Saturday in the Park – Ole’ Joe’s High School Cross Country

Saturday, ask in the park, see I think it was the Fourth of July, there Saturday, in the Park, I think it was the Fourth of July, People laughing, people dancing, a man selling ice cream, Singing Italian songs …

When Chicago recorded this fine piece of music, they surely did not have in mind that Saturdays spent in parks by thousands of schoolboy and schoolgirl harriers across this Lone Star State; there is little pleasure for these boys and girls as they trudge over hill and dale, field and stream, through rain and hail and snow and sleet.

There is little pleasure during the actual pleasure during the actual running of the race. Cross country competition is more against your body than your opponents or the clock. During the race, the runner must not let a single negative thought enter his mind. You’ve simply got to force yourself to go beyond the barrier of human possibilities. This is the stuff of which champions are made in cross country. Going up cemetery hills, the runner who says to himself or herself “I can make it up the hill, I will make it up the hill!” is going to make it. The runner who thinks “My legs are tired, I’m going to ease up a bit,” is beaten. It’s simply a case of mind over matter.

But, all the agony has its rewards. The rewards may be trophies, headlines, or simply cutting 30 seconds off your best time for the course. Success is not only based on winning. Success can be a personal thing to a mid-pack runner, while of course the winner’s success is public. But even winning is not the ultimate. As Fred Wilt says “Quitting is performing in any way less than best. Winning is not the only criterion by which to judge success in racing. If a runner were to win in

time much poorer than his potential best, he probably would not regard this as a successful performance. The athlete who races far faster than his apparent capabilities might be regarded as highly successful, though finishing far behind the winner. It seems that successful racing might logically be judged in terms of how nearly the athlete performs to the apparent maximum of his or her potential.” It is for the reasons stated by Wilt, one of the greatest runners of all time, and a leader in the quest for more training knowledge, that cross country and long distance running began rapidly increasing in popularity in the age of the individual. It is, as one runner put it, “a microcosm of life” putting humans against themselves, human against human, and human against nature.

“Saturday in the Park” will attempt to compare the top 100 performances in the U.S. (for HS Boys and Girls); Compare the top 75 Teams in the U.S. (for HS Boys and Girls) via a hypothetical race based on actual best times run by each member of those teams throughout the year); and point out the top Texas athletes and teams compared to those on the list.

Texas Individual Boys making top 100 in U.S. 5k Distance

  1. Carter Blunt, Frisco Independence, 15:01
  2. David Strome, Colleyville Heritage, 15:05
  3. Daniel Bernal, El Paso Eastwood, 15:15
  4. Reed Brown, Southlake Carroll, 15:19
  5. Sam Worley, Comal Canyon, 15:22
  6. Conner O’Neill, Dallas Jesuit, 15:23
  7. Timou Toure, Southlake Carroll, 15:29
  8. Carter Persyn, Keller, 15:31

Texas Individual Girls making top 100 in U.S. 5k Distance

  1. Rachel McKenzi, River Oaks Castleberry, 15:35
  2. Megan Atwood, Argyle, 15:54
  3. Claire Chownin, Argyle, 15:55
  4. Andrea Perez, River Oaks Castleberry, 15:59
  5. Landry Austin, Argyle, 16:26
  6. Leighton Eschle, Argyle, 16:35
  7. Katy Haynes, Argyle, 16:38
  8. Kenzie Sullivan, Argyle, 16:44
  9. Raleigh Turner, Argyle, 16:55
  10. Sarah Dallas, Argyle, 16:56
  11. Sarah Garcia, Argyle, 17:05
  12. Natehya Morris, Argyle, 17:07
  13. Laura Lotze, Argyle, 17:08
  14. Halie Argumniz, Lake Worth, 17:22
  15. Paige Hofstad, New Brunfels, 17:23
  16. Aston Endsley, Abilene, 17:32
  17. Naomi Brocks, Argyle, 17:46
  18. Mandy Reed, Lewisville Marcus, 17:43
  19. Kayla Jayesh Patel, Houston Memorial, 17:46
  20. Carley Haynes, Argyle, 17:51
  21. Vanessa Villafranco, River Oaks Castleberry, 17:53
  22. Elizabeth Reneau, Liberty Christian (Argyle), 18:02

Texas Boys Teams making top 75 in U.S.

  1. Southlake Carroll, Texas
  2. Arlington Bowie, Texas
  3. Lewisville Hebron, Texas

Texas Girls Teams making top 75 in U.S.

  1. Argyle, Texas
  2. Southlake Carroll, Texas
  3. Lewisville Marcus, Texas
  4. Keller, Texas
  5. Lewisville, Texas
  6. Grapevine, Texas
  7. Plano West, Texas