For the past three years, the Gilbert cross country program has produced Top 10 teams in both the boys and girls divisions at the Class 2A state cross country championship meet. That streak may come to an end this time around, but both youthful Indians teams will be on hand for the season finale on Saturday at Sandhills Research Park.
Gilbert’s team made the cut at the Upper State qualifying meet at Heritage Park in Simpsonville.
The Indians boys scored 188 points and finished in eighth-place, while the girls were ninth with 287 points.
Juniors Brian Provost and Ben Watkins, the only two returning scoring runners from last season’s eighth-place state team, led the way at the qualifier. Provost finished 16th with a time of 18 minutes, 0.5 seconds, while Watkins was 31st in 18:34.68. Seventh-grader Trevor Black (33rd, 18:35.19) and freshman Mathew Helm (51st, 19:29.45) and Alex Derrick (57th, 19:42.42) took care of the rest of the scoring.
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Eighth-grader Lexi Kalec (26th, 22:13.26) led the Gilbert girls’ pack, followed by junior Jessica Taylor (49th, 23:07.66), freshman Brooke Craft (67th, 23:55.45), senior Erica Ford (79th, 24:56.51) and seventh-grader Katarina Ellisor (80th, 24:58.45).