DALLAS — For the second-consecutive year Jacksonville High School sophomore Taylor Gutierrez will be spending a couple of days in early November in Austin.
Gutierrez froze the timer at 18:30 on Monday when she finished fifth in the Class 5A, Region II Cross Country Championships, which were held at the Jessie Owens Memorial Complex in Dallas on Monday.
The top four teams, plus individuals finishing in the top 10 that are not members of one of the top four teams earned a trip to state, which is scheduled for Nov. 9 at Old Settler's Park in the Austin suburb of Round Rock.
Colleen Stegman, representing Frisco Reedy, crossed the finish line first, posting a lightning-fast time of 17:14.
Gutierrez was able to shave over a minute off of her 19:41 time that she posted in last year's regional meet.
“Taylor has really been flying out there,” Jacksonville head girls cross country coach Tony Harris said. “She cut 29 seconds off of the time that she ran at the district meet. Taylor has a bit of an upper respiratory issue going now. I can only imagine what her time would have been without if she had her full breath.”
Harris said Gutierrez got off to an impressive start and was able to maintain her momentum the rest of the way.
“She ran a 5:40 for the first mile, which is really fast, “Harris said. “That was 10 seconds faster than she ran at the the same point in district.
“She completed two miles in 11:57....just a real good all-around run from start to finish.”
As a team the Maidens came in eighth place, with 247 points, and were the fastest non-Metroplex team.
“Most of the better Metroplex teams run year around and that makes a big difference,” Harris said.
Highland Park (81), Lucas Lovejoy (82), Frisco Reedy (86) and Frisco Wakeland (99) were the top four schools in the team standings.
Other Maidens who figured into Jacksonville's team points were Reyna Munoz (49th), Alexia Davis (51st), Madison Soultanova (77th) and Michelle Medellin (81st).