WACO — The St. Paul girls cross country team accomplished the main season goal: win a fifth straight state title.
The Lady Cardinals won their fifth consecutive TAPPS 2A State Cross-Country Championship in Waco on Monday, 10/30/2017. Front row, left to right, are: Daniela Hinojosa, Mackenzie Parker, Ashley Wachsmuth, Elyssa Wagner, Trinity Garza, Macy Grabarkievtz and Brooke Pesek. Top row, from left, is Delynn Pesek, Holly Hull, Tristin Davis, Paige Brown, Danni Blair, Bailey Blair, Riley Johnson, Hope Kapavik, Kayla Kubenka, Lauryn Kubenka and Coach Dana Beal-Sestak.
team photos provided by Coach Dana Beal Sestak & various Facebook sources
The Lady Cardinals placed three runners in the top 10 individually, scored 49 points and earned the girls 2A state team title Monday ( October 30, 2017 ) at the Cottonwood Golf Course in Waco, keeping a 25-point margin between itself and second-place Waco Live Oak Classical.
Riley Johnson led the Lady Cardinals with an eighth-place finish in 13 minutes, 52.2 seconds and averaged 6:56.1 a mile.
Danni Blair was ninth in 13:52.3 (mile average of 6:56.1) and Bailey Blair followed in 13:53.0 (6:56.5 average). Macy Grabarkievtz was No.13 in 14:08.4 (7:04.2 average) and Brooke Pesek followed in 14:16.2 (7:08.1 average).Paige Brown was No. 16 in 14:27.9 (7:13.9). Hope Kapavik was No. 26 with 15:03.6 (7:31.8 average).
“When a team accomplishes a goal it is rewarding. They work extremely hard every day. It’s nice to see them rewarded for that hard work,” St. Paul cross-country Dana Beal-Sestak said. Monday’s weather in Waco was a bit on the breezy side.
“I’m pleased with the way the girls ran. The course was tough and the wind added to the difficulty. They showed a lot of guts at the end of the race,” she said. “When runners respond at the end of the race, it speaks to their determination.”
The Lady Cardinals got over the season’s challenges.
“We had runners who faced a lot of adversity and they responded in typical manner. They showed a lot of character,” Beal-Sestak said. “A successful season is when your team grows and matures as a unit.”
The St. Paul Cardinal boys finished in second place for the second year in a row in the TAPPS 2A State Championships in Waco on Monday, 10/30/2017. From left are: Coach Dana Beal-Sestak, Taylor Robinson, Frank Benes, Jacob Darilek, Walker Jackson, Lane Jackson, Cole Brown, Cade Davis, Andrew Wagner, Sam Benes and Dalton Jahn.
The Cardinals (boys) got the Silver for the second straight year by recording 84 points while Lubbock Southcrest Christian won the team title with 59.
“I’m extremely proud of the boys,” Beal-Sestak said. “The fact that a school our size can be as successful on both sides is a testament to our kids. They are dedicated to whatever they do.”
“We had some great individual performances. They ran hard and they took on the wind and the hills and that was impressive. Sometimes it just comes down to what the other teams do. We can only control what we do. We competed well.“
Lane Jackson was the top Cardinal finisher with fifth place in 18:12.3 (5:51.2 average). Walker Jackson was eighth in 18:20.4 (5:53.8 average). Cade Davis was No. 13 in 19:03.1 (6:07.5 average). Jacob Darilek was No. 27 in 20:33.7 (6:36.7 average). Dalton Jahn placed No. 43 in 21:35.6 (6:56.6 average); Andrew Wagner was No. 48 in 21:49.6 (7:01.1 average); Sam Benes was No. 55 in 22:04.5 (average of 7:05.9).
The Cardinals won their last two meets prior to going to state.
“That works towards building confidence. The fact that the boys are TAPPS 2A State Runner up, I think speaks to their overall season,” Beal-Sestak said. The Lady Cardinals lose Elyssa Wagner, Ashley Wachsmuth, Kayla Kubenka, Mackenzie Parker and Daniela Hinojosa to graduation while the boys team bids farewell to Andrew Wagner and Jacob Darilek.
Beal-Sestak said all of the seniors provided leadership and positive examples for the younger runners.
She added that all of the younger runners saw what it takes to be able to compete day in and day out in order to build a successful program.
( see also Victoria Advocate story and Official Meet Results )