State championships: Bridgeland girls’ cross-country best in Houston

November 9, 2018 GMT

Cy-Fair Independent School District’s newest school, Bridgeland High, can add another achievement to their list of firsts since opening in 2017.

The Bridgeland girls’ cross-country team led a CFISD group of nine total runners to conclude their seasons at the Class 6A state championships.

The Bridgeland Bears proved to be Houston’s top team, placing seventh overall in 6A, with a team score of 164 at the UIL Cross Country State Championships, Nov. 3 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

“In one year, the girls went from being eighth in their 5A region to seventh in the state on the 6A level,” said Tom Kennedy, Bridgeland girls cross country head coach.

Freshman Cassidy Graham led the Bears with a time of 18:03.17 to finish 21st overall. Freshman Allison Millan placed 44th (18:27.87), while sophomore Athena Reyna finished 58th (18:36.08).

Sophomore Natalie Mason placed 59th (18:37.03) and freshman Elisa Grillo finished 100th (19:12.18). Freshman Madeleine Wilson and junior Haley Williams rounded out Bridgeland’s first state effort with times of 19:16.08 and 20:35.87.

“The team was unranked the entire year, but focused on improvement and finished as the seventh-best team in Texas and the top team in Houston,” Kennedy said. “I’m most proud of the commitment to season-long progress that this young team demonstrated and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do in 2019.”

Cy Woods senior Mary Rodriguez finished 71st overall (18:51.97). The appearance was her second, as she competed in 2016 when Cy Woods qualified as a team.

Rodriguez ended up running a season-best time and was close to setting a personal best.

“Seems like things have just been clicking these last few weeks and everything has been perfect,” said Greg Zarate, Cy Woods cross country head coach. “We were happy for her and I could not be any prouder of her accomplishments this season. This goes far beyond just making it to state for Mary — it was much more.”

In the 6A boys division, Cy Springs senior Allen Gonzalez finished 36th overall (15:38.56).

“Allen is one-of-a-kind; he has come so far in his career,” said Ruqayya Gibson, Cypress Springs cross country head coach. “I’ve never had an athlete who completely latches on to everything you ask for with laser focus like Allen.”

It was the third straight appearance for Gonzalez, who became Cy Springs’ first qualifier in 10 years when he reached state as a sophomore and set a school record the following year.

“We are so proud of his commitment to excellence and his love for Cy Springs,” Gibson said. “He has helped those that come behind him understand that they too can accomplish whatever they are willing to work for.”