APEX ACCOLADES: Meridian runners receive all-state recognition

in Cross Country

AUSTIN – After placing 10th as a team in Class 2A at the UIL State Cross Country Championships at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock Nov. 7, the Meridian Lady Jackets have received some prestigious accolades for their achievements.

Lady Jacket seniors Dakota Cassidy and Mallory Paruszewski were named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State Cross Country team, while Cassidy and senior Reese Errington were  named to TGCA’s Academic All-State Cross Country team.

In addition, the Texas High School Coaches Association named Errington to its Academic All-State Elite Team, while Cassidy, along with Meridian senior boys Cody Warren, De’Marius Parks and Zakary Dirkse received Honorable Mention recognition.

“Such a big huge congrats to our athletes for being named to the Texas High School Coaches Association Honorable Mention Academic All State Team for Cross Country,” Meridian cross country head coach Jill Kendall said.  “But especially to Reese Errington for being named to the Elite Team.”

To be nominated for Academic All-State, a student-athlete must be 1) in good standing with the team, 2) of good moral character, 3) a senior, and 4) have an overall grade point average of 92 or above, which includes courses from grades 9-11 and completed courses in grades 12.

When reviewing the nominations, the THSCA considers each student’s GPA, class rank, and SAT/ACT score. The student receive points base on each criteria, and the score determines which team that are placed on.

Led by Cassidy’s 20th place finish among the field of 151 runners with a time of 12:37.82 — her best time of the season, the Meridian girls placed 10th in the field of 16 teams at state. Other Lady Jacket runners were Paruszewski (87th),  junior Norah Lira (91st),  freshman Cambree White (112th), Errington (113th),  junior Faith Paruszewski (124th) and freshman Meryl Roberson (140th).

“This has been an amazing season, and these girls have worked super hard to have the successes that they accomplished,” Kendall said. “They won back-to-back district championships, finished third at Regionals and 10th at State. The seniors have definitely set the bar high for future Lady Jacket cross country runners.”

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