It’s been over twenty years since a boys cross-country runner from Little Elm High School has qualified to compete at the UIL State Cross Country Championship. LEHS senior, Jason Alcala, ended that wait on Monday, Oct. 25, when he qualified at the regional cross country meet in Lubbock.
Last season, Alcala finished the regional qualifier at 61st place. He wanted to change that his senior year, so he attended a track program over the summer and spent time working on his speed. Although Alcala continued to improve, the cross-country season didn’t come without some adversity. He suffered an injury that he thought might end his season. “I thought it was over, ” Alcala said. However, he worked through the injury and fought hard to be at the regional meet.
Cross Country Coach, Kirk Johnson, has coached Alcala since his freshman year and recalls the exciting moment when he moved to the number 9 spot. “He came in at the 2-mile marker at 16th [place]. When I saw him I hollered at him that he needed to move up two to three more spots just to be in the top 15, “ Johnson said. When Johnson made his way to the finish line he saw the runners coming in and began counting them. He realized that Alcala was number 9. He had made it to the top 10 runners.
“That last 1000 meters, he put down one of the best kicks I’ve ever seen of any of the kids I’ve ever coached in cross country. To move from 16th up to 9th, and he held it to the finish line,” Johnson said. With this strong achievement Alcala is looking forward to the state championship and making a positive impact on his school. “I want to inspire people to go to the next level at our school. I want to get more kids in the cross-country program,” Alcala said. The state meet will be next Saturday, Nov 6 at 12:10pm in Round Rock, TX.