On Sunday, November 1, 2020, the McKinney Christian Academy varsity cross country teams headed down to Waco, Texas to compete in the TAPPS 5A State Championships. Each teams is allowed to bring seven runners and an alternate. The varsity boys team included seniors Maliq Brock, Peter Clark, Ryan Radtke, Johnathan Roller, junior Daniel Kanz, freshmen David Roller, and Nicholas Catullo and senior Korey Vita as alternate. The varsity girls team included seniors Ruth Perry, McKeni Adkins, Alessia Catullo, sophomores Leigh Evan Kitzmiller, Josie Allen, Alexa Harriman, freshman Reagan Pogue and senior Avery Young as alternate. Head coach Rhett McKeller set high goals for each team as they headed down to Waco. He wanted the boys team to make top three and the girls team to make top ten.
Once the team made it Waco, they quickly checked-in to the hotel, changed into running gear and headed to walk the course to prepare for the next day. After they finished walking the course, the girls and boys teams headed to McAlister’s Deli for dinner before finally returning to the hotel. After returning to the hotel, McKeller gave the runners a short pep talk before they went on to do their team bonding traditions. The guys went to shave their legs while the girls went to do their own team bonding. Then, both teams met together to talk and hangout before the next day. Eventually, it was lights out as the both teams went to bed early to be well rested for the big race the next day.
The runners woke up at 6:00 a.m. the next morning for breakfast and to get ready before the vans pulled off to the race at 7:00 a.m. Upon arrival, the team set up the tent and waited until it was time to warm up. The guys race started at 9:15 a.m. and the girls race started at 10:20 a.m. The time quickly came for the races to begin and the gun to go off. The guys team fought to lower their times and move up places during the race. The first runner to come in for MCA was Brock in 19th place with a time of 17:35.1. The next runners were Clark in 25th place, Radtke in 26th place and David Roller in 27th place. Clark’s time was 17:52.7, Radtke’s time was 17:55.5 and David Roller’s time was 17:57.6. The fifth runner to come in was Kanz in 31st place with a time of 18:08.1. After counting up the results of the top five runners for each team, the MCA boys team scored 128 points and secured second place to become the state runner up team in TAPPS 5A.
Next, the girls race started. The Lady Mustangs pushed themselves until they reached the finish line. The first runner to come in for MCA girls was Harriman in 32nd place with a time of 13:41.4. The second runner to finish for MCA was Pogue who came in at 48th place with a time of 14:15.9. The next runners to come in were Catullo in 75th place with a time of 14:50.6 and Perry in 78th place with a time of 14:58.1. The fifth runner to come in for MCA was Kitzmiller in 82nd place with a time of 15:02.5. The girls team scored 290 points which placed them in the top 10 for state.
After a long and hard season, the cross country season came to a positive and emotional end. Assistant coach Tyler Blue said, “I am proud of the hard work and progress each person has made. Both teams hard work has paid off with a successful finish at state championship.” The team finished a successful season through hardworking and reaching their goals at state.