Clear Lake hopes to be in running for cross county title
By Scott Hainline
A 14th consecutive District 24-5A cross coundry championship is just part of the numbers Clear Lake coach James Menze and his Lady Falcons will deal with this season.
The last time the Lady Falcons didn't win the 24-5A title was in 1995, and Menze wants no part of seeing the run come to an end.
It would be very disappointing if we didn't win it again," he said with the season quickly approaching.
Clear Lake must also negotiate other streaks, like four straight thirds at regionals and four consecutive state berths with three sixth places in a row after a seventh in 2005.
We were a close sixth at state, and we could slip in for third this year," Menze said. Some of the teams ahead of us lost runners to graduation, and we'll have a chance to move up."
Defending 5A champion and Region II member The Woodlands is the overwhelming state favorite, and Kingwood is going for its 20th straight Region III crown.
The Woodlands will not only contend for state, but possibly a national title, too, and I rate Kingwood second in Texas," Menze said.
Clear Lake was the last team to beat Kingwood at regionals in 1989.
Our region is always strong starting with Kingwood, and Cinco Ranch has four second places in a row, but they have a new coach and graduated quite a few, so they may be vulnerable," Menze said.
Clear Lake junior Brittney Wade was 15th at last year's state meet, and senior Jesse Dean was 20th, and according to Menze, They'll be our leaders for sure."
Sophomore twins Chrissy and Audrey Wassef are expected to make quite a splash after a tremendous spring track season.
They transfered from Lutheran South last year and ran junior varsity (cross country) before an outstanding spring season," Menze said. They'll be a big key for us."
Seniors Brook Jennings, Alexandra Sutherland and Macey Zarnick have also competed at the region level, and they'll go for Clear Lake team spots as will sophomore Julianne Perry, who was third in the district 1,600 in the spring.
It's hard to break into our top seven," Menze said. It just seems like Kingwood, Cinco Ranch and our program are blessed with great numbers and tremendous talent year after year."
The Lady Falcons open at the University of Houston Classic on Aug. 22, and after running at The Woodlands Friday Night Lights on Aug. 28, Clear Lake hosts its meet on Sept. 4 at Miramar Park in Seabrook.
In 34 cross country seasons, Clear Lake has 31 district titles, including the last 13; eight region crowns, the last in 1989; and five state championships 1980, 1983-85 and 1988.
The Lady Falcons also own three second places and two thirds at state, and have finished in the top five 16 times in 23 state trips.
It's up to us to try to snap Kingwood's 19-year hold on regionals, and it will be a major challenge," Menze said.
Local Advertising by PaperG