Melissa junior Judson Greer won his second-straight Class 4A state cross country championship on Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. With a time of 14 minutes, 34.66 seconds, Greer bested second-place finisher Edwin Gomez of San Elizario by 32 seconds on the 3.1-mile course.

Cardinals head coach Kelley Pitzer said Greer “ran the perfect race,” taking a strong field of runners out fast then seeing them start to fall away about a mile into the race. “He continued to build a lead … and by the 2 ½-mile mark he never had to look back and continued to follow his race plan.

“It is always a blessing to see Judson run with his the strength and ability. The future is bright for this young man and the possibilities are truly unlimited. It was a great day to be part of another spectacular win and a great day to be a Melissa Cardinal.”

The Cards’ other state competitor, junior Lucas Tauch, turned in a time of 16 minutes, 38.93 seconds to finish 59th in the field of 151 runners. Greer and Tauch finished first and second, respectively, at last month’s Region II meet in Dallas.

“Lucas ran hard and did well,” Pitzer said. “However, he went out a little quick and struggled at the end of the race. But he is such a driven young man he will bounce back, get stronger, and push harder for next year.”

Decatur claimed the boys’ 4A team title with its runners posting an average time of 16 minutes, 10.61 seconds.

Lady Cards’ pair shows well at state xc meet

Melissa freshman Abi Bass claimed 12th place in a field of 152 runners at Saturday’s Class 4A state cross country championships at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. Bass turned in a time of 11 minutes, 54.64 seconds on the 2-mile course, while Lady Cardinal senior Alison Kocsis – in her fourth-straight state cross country appearance – finished near the top half of the field with a time of 12 minutes, 56.19 seconds.

“Saturday was bittersweet,” Lady Cards head coach Clay McCarter said. “It was exciting to see Abi take an important first step in her career with her first appearance at state, but on the other hand it was sad to see Alison run her last career race. She qualified for state all four years of high school and to my knowledge is only the second Melissa female runner to reach that milestone.

“For Abi, I’m sure this will be one of many big races she competes well in. She’s hypercompetitive so as you can imagine she was a bit upset after the race. … By then end of the day, she was smiling again and already talking about ways to improve next year – and I have no doubt she will improve. But honestly, 12th in the state is no small feat and in my book Saturday was 100-percent a success. It was a fun year and I feel like our team chemistry and our overall approach was better than I’ve seen in my four years here. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for this group.”

Jaci McGregor of Salado won the girls’ 4A state title with a time of 11 minutes, 24.05 seconds. Canyon won the team championship with an average time of 12 minutes, 14.48 seconds.