After two straight trips to Round Rock and the state cross country meet, the Paradise Lady Panthers aren’t satisfied.
The team that returns a majority of their top seven from last year has its sights set on getting back to state and competing for a crown.
“We’re very determined and have been working really hard,” said senior Kaylee McConnell. “It’d be special to make it a third time.”
The Lady Panthers put together a strong spring on the track and carried that over into the summer.
“We’re starting off faster than last year,” said senior Emily Corbin.
Paradise coach Karin Essig said the squad ran solid times in their mile time trial. The Lady Panthers ran their two-mile trial – the Panther Run – Saturday.
“They are all pushing each other hard,” Essig said. “They are looking good and running well.”
Essig said it helps that the team has increased competition with more than 20 runners out.
“We have lots of kids out running every day,” Essig said.
The Lady Panthers won the District 9-2A title in 2013. This year in the new 9-3A, Paradise will be paired with last year’s 2A runner-up, Holliday.
“That makes us even more determined,” McConnell said. “We’re ready to get after them.”
Essig also said she’s looking forward to facing the new league that also includes Bowie, Boyd, Henrietta, Jacksboro, Nocona and City View.
“It’s all new people. It’ll be a challenge to face them,” Essig said.