The 2021 UIL Cross Country State Championships was a return to normality for the East Bernard High School cross country team. The Brahmas’ running group featured only two members in the 2020 race, but Friday’s Class 3A championship featured nine runners including the Brahmarettes running for a team title.

Junior Colby Kurtz had the strongest showing for East Bernard with a 15th place showing in the boys’ 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:39.2. Kurtz moved up three spots off his finish in 2020 and nearly 40 spots ahead of his freshman finish in 2019.

Colby will return for his senior season in 2022, seeking to reach the rare mark of four runs at the state meet.

Sophomore Chris Kopecky had his first run at state, earning 39th place with a time of 17:14.7, he was eighth overall among underclassmen (sophomores and freshmen).

Whitesboro won the 3A boys team title (62 points) followed by Eustance (91) and Lytle (119). The Boling Bulldogs (266) came in 10th place out of 16 schools.

Boling senior Marc Mendoza had the team’s fastest run, coming in 38th with a time of 17:12.7.

Junior Bulldog Ross Hough was second behind, with a time of  17:24.8 for 48th place. Senior Jordan Todd had the final top-100 finish, earning 94th with a time of 18:10.2.

Boling seniors Kaden Hanson was 117th (18:35.0) and Abraham Garcia was 127th (18:59.6). Bulldog freshman Jonathan Covarrubias came in 132nd (19:09.0) and senior Garrett Gavranovic 141th (19:36.5).

Senior Wyatt Hoover of Poth (15:57.4) was the top finisher for the boys’ race followed by Tornillo junior Angel Torres (15:57.4) and Amarillo River Road senior Crawford Kiser (16:00.3).

The Brahmarettes’ fastest time in the girls’ 3,200-meter race was senior Samantha Rabius with a time of 13:04.5 for 71st place. Sophomore Abby Hudgins was close behind in 77th place with a time of 13:08.9.

Three other runners were in the Top 100 for East Bernard: Sophomore Anna Witte finished 93rd (13:26.4), senior Emma Alexander finished 98th (13:29.0) and freshman Lily Alexander was 100th (13:30.8). 

Sophomore Kandence Hernandez rounded out the East Bernard times with 13:52.4 for 121st place.

Holliday won the 3A girls title (39 points) followed by Lorena (87), Poth (135) and Lytle (154). East Bernard finished 10th (248 points) ahead of Tornillo (258), Vanderbilt Industrial (267), Paradise (281), Callisburg (330), Rogers (356) and Mineola (388).

Holliday senior Hannah Spears won the girls 3A individual race with a time of 11:34.9 followed by Brazos junior Esmeralda Garcia (11:48.9) and Lorena junior Addison Sykora (11:50.1).

The meet was held at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.

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