By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports Sports
MAYPEARL — The 7th annual Robert Woodhouse Invitational ushered in a bit of normalcy and a ton of pride for the Waxahachie cross-country team Saturday at Camp Lakeview in Maypearl.
The morning began with the third and final inductee into the Waxahachie Cross Country Hall of Fame, as Sebastian Calderon officially joined Emma Curry and Allyson Moore. Runners then took their marks and traversed the five-kilometer course.
Waxahachie head cross-country coach Edward De La Cruz said the 7th annual invitational was “the best one so far.”
“We couldn’t have done it without the support of our parents, runners, coaches, and our athletic director Greg Reed,” he added. “They all worked hard to make this a great Invitational. We also had a lot of help from the Cherokee Charmers, cheerleaders and baseball program. They give back to the community so much and deserve a lot of praise for everything they do for us.”
De La Cruz noted that head coaches Erica Wilcox (Charmers), Erica Fritz (cheer) and Tracy Wood (baseball) truly showed the best of Waxahachie as a “united community.”
Per usual, at least the norm for the past couple of years, the Waxahachie Lady Indians showed why they are one of the premier programs in Class 6A.
Returning letterwinner Emilee Jones paced the group, finishing in a new personal record time of 18:08 to place fourth and lead the Lady Indians to a 9th-place finish out of 27 teams.
Cori Morgan also recorded a top-10 finish, placing 8th in a time of 18:36, while Whitley Blankenship PR’d after crossing the line in 21:57. Tessa Dominy (PR 21:58) and Cameron McBride (23:02) also helped the Lady Indians to their strong finish.
Jones was named Lady Indians’ Runner of the Week for her performance.
The varsity boys placed 14th out of 24 teams in the meet. Jaime Gonzalez, named the team’s Runner of the Week, led the Indians with a new personal record (16:36.8). Aidan Pennington (17:48.2), Lucas Molina (18:39.2), Eli Nance (18:43.9), Braden Buegeler (19:16.8), Nathan Templet (19:30.0) and Conner Schmidt (20:52.0) also ran well for the Tribe.
FOREVER LEADING THE PACK
The three-member class of the Waxahachie Country County Hall of Fame was officially completed Saturday in Maypearl, as Sebastian Calderon joined Emma Curry and Allyson Moore.
Curry and Moore were both inducted ahead of the Mansfield Timberview Invite on Aug. 14.
“They are the epitome of what happens when you work hard and pay attention to the little details,” De La Cruz said of the three inductees. “We are proud of their accomplishments in cross country and their legacy in Waxahachie cross country.”
The three have the accolades and records to more than justify their inductions, too.
Calderon recorded the third-best 5K time in school history (15:45.8), medaled in the district championship meet and was a member of the runner-up district championship team. He also qualified for the regional championship.
As for Moore and Curry, they are the gold standard in the history of the Lady Indian cross-country program.
The tandem led the Lady Indians to four district championships (including the first-ever), four regional championship appearances and the four best regional finishes in program history (7th, 6th and 5th). They also qualified individually for the state meet — Curry was the first in program history and did it three times, while Moore advanced this past season as the second-ever Lady Indian to run in Round Rock.
Moore ranks third all-time in program history in the 5K (18:33.0) and two-mile (11:54.2).
Curry departed Waxahachie as one of — if not — the most decorated runner in the history of Waxahachie High School.
Curry is a four-time individual district champion in Class 5A and 6A and became the first-ever Lady Indian to qualify for the state meet in 2018 (5A). She also advanced to the 6A state track-and-field meet in the 1,600-meter race in 2021.
The three-time team captain holds the school record in the 5K (17:19.4), 2-mile (11:12.6) and 800 (2:18), 1,600 (4:53) and 3,200-meter (10:50) races.
Curry has taken her one-size-larger left foot and running prowess to Vanderbilt, where she will continue her career as a student-athlete.