In their first trip to state in two seasons, the Alvord Lady Bulldogs picked up a fourth-place finish in the Class 2A race Saturday.
The Lady Bulldogs finished with 125 points at the University Interscholastic League’s cross country championships in Round Rock.
Spearman claimed the state title with 88. Melissa took second with 97. East Bernard was third with 111.
“It was a fun journey,” said Alvord senior Jordan Ward. “We didn’t win, but it was worth it after six years.
“We all had high expectations. Everyone ran the best they could. It’s hard (not to win), but we all tried.”
Alvord coach Curtis Enis praised his team’s bid to get back on the podium that fell 14 points short.
“I can’t fault the effort,” Enis said. “They came in wanting to win, ran hungry and took their best shot. They finished gassed with nothing left in the tank. We hoped to get on the stage, but came up short.
“Melissa, Spearman and East Bernard ran extremely well. We didn’t run poorly. Sometimes you’ve got to pay your dues. We’ve got kids that will be hungry next year.”
Luling’s Carley Glass won the race, running 11:50 on the 3,200-meter course at Old Settlers Park. Glass passed Melissa’s Rebecca Ulrich with just more than 900 meters left and held on to win by five seconds.
Alvord freshman Lacey Watkins posted a 16th-place finish, running 12:49. She stayed within a spot or two of her finishing slot the entire race.
“We penciled her in the 15 to 20 range, and that would be a good spot to get in,” Enis said. “She was in that range.”
Watkins said it was a good debut at state.
“I think I will get better over the years,” Watkins said.
Ward took 32nd in 13:05. Freshman Clara Breashears ran 13:13 for 41st. The 4-10 freshman said it was a battle in the wind.
“It was extremely windy,” Breashears said. “The hills and the dirt in my eyes made it tough.
“I feel I accomplished a lot this year.”
Ariel Rogers was 49th in 13:20. Chelsey Steele crossed the finish line as the fifth Lady Bulldog in 13:35 in 56th.
Rebecca Evans ran 13:50 for 70th, and Madi Lynch 15:51 for 109th.
“Becky really had a great day,” Enis said. “I thought she ran hard.”