Defending state champs take first step toward defending title

Girls win district title while boys take 2nd to earn regional berths


Photo courtesy Kit Pehl

Coppell junior Natalie Fleming, senior Shelby Spoor and junior Chloe Hassman run in the District 6-6A Championship meet on Friday. CHS varsity boys finished second and CHS varsity girls finished first, allowing both teams to advance to the Class 6A Region I Meet.

Karen Lu, Daily News/Assignment Editor

Crossing the finish line, Coppell junior Chloe Hassman finishes third overall in the cross country District 6-6A Championship on Friday, pushing the Coppell varsity girls team—the reigning Class 6A state champions—to first overall with 29 points and four runners in the top 10.

With similar performance, the Coppell varsity boys team finished second overall with 38 points with four runners in the top 10. 

“We were really, really pleased because the team that beat us, Flower Mound, is probably the best team in the state right now,” Coppell senior Jackson Walker said. “We were really happy with how we ran. We’re really excited about region. The girls ran phenomenally as well, so it was a good day.”

The terrain for this meet was not an unfamiliar one, as Coppell ran the same course at the Marcus I Invitational on Aug. 31.

“[The course] is all grass, except for there’s this one part where we go up,” Walker said. “It’s probably the last 600-700 meters, and it’s on top of a levy. That part’s really tough, and [Coppell coach Nicholas Benton] has put a lot of emphasis on that particular place because last year, that’s where we were beaten.”

With knowledge of the most challenging portion of the meet and specific preparations made to combat it, both Coppell teams were able to advance past district to region.

“We’ve been working really hard and really trying to get past district and onto regionals,” Coppell junior Evan Caswell said. “We were in it to win it, and we pulled it off. We’re going to regionals next week.”

Getting past district is only the first step in making state, as the road ahead for cross country is competitive and challenging. 

“Four teams get out of region and move onto the state meet,” Walker said. “Normally, the four teams that come out of Region I, which is the region we’re in, are really competitive at the state meet. Sometimes there’s a team that will get left out of Region I that could be a top five, top six team in the state, and they don’t even make it to go there. We really have to focus on that meet.”

The formidable road ahead doesn’t diminish the team’s current achievements, and the next meet is the Class 6A Region I Meet on Oct. 28 at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock. 

“There were tons of ups and downs in preseason with who was performing well, who wasn’t,” Hassman said. “We knew preseason was going to be tough, but we were hoping that once championship season came along, we’d be ready to go. This meet proved that we’re back in it and it was a great confidence booster. Now we just have to keep working and keep believing in each other.”

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