John Paul II’s Mazza, SCS’ Boys Winners at Southwest Christian Invitational

Youth Distance Running Project’s Elijah Alexander-Macias and Plano John Paul II’s Erin Mazza, 19th a year ago at the TAPPS 6A state meet as a freshman, won the individual titles at Saturday’s Fort Worth Southwest Christian Invitational.

Mazza did so by covering the two-mile distance in 13:54 – ten seconds ahead of runner-up, Isabel Valdez, a senior from McGregor.

Southwest Christian and McGregor won the boys and girls team titles in the meet that featured six boys and four girls private and parochial high school programs.

After losing just two seniors from the seven runners that competed at the 2016 TAPPS 5A state meet where the Eagles finished third as a team, Southwest Christian scored 37 points – narrowly defeating TAPPS 6A Plano John Paul II by just eight points.

Midland Christian, Grapevine Faith Christian and Fort Worth Christian Life Preparatory, a TCAF member, were fifth, sixth and seventh behind Joshua and McGregor.

While McGregor captured the girls crown, Midland Christian took second from Plano John Paul II by just four points, 61 to 65.

Southwest Christian and Christian Life were fourth and fifth.

The Eagles top scorers in the boys race were freshman Rhys Davis and junior Sam Corley who were third and fourth overall in 18:27 and 18:40, respectively, over the five-kilometer distance.

Another freshman, Jared Gallagher, was seventh in 19:16.

Plano John Paul II senior Kolbe Bauer and Midland Christian junior Jace Mitchell were their two schools’ top performers, crossing the finish line in fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 19:01 and 19:10.

Seniors Kyle Schichl and Carter Patton were close behind in eight and ninth overall for Plano John Paul II.

Youth was served in the girls race as the fastest private and parochial school senior was 21st overall.

Midland Christian was led by a pair of sophomores and a trio of freshman.

Savahhan LeJeune and Lillian Marshall were third and sixth overall – with four other McGregor runners that formed the top six behind Mazza.

LeJuene and Marshall covered the two-mile distance in 14:19 and 14:55, respectively.

Freshman Trinity Culpepper (14th), Logan Schoening (17th) and Rylee Ray (22nd) rounded out the Mustangs scoring runners.

The Lady Eagles got top performances from junior Rebekah Kelley and sophomore Hannah Bergestuen, who were 10th and 12th overall in 15:18 and 15:18, respectively.

Sophomore Abby Kate Crowell was Fort Worth Christian Life’s top competitor in 16th overall in a time of 16:02.

Top runners in the boys meet for the remaining private schools included Grapevine Faith Christian’s Max Cassidy, a senior who was in 11th place in 19:27, Fort Worth Christian Life Preparatory’s Luke Timmerman, a sophomore who finished in 22:08, and Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal sophomore Charles Arnette (53rd; 23:35).