With 11 straight district championships under their belt, the number one thing on every Kaufman cross country runner’s mind is making it to number 12.
With four returning seniors on the boys’ team and three seniors on the girls’, head coach Denver Stone is confident that both teams are in a good position to win their 12th straight district title. The team members have been individually running all summer and have recently appeared in two separate meets: the Dallas Running Club 3x2 mile relay and a practice meet with Crandall and Eustace. But with so much to learn about not only his own runners, but the runners from competing schools as well, Stone isn’t quite ready to make any bold predictions.
“It’s hard to predict,” Stone said. “Since it’s so young in the season, it’s hard to know what everybody else has. It’s not only about what you have, it’s what the other teams have. We’re in a good spot, I just don’t know where it will get us.”
In particular, Stone has been focusing on the girls’ team, where a number of runners are still competing to decide the final spots on the team under the three seniors.
“We have a good-sized group of girls that are competing with each other to round out the team,” Stone said. “The good thing is they have competition. So hopefully we’ll get some new mojo. They’ve done a lot of running this summer. They’re on point.”
Both teams will be attempting to live up to great expectations. Last year’s group of boys advanced through regionals all the way up to the state meet where they finished sixth as a unit while the girls also finished in the top 10 in regionals but came up a bit short of the top four spots needed to advance. While Stone recognizes that both teams will be attempting to live up to the highs of last season, he’s hesitant to put too much pressure on them to excel.
“We had an outstanding season last year,” Stone said. “Coming back, I don’t want to heap those expectations on them. I want to see how it plays out. But I think they have a good shot to return to state.”