Greyhounds run to 7th in 1A

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, November 7, 2018
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For the past five years, the Slidell Greyhounds have come up short of reaching the UIL cross country championships.

THIRD TIME AROUND – Slidell’s Hunter Horner sprints to the finish of the 1A race. He finished 33rd in his third trip to state. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

But two weeks ago at the Class A Region III meet, Slidell got over the hump. The Greyhounds finished fourth to qualify for state, marking the first time in coach Casey Pierce’s tenure that Slidell’s boys team advanced to Round Rock.

“I’m proud. We wanted to get a team [to state] all six years I’ve been here,” Pierce said. “I felt like we’ve had a shot, but we kind of underperformed at regionals the past few years. This group, as the season went along, developed more of a toughness as a group.

“By no means did we have the best runners, but collectively one through seven, we improved enough and they worked at it enough to where we were able to get here.”

The Greyhounds finished seventh in Class A with 217 points.

Slidell senior Hunter Horner paced the Greyhounds, turning in a 17:42.24 for 33rd overall on the 5K course. It was Horner’s third state appearance.

Sophomore Easton Vanover took 49th in 18:05.36. Brady Vanover was 63rd in 18:29.34 and Carlos Gonzalez 95th in 19:17.65.

Ben McCasland and Brock Harwell rounded out Slidell’s finishers, taking 102nd and 110th. McCasland clocked a 19:26.07 and Harwell posted a 19:49.05.

“It felt good to lead the team in the final stretch of my career,” Horner said. “I’m really proud of the team and what we’ve accomplished this year.”

Pierce said Slidell’s three seniors – Horner, Brady Vanover and Ben McCasland – will be dearly missed next year. He added Horner holds several cross country and track school records.

“They’ve made their mark,” Pierce said.

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