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Canyon Lake cross country team keeps on stride for strong year

CAPTION: Canyon Lake junior Cadence Patterson finds her pace during the Dripping Springs Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 27. The junior is on the hunt to return to the state cross country meet later this season. Photo by Daniel Clifton 

At the Dripping Springs Invitational, the Canyon Lake High School Hawks cross country team demonstrated one of its strengths during the second meet of the year – depth.

“We’re two weeks into the season, and we’re feeling pretty good about the boys side with the numbers and quality of runners we have,” said head coach Michael Schroeder. “On the girls side we had some girls out, but we’re still looking pretty strong, and that will only get better as we get further into the season.”

At the meet Saturday, Aug. 27, junior Cadence Patterson was the top Lady Hawk with a time of 15 minutes and:58.08 seconds for ninth place on the 4-kilometer course. Patterson is on the hunt to return to the state cross country meet later this year.

“She’s always expecting more of herself,” Schroeder said.

Canyon Lake freshman Ella Thiele came in 26th overall in a time of 16:57.17. About 12 seconds behind her was teammate Hannah Hammer, a sophomore, who finished the course in 17:09.41. 

“Our freshman, Ella, ran the second best time for us. She has become a strong runner and definitely adds to the team,” Schroeder said.

Natalia Campos and Avery Hime rounded up the girls varsity team at Dripping Springs. The Lady Hawks gained invaluable experience to build upon as the season progresses.

In the girls junior varsity division, freshman Ayden Purdum finished in 20:32.60.

One difference about the Dripping Springs meet was the distance. All the runners — boys and girls, varsity and junior varsity — ran a four-kilometer course. For the girls, it’s a slightly longer course than they’ll compete on in most cases but particularly in district where it’s a two-mile event for Class 4A and below. On the boys side, they’ll compete on a 5-kilometer course from here on out. 

Freshman Tristan Schenk led the Hawks with a time of 14:31.82 for 42nd place overall. 

“He jumped up there this week and had a great run,” the coach said.

Junior Ryan Alvarez crossed the line in 15:19.01 with four other Hawks — Hagan Gill, freshman Dionysio Villavicencio, sophomore Eli Lane and freshman Jackson Alvarez — not far behind. 

The boys also fielded a full junior varsity team of eight led by junior Layton Hemann who won the junior varsity race in 13:29.22, almost 12 seconds in front of second place.

The number of student-athletes on the boys squad — both varsity and junior varsity — brings a lot depth this year, as well as a foundation for future seasons. 

“It’s something we haven’t had in the past couple of years for the boys,” Schroeder said. 

Freshman Grant Cover was the second junior varsity boy to cross the finish line with a time of 16:45.61 with freshman Catcher Visser finishing in 17:22.47. Not long after, freshman Marshall Gomez, freshman Vincent Hollenbeck, and sophomore Cole Coffee crossed the line less than three seconds of each other.

Alex Ballard and Luke Clifton rounded out the boys junior varsity team. 

“The kids have really put in a lot of work so far this year,” Schroeder said. “They all show up to practice ready to work, and it’s showing. We’re still early in the season, so we’re just working to get better every time we go out and compete.”

The Canyon Lake Hawks cross country team heads to the FEAST Patriot 20th Annual Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 3, at River City Community Church, 16765 Lookout Road in Selma.

“It is a big meet,” Schroeder said. “There’s a lot of teams. It’s a great atmosphere. It’s a fun one to go to. The course is pretty flat and wide open, so it can be a fast one.”

The running starts at 7:30 a.m. with the varsity girls 5K division – Elite or 5A-6A; followed by the varsity boys 5K division – Elite or 5A-6A at 8 a.m.

At 8:30 a.m. the varsity girls 2-mile division — 1A-4A or small school division — takes the course with the Varsity Boys 5K Division — 1A-4A or small school division — following at 9 a.m.

The junior varsity teams begin at 9:30 a.m. with the girls 5K division then the boys 5K division starts at 10 a.m. followed by the JV girls two-mile division — 1A-4A or small school division — wrapping up the high school competition up at 10:30 a.m.

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Junior Ryan Alvarez adds some depth to the Canyon Lake Hawks varsity boys team. He the four-kilometer course at the Dripping Springs Invitation on Saturday, Aug. 27, in 15:19.01. The Hawks next meet is the FEAST Patriot 20th Annual Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 3, in Selma. Photo by Daniel Clifton

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