What a way to end a high school career!
Senior Elise Welch, who is verbally committed to Oklahoma, finished second at the TAPPS 6A state championship on the rolling hills of Cottonwood Creek Country Club in Waco.
The feat helped Ursuline take second overall (91 points). Elise finished in 12:17, only nine seconds behind state champion Jackie Cruz, a senior from Houston St. Agnes.
"After four years of hard work and dedication to the sport, it was gratifying to see Elise do so well in her last race for the Running Bears," Coach Jonathan Moody said. "She has gracefully led her teammates by strong example all season long."
St. Agnes (20 points) won its first state title in 23 years, placing five runners in the Top 8. Ursuline placed two runners in the Top 10 and four in the Top 25.
Freshmen Amanda Hogan, who earned All-State Honors with Elise, and Katherine Reynolds placed seventh and 19th, respectively. Sophomores Julia Elias (25th) and Eva Montenegro (43rd) rounded out the scoring. Junior Maddie Mompho and sophomore Mala Francis also finished 48th and 61st, respectively.
Once again, the future is bright for the Running Bears. Six of the seven runners at state will return next season. Thirty-one Ursuline runners will also participate in the Nike South Regional Meet in The Woodlands on Saturday, November 17.
"After being such a strong upperclassmen-heavy championship team these past three years, this year's team formed a different identity through the contributions of up-and-coming freshmen and sophomores," Moody said. "The coaching staff is excited to have them continue their dedicated preparations needed to get the team back on top in the years to come."