Three Knights represent at cross-country regionals

Despite rough, hilly Huntsville terrain, Riley punches ticket for a return to 5A state meet with a ninth-place finish


Caleb Gamez

With a ninth-place finish in 16:28, junior Chris Riley earned a return trip to the state cross-county meet, and unlike last year, he is healthy heading into the race. Photo by Caleb Gomez.

Thomas Melina Raab, staff reporter

After a long and cross-country year and a lot of early mornings and hard work, the season is finally over for the team.

Three runners, however, Chris Riley, Bodhi Tripathi and Helena Finos, had on Nov. 9 to keep their season going and make it to the State meet.

I will be training hard over the winter, and I hope to learn from my mistakes going into track.

— senior Bodhi Tripathy, who placed 27th at regionals in his final high school CC meet

On that Chamber of Commerce Monday morning, the Region 3 Regionals meet was held in Huntsville, Texas. The top 10 qualifiers from that race would advance to the State meet in McNeil.

This race was the first regionals meet for Bodhi and Helena. Both of them were nervous, as one could expect before such a big meet.

For Finos it was particularly challenging, because she was running alone, while the two boys ran in their race together.

“I was nervous because it was my first regionals race, and I only had two other teammates with me, both of whom weren’t running with me, so it was kind of nerve-wracking being on my own,” Finos said.

She ended up having a solid performance, running a 22:36 and finishing 65th.

Coach Susan Ashton poses with her regional qualifiers: junior Chris Riley, senior Bodhi Tripathi and sophomore Helena Finos. Both Tripathi and Finos ran in their first regional meet. Riley advanced to state for the second year in a row. Photo courtesy of Ashton.

This was also a big race for Tripathi. As a senior, this was potentially the last time he would run cross country in high school. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

Despite having a great race, finishing 27th with a time of 17:12, he was unable to move on to the state meet. This isn’t the end for him though.

“I definitely would have loved to go to state, but it was certainly a stretch based on my level of fitness,” Tripathi said. “I will be training hard over the winter, and I hope to learn from my mistakes going into track.”

It was kind of nerve-wracking being on my own.

— sophomore Helena Finos, who placed 65th in her first trip to regionals

The big story coming out of Huntsville though, was from Chris Riley.

After making it to state last year, the expectations were that he would do the same again.

He did not disappoint.

Despite the rough course conditions, which Helena described as, “rough hilly, sometimes sandy terrain,” Chris was able to cross the finish line in ninth place with a time of 16:28.

Last year, Chris fought through a hip injury and wasn’t able to run state full steam ahead. This year, he will look to redeem that opportunity and have a fast race on a course that he has already won at once before.

He ran at McNeil on Monday.

We will have a story about how he did posted to our website soon.  It’s a good story. We promise.