For much of the season, Northwest’s Kellee McCann and Katherine Chavez stayed within a few steps of each other on the cross country course.
Little changed Saturday at the University Interscholastic League championship in Round Rock. The Northwest sophomore and freshman from Wise County finished 16th and 17th in the Class 5A race.
McCann nudged out her younger teammate, running 11:46.53 on the 3,200-meter course. Chavez crossed the finish line in 11:47.38.
“It’s a great thing to have your teammate right there with you,” McCann said. “She helps me, and I help her.”
It was McCann’s second trip to the state meet. She took 54th in 11:56 as a freshman.
“I feel that I redeemed myself from last year,” she said. “I achieved my goal of being in the top 20.
“I was down on myself at the end of last year. I feel this is a good starting point for track.”
Chavez admittedly was a bit nervous to make her state debut. She said she just tried to stay with McCann.
“It helped so much having her here,” Chavez said. “I couldn’t have done so well without her.
“This doesn’t feel real. It can only get better from here.”
McCann and Chavez were impressed with their times on a difficult day with 30 mph gusts, kicking up dirt and dust along the course.
“It was very difficult weather,” McCann said. “It was a slower second mile. The wind was really bad on that part.”
Through the first 800 meters, the two Lady Texans were in 20th and 22nd, 11 and 13 seconds behind the leader. They made it up to their finishing spots with 800 meter left, 31 seconds behind the leader Karis Jochen of A&M Consolidated. She won the race in 11:12.44.
Northwest’s District 7-5A rival Southlake Carroll won the 5A team title with 34 points. Humble Kingwood was second with 48.