Cross Country to Make a Run at State Title

Elliot Smythe ’24

Strake Jesuit, in two decades of 6A UIL sports, has never won a state title. This year, Cross Country sets their sights high to achieve what no team has done in Strake Jesuit history. At the 6A level, it generally takes a sub 16 minute time to place in the top 50. We have several runners capable of that, and more with plenty of potential. Overall, the coming races look very bright for our distance runners.

How is cross-country scored? Think of golf, where the aim is to get the lowest score. But, unlike golf, which tabulates numbers of strokes, cross-country tabulates team scores by totaling place finishes.

In this system, it is not a priority what time you run, but how many people you can beat. However, times can be used to predict success, so they play a large role in rankings and predictions concerning competition at the state level. 

“Strake Jesuit has made the state meet 16 times in the past two decades. We have a great history, and hopefully a great future,” Coach Mike Kerley said, who has been the head coach of Cross Country for two decades.

Coach Kerley has consistently led a competitive program through the years, one that has qualified for the state meet 16 times and won the district championship on all three levels year after year. This season, however, could be even better. 

“This year could be special. We’ve got a great team,” Coach Kerley said. “Just need to put in the effort and run together.”

Last year, Cross Country scored tenth place at the state level. From that elite squad, four runners have returned who have already improved their 5000 meter times. Additionally, three newer runners have dropped their times immensely.

With such abundant talent, Strake Jesuit could fend off fierce competition from Atascosita, The Woodlands, and Southlake Carroll to win it all.