Texas Two-Step: Boys' and Girls' Cross Country SPC Preview

What better way to race the season’s first 5k than on the 2015 SPC Championship course.  That’s what the MAVS Boys’ and Girls” Cross-Country did this Saturday morning at St. Andrew’s School in Austin.  All but three SPC schools were in the race.  For the Girls, big opponents this year were St. Andrew’s, Kinkaid, and Hockaday.  For the Boys, St. Stephen’s and St. Marks were running right on the MAV’s heels. The MAVS knew that SPC would look a lot like this race: same course, same runners, same conditions. How the Boys’ and Girls’ XC runners finished today relative to other teams would be a good indicator of things to come at the SPC Championship meet to be held on the same course on November 7.
            The past week had not been without aches and pains, alternative workouts and injured teammates. Even with the St. John’s workload and the weary legs from running over 40 miles a week, the Varsity Girls’ runners lined up on the start-line at 7:30 am, the Varsity Boys’ at 8:00am, all ready to run their hardest.
            The MAVS were excited to run this course. Even though Mile 1 and 2.5 had an incline hill, they were not as daunting as last year’s hills at SPC in Dallas.
“It’s a fun course,” said captain Maya Bhandari ’16.  I think that’s what helps me run faster. It’s the perfect amount of fast and challenge.”
            With Lillian Chen ’16 leading the team with a 18:54, followed by seniors Margaret Trautner (20:00), Olivia Havel (20:04), and Julia Moody (20:11), the top four girls finished 5th, 13th, 14th, and 16th place respectively–all setting new personal records. Despite missing their top runner, Peyton Brown ’17, the Mavericks placed 1st within the SPC Division and 4th overall, only 11 points away from the first place UIL team. Noel Higgason ’16 secured the Maverick’s 5th place finish.  Both St. Andrew’s and Hockaday were more than 100 points behind, followed by Kinkaid with 200. The Maverick Girls’ running in the 2-mile also did very well, placing 9th overall and 5th out of SPC schools.
“Even for how early we are in the season, we ran really well. We pushed past our competition, we ran strong, and we ran as a team,” stated Julia Moody.
The Boys followed up with their own trail-blazing effort. Joe Faraguna ’16 finished first with a 16:15, followed closed behind by juniors Jayan Hanson (17:01) and Jake Schick (17:11), freshman Samuel Faraguna (17:19), and sophomore Samuel Ho (17:28). These five boys helped the Maverick Boys’ to a 2nd place team finish in the 5A-6A division, while the male runners—Drew Woodfolk ’18, Sean Jackson ’19, Sam Fallon ’18, Lucas Tyler ’18, James Talbott ’18—won 1st overall for teams in the 4A & Below Division.
“Even though last week’s training was very tiring, at this meet, everyone still had great performances,” recalls Joe Faraguna. “The greatest satisfaction I had at this meet was beating John Grass, my biggest rival since freshman year.”
With these results, the MAVS have high expectations for SPC. However, top runners Lillian Chen and Peyton Brown have found new competition with a freshman Hockaday runner, who runs a sub-19.
“I was disappointed to not run with the team today, but that motivates me even more,” said Peyton Brown.
 “Staying in a pack is the key to our success,” says Margaret Trautner.
Next week the MAVS race a 2-mile course at 5th SBS Soaring Eagles Cross-Country Meet instead of racing at their usual UTSA 5k race, which was canceled this year.
“We have great drive and great runners. With our determination and positive attitude, I have a good feeling this will be a great season,” said Lillian Chen.
After a successful meet, we wish them luck and fast finishes in the future. Goodbye St. Andrew’s… until we meet again in November for the 2015 SPC Championship.
Lillian Chen - Athletic News