Mullen places 7th at state cross country meet


Nandini Paidesetty

Coppell junior runner Andrew Mullen competes at the Coppell Invitational on Sept. 11. Mullen finished in seventh place Class 6A State Meet last Saturday at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.

Torie Peck, Sports Editor

Having placed seventh at the Class 6A Region I Meet, Coppell junior runner Andrew Mullen advanced to the Class 6A State Meet last Saturday at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock and recorded another seventh place finish. 

He ran, without a doubt, his best race of the year,” Coppell coach Landon Wren said. “He finished seventh in regionals and at the state meet he beat five out of the six that beat him at regionals. You could just tell he had a plan in place and he was focused before the meet. He ran with a determination that I hadn’t seen before.” 

Mullen finished seventh of the 151 runners with a time of 15:17.1, his fastest time this year by seven seconds. 

“It felt amazing since I’ve been working all season to get that spot in state,” Mullen said. “It was definitely a lot more competitive, it was a really close race between that fourth and 15th spot, they tend to be between [around] 5-10 seconds [apart], so it’s a lot more competitive. It’s a different energy going into [the meet] and you just can’t get too excited at the beginning or it’s going to affect you later on.”

This was not Mullen’s first state meet, as in 2020 Mullen advanced alongside the Coppell 2020-21 team, where he finished in 25th. This year, Mullen’s goal was to finish in the top 10.

“Before the race, everyone knows it’s just going to be a hard race,’ Mullen said. “You’re going to see who wants to push it more, who wants to be that one guy that says ‘yeah, I’m not going to let pain affect me.’ You mainly just have to get mentally prepared and [rely on] your training.”

Mullen was the only Coppell state qualifier.

“That is difficult because every meet up to that point is about team team, team, team.” Wren said. “You have other Coppell runners running with you and that helps push you and drive you. It’s difficult to be in a situation where you’re the only Coppell runner. But he’s kind of used to being out in front of the pack and, after the first part of the race, he’s pretty much by himself anyway. From a mental standpoint, he knew what he wanted to do, and knew that he could get that done on his own.”

With the majority of Coppell runners being sophomores and juniors, Wren hopes for Coppell to qualify as a team next year.

“After regionals, he was happy that he made it but you can tell that he was really more disappointed that his teammates weren’t going to be down there with him,” Wren said. “Moving forward, Mullen’s going to continue to improve. He’s going to have multiple opportunities to run in college. Ultimately his goal is to take a team down there and the team wins the state championship.”

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