proud of how I ran.”

McGill had finished ninth at last years state meet, and will now turn his attention to what should be a huge track season. As a team, the Sandies finished 10th.

Grapevine, led by St. John, won the state team title.

River Road’s Crawford Kiser, left, sprints toward the finish line against Tornillo’s Angel Torres during the UIL Class 3A Cross Country meet in Round Rock. [Ernie Bowen/ For Press Pass Sports]

Class 3A

Making his third appearance at the UIL Class state meet, River Road’s Crawford Kiser found himself on the medal stand.

In an exciting finish, Kiser brought home a bronze medal clocking a 16:00.3, falling just short of a gold by three seconds of individual champion, Wyatt Hoover of Poth (15:57.4).

Kiser, who placed seventh as a junior last season, earns his first career medal at the state meet.

The River Road boys team finished 13th overall in the school’s first ever appearance. Whitesboro was the Class 3A team state champions.

In girls action, Friona’s Yvonne Legarett and Canadian’s Konnar McClendon both placed in the top 10 individually.

Legarett, a sophomore, placed sixth overall pacing an 11:58, while McClendon, a freshman, followed in seventh running a 11:58.2.

The Canadian girls team impressed making their first appearance at the Class 3A state meet finishing sixth.

Holliday was the team state champion led by individual winner Hannah Spears (11:34.9).

Class 1A

Texline’s Stratton Potter highlighted the boys race with an 11th place overall finish during the Class 1A state meet.

Potter ran a solid race clocking a time of 17:12.1.

The Tornadoes took seventh as a team, while Booker came in eighth.

Miller Grove won the team title, as Guthrie’s Brandon Passmann (15:32.9) was the individual champion.

Springlake-Earth star Taytum Goodman defended her Class 1A state title. The sophomore left the field in the dust with an impressive time of 10:59.36 to win by over a minute. Goodman is now a two-time individual state winner.

Buena Vista was victorious as the team state title winners.

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