ROUND ROCK – After winning their second straight District 10-2A Championship, the Meridian Lady Jacket cross country team captured third place at the Class 2A, Region II Championships to earn back-to-back trips to the UIL State Meet held at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock this Saturday.
“I’m so very proud of how hard these girls have worked this season,” Meridian cross country head coach Jill Kendall said. “I’m so glad to see their efforts have culminated into a return trip to the state meet.”
Lady Jacket senior Dakota Cassidy delivered a season’s best time to lead Meridian with a fifth place medal finish, earning her a fourth straight trip to state. Also placing in the Top 10, senior Mallory Paruszewski turned in a blazing personal record time to claim a ninth place medal for her second trip to the state meet.
Also qualifying for state were junior Norah Lira (41st), freshman Cambree White (51st), senior Reese Errington (52nd), junior Faith Paruszewski (66th) and freshman Meryl Roberson (69th) in the regional field of 154 runners.
For the Meridian boys, senior De’Marius Parks finished up hiscross country career at the regional meet with a 78th finish, followed by senior Cody Warren (112th) running against the regional field of 139 qualifiers.
“I have enjoyed coaching these two awesome young men and wish them all the best,” Kendall said.
At the district meet, Cassidy earned her fourth straight trip to regionals by capturing a silver medal, followed closely by Mallory Paruszewski with the bronze. Lira medaled in ninth place, followed by White (12th), Faith Paruszewski (15th), Roberson (20th) and Errington (22nd).
Although the Meridian boys did not have enough runners to compete as a varsity team, Parks clocked his season’s best time to finish seventh, to make back-to-back trips to the regional meet. Warren also qualified with a season’s best time and a 10th place finish, followed by senior Zak Dirkse in 13th place with his season’s best time.
“These athletes have done a fabulous job this year,” Kendall said. “And I am super proud of all their hard work.”
For complete results from the District 10-2A Championships, click here: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/166948/results
For complete results from the Class 2A, Region II Championships, click here: https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/168693/results
Photos by JILL KENDALL & BECKY PARUSZEWSKI
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