Spring Hill Cross Country

Members of the state-bound Spring Hill cross country team are, from left, top, coach Ashton Schave, Carson Barnhill, Caleb Hutcheson, Connor Secord (manager), Nick Bodenheimer, Jaden Giddings, assistant coach Jimmy Dowell; front, Wyatt McFadin, Marshall Bodenheimer, Andrew Grooters, Brian Vaca and Zayne Decker.

Spring Hill cross country coach Ashton Schave wasn’t sure there would be a cross country season in 2020, so the fact her Panthers earned a trip to the University Interscholastic League Cross Country Meet was the icing on the cake.

Now, it’s time to see how the team of seniors Marshall Bodenheimer, Caleb Hutcheson and Carson Barnhill, junior Nick Bodenheimer, sophomore’s Jaden Giddings and Zayne Decker and freshman Wyatt McFadin stack up against the best runners in the state.

“Several of these guys set personal best times on a big stage (regionals), and I’m hoping to see more of this at state,” Schave said.

Spring Hill is schedule to run on Tuesday. The Class 2A and Class 6A runners will also compete that day, while the 1A, 3A and 5A runners will compete on Monday.

The event is set for Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.

Alternates for the Panthers, who finished third at the regional meet, will be freshman Andrew Grooters and senior Brian Vaca. Team manager is Connor Secord, and assistant coach is Jimmy Dowell.

Spring Hill placed third at regionals behind Melissa and district rival Kilgore.

Nick Bodenheimer paced Spring Hill with a third-place overall finish and a time of 15:41.81. Marshall Bodenheimer was 13th (16:32.07), Giddings 29th (17:25.37), Hutcheson 58th (18:08.86), Barnhill 65th (18:23.95), McFadin 83rd (18:26.54) and Decker 102nd (19:24.07).

“We beat the fourth-place team by one point, so this could have easily ended differently for us,” Schave said. “All in all, during this COVID year, we are so blessed to get to compete at any level, so getting to state is that much sweeter.”

This is the third straight trip to the UIL Cross Country Meet for Spring Hill, with Nick Bodenheimer, Marshall Bodenheimer, Hutcheson and Giddings all making the trip a year ago and Nick and Marshall Bodenheimer and Hutcheson earning a berth to the big event in 2018.

A year ago, Nick Bodenheimer finished 16th, Marshall Bodenheimer 45, Hutcheson 101st and Giddings 138th and Spring Hill finished seventh as a team.

“All of these kids work so hard, usually before most people are getting out of bed, in whatever weather, to do what is required for greatness,” Schave said.

Spring Hill is scheduled to run at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports

Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.