Albarran wins 1st in Lampasas cross country meet

Alex Albarran took first place in the Lampasas meet. (Shannon Hofmann Photo)

Alex Albarran took first place in the Lampasas meet. (Shannon Hofmann Photo)

By Paul Livengood

The Panthers cross country runners spent last Thursday in nearby Lampasas where the boys finished second and the girls placed third as a team.

However, one Panther runner crossed the finish line before anyone.

Alex Albarran took first place in the Lampasas Battlin’ Badgers Invitational Thursday with a time of 16:47.9, nearly 16 seconds faster than runner up Nathan Herrin of the hosting Lampasas Badgers.

“Alex had a good race at Lampasas,” Head Coach Kim Holt said. “He went out strong and was able to keep that pace throughout the race.”

Another Panther, Clayton Nance, finished the race in 17:29.9, which placed him third overall. Gabriel Diaz rounded out the top 10 finishers overall in the race with a time of 17:48.3.

As a team, the Liberty Hill boys finished second to China Springs. The Cougars had four runners crack the top 10 to Liberty Hill’s three. While the Panthers did have a better time amongst the first five runners than China Springs, 1:28:25.2 compared to 1:28:26.7, China Springs won due to the scoring system cross country follows.

Take the first five runners finishing placement and that point value is assigned to the team score. Liberty Hill’s top five runners finished in places 1, 3, 10, 11, and 28, totaling a team score of 53. China Springs had runners finish 4, 5, 6, 8, and 23.

Therefore, while the dominating times of Albarran and Nance boosted the Panthers’ team time, the four top-10 placement finishes for the Cougars gave them the edge.

On the girls side, the Panthers took home a third place finish in the meet with a team score of 95. Liberty Hill finished behind Fredericksburg and Llano, whose scores were 49 and 74, respectively.

Emma Hofmann was the first of all Panther runners to finish the race. Hofmann ran a 12:54.6, just 30 seconds slower than the first place finisher. Hannah Johnson and Eliana Luna finished one after the other in 15th and 16th place overall out of 113 runners.

After many dominant performances so far this season, Mckynzie King did not compete in Lampasas due to an illness.

According to Holt, some of the girls didn’t run well, but added she thinks they will improve next Saturday at the district meet.

The JV boys won their division of the meet, defeating Fredericksburg, Comfort, Lampasas, Leander Glenn, Burnet, Moody, Priddy and Taylor.

Liberty Hill had all of their five runners that contribute to the team score run in the top 10 overall places. The Panthers’ Ethan Barre, Ronaldo Guzman, Kaleb Lorance, Jordan Rocha and Sam Roth finished fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth, respectively. All five runners finished under 20:00.0, whereas five other teams didn’t have a single runner break that mark.

The JV girls finished in fourth in Lampasas after a strong performance in Salado.

Aubrey Caskey was the only top 10 finisher for the JV girls, coming in eighth place with a time of 14:29.3.

Shortly thereafter, Mackenzie Bradley and Shannon Warren crossed the finish line with times of 14:45.1 and 15:07.8, respectively.

“The JV boys had a very good race and the JV girls competed well,” Holt said.

Next up is the district meet, which is being held once again in Lampasas on Saturday, Oct. 15.