Zephyr's Durbin 15th among Class A girls, Early's Hill finishes 21st in Class 3A boys

ROUND ROCK — For the third time in their four UIL Class 4A Cross Country State Meet appearances, the Brownwood Lady Lions turned in a Top 10 team performance.

The Lady Lions finished ninth overall Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock — their second-highest finish ever — with a 236-point total and an average time of 13:04.97.

Brownwood — which placed third at the Region I-4A meet to return to Round Rock for the second year in a row — moved up four spots from last year's 13th-place effort, and only the seventh-place performance in 2012 was better. The Lady Lions also came in 10th at state in 2013.

“The girls were very excited when they found out they were ninth, it means a lot to us,” said Lady Lions first-year head coach Lana Heers. “They were tired from the race, but all the sudden their whole moods changed, they were back to being perky and happy when they found out.”

Senior Kyra Young again led the charge for Brownwood with a time of 12:37.69, good for 40th out of 149 runners. Sophomore Darby Crysler placed 80th in a time of 13:02.61, Audrey Boren finished 82nd in 13:04.6 and Izzy Lawrence was 85th, clocked at 13:11.33. Trinity Buitron came in 105th in a time of 13:28.61 while Alex Fowler rounded out the Lady Lions' effort with a 112th place time of 13:33.17.

“When we started the race we looked a little slow and I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but we kicked into gear,” Heers said. “Our main goal at the beginning of this season was to improve on last year, and we did exactly that.”

Bandera won the 4A girls state championship with 73 points and an average time of 12:15.86. River Oaks Castleberry, the Region I-4A champion, was the runner-up with 105 points followed by third-place Alvarado (124), which defeated Brownwood by just one point at the regional meet. Kaufman (149) finished fourth followed by Decatur (167), Boerne (197), Gonzales (198), Llano (211) and the Lady Lions.

The highest finisher among all Brown County participants was Zephyr junior Gabby Durbin, who finished 15th in the Class A girls run in a time of 12:45.59.

Durbin, making her third straight state appearance, ran a 13:13.28 last year to finish 33rd, while she posted a 14:17.06 time, good for 21st place, in a mud bath during her freshman year in 2015.

In the Class 3A boys portion of the meet, Early senior Ryan Hill finished 21st in a time of 16:51.22. Hill was also making his third straight state appearance, as he placed 22nd last year in a time of 16:44.01, while coming in 96th in 2015 in a time of 18:34.22.

Bangs senior Timothy Hall was making his second state trip and placed 69th in a time of 17:42.56. As a sophomore, Hall ran a 17:49.36 which was actually good for 41st place.

Three county runners participated in the Class A boys run, as Zephyr senior Nicholas Moody finished 50th overall in a time of 18:25.15. Moody, who the leading rusher in the Bulldogs' district football game against Jonesboro the night before, was making his third state appearance. Last year, Moody ran an 18:03.35 to come in 29th, while back in his freshman year of 2014 he ran an 18:49.09 and placed 32nd.

May junior Boone Allen was clocked at 19:21.34 to place 92nd, with Zephyr junior Thomas Terpening right behind him in 93rd place in a time of 19:23.14. Both Allen and Terpening were making their state debuts.