LUFKIN — The Jacksonville Maiden and Tribe cross country teams punched their respective tickets to the upcoming regional championships on Thursday morning when both squads finished as the District 16-5A runner up.
The district meet was hosted by Lufkin High School and was contested over a muddy course, with rain falling during the races.
In the Varsity Girls division, Lufkin (32) and Jacksonville (58) advanced to regionals by finishing in first and second place.
Completing the order of finish was Nacogdoches (63) and Huntsville (72).
“I am really pleased at how well we did today”, Jacksonville head girls cross country coach Brittney Batten said. “Considering we had not run in the mud, or while it was raining, I thought the girls did great.”
Lufkin (23) and Jacksonville (53) also ran one, two in the Varsity Boys segment.
Huntsville (76) came in third place, followed by Nacogdoches (102), Whitehouse (128) and Tyler High (167).
The Class 5A, Region II Championships will take place on Oct. 25-26 at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie and will be hosted by the University of Texas Arlington.
Jacksonville-senior Taylor Gutierrez was the first to cross the finish line. Gutierrez ran a 19:30, and finished 11 second in front of the runner-up Karen Kiratu of Huntsville, who was clocked in 19:41.
Gutierrez is a three-time state qualifier.
Emily Martinez (20:20) ended up in fourth place for Jacksonville. Martinez represented Jacksonville at state last year as a freshman.
The Maidens' top five included Alexia Davis (14th, 22:22); Jewel McCullough (18th, 22:48) and Madison Soultanova (21st, 23:06).
Also competing for Jacksonville was Michelle Medellin and Elizabeth Nava, who finished in 24th and 26th place, respectively.
Jacksonville was led to the finish line by senior Marco Hernandez, who completed the course in a time 16:54, which put him in second place in the individual standings.
Lufkin's Kristopher Murphy was timed in 16:21 and was the individual champion.
Also notching a top five finish for the Tribe was Angel Luna (17:30). Luna ended up in fifth place.
Kevin Nava (14th, 18:14), Sebastion Juarez (15th, 18:16) and Jacinto Flores (17th, 18:30) also ran strong for the Tribe.
Jesus Servin ended up in 19th place and Miguel Pinuelas finished 30th for Jacksonville.
Tribe cross country is under the direction of Rudy Jaramillo.