By Chelsea Groomer | SPECIAL to KBEC Sports
The Life Waxahachie Lady Mustangs are headed to the 4A state cross-country championships following a stellar showing in the regional meet.
Life Waxahachie ultimately placed third in the 4A Region II championships held this past Tuesday at the Jesse Owens Memorial Complex on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington. The Lady Mustangs — currently ranked No. 7 by Texas Mile Split — had previously won all seven cross-country meets this season.
“I was actually a little nervous,” Life Waxahachie head cross-country coach Daniel Dagen expressed. “On paper, we were in a good position to take one of the top three spots, but anything can happen out there on a course. In the end, the girls did the job they had to do in order to advance to the state meet.”
Though 2020 will mark the Lady Mustangs’ first-ever team trip to the 4A state cross-country championships, Celina ultimately took the top-team honors. Life Waxahachie had three runners place inside the top ten, with the team averaging a time of 12:27 in the two-mile run.
The Lady Mustangs are led by freshman sensations Emeri Adames and Jordynn West, along with sophomore Charzelle Williams.
Wiliams advanced to the 4A state championship meet in 2019 and has continued to improve her time in year two. She currently has a season-best 5K time of 19:36 and previously held the team’s top two-mile time of 12:14 before Tuesday’s regional meet.
“The girls ran a smart, hard race, considering the course was new to them,” Dagen acknowledged. “I was proud of all the girls and the job they have done the entire year. You don’t get third at Regionals because you had a good week.”
West finished second on Tuesday to lead the Lady Mustangs with an individual time of 11:30.
Williams placed fourth in 11:39, while Adames finished in seventh place in a time of 11:59. The team also includes Evie Rodriguez, Kamilah Rodriguez, Kimber Tolliver, and Natacia Ruiz.
“Jordynn West stepped up today and hung with the top runner from Celina for most of the race,” said Dagen, pointing out a highlight from the day. “She held onto her second-place spot with a hard sprint at the end.”
Dagen explained that the Lady Mustangs have worked tirelessly hard for the last five months, primarily focused on their technique. The team has come far, and Dagen noted that the Lady Mustangs remain optimistic for the 4A state championships.
“My expectation is the same as every meet. You are competing against yourself as much as the other runners,” Dagen said. “I expect them to run the race of their life. I want these girls to all get a 15- to 20-second personal record, and I do hope for them that they get some hardware to show off for all their hard work.”
The state meet is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
For information on parking and other guidelines, visit uiltexas.org/cross-country/state.