Melissa’s boys cross country runners claimed both the varsity and JV team championship trophies at the District 11-4A meet at Celina on Tuesday, Oct. 10. The Cards are currently the No. 2-ranked Class 4A team in Texas behind three-time state champion San Elizario and boast two of the fastest 4A runners in the state — and the top freshman in the nation according to MileSplit USA. The team has already broken Melissa school records three times this year.

First-year boys head coach Luke Scribner, who runs 80-plus miles a week himself, said getting the Cards to this point has been a dedicated process. “We train patiently so the boys will race their fastest at the end of the season. The boys have bought into the process, learning its meaning and trusting in it each and every day. The foundation to our success started back over the summer when the boys were meeting up at 6 a.m. every day to train while most were still asleep. For the remainder of the season we plan to compete at the level we have trained for and are capable of. If we do that we’ll reach our goal that we established and have been working for since the first day of practice: a state championship.”

Individually at the district meet, Melissa’s varsity boys had five runners finish in the Top 10. Leading the 40-strong field of contestants was Cardinal freshman Judson Greer, who completed the 5,000-meter distance in a first-place time of 16 minutes, 29.56 seconds. Jackson Scribner took third with a time of 16 minutes, 59.75 seconds; Ty Graham finished in 17 minutes, 26.34 seconds for fourth place; Blake Chaluopka claimed sixth with a time of 17 minutes, 39.59 seconds; and Lucas Tauch took ninth in time of 17 minutes, 56.53 seconds.

Both Greer and Scribner are among the Top 5 Class 4A runners in Texas, and Greer is currently ranked by MileSplit USA as the No. 1 freshman runner in the nation — for all classifications. The two have been running together since 2012 with the Happy Feet Running Club.

Other Melissa competitors at the district meet, and their times, were Dain Miller, 19 minutes, 1.9 seconds and Carson Ross, 20 minutes, 16.4 seconds.

Last year, the Cards won Melissa’s first-ever regional title, edging out three other teams by four points total. This year’s Region 2 meet — regarded as the state’s premier regional event — should be close as well, with four of the state’s Top 5 teams competing there. The Cards will defend their Region 2 championship at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie on Monday, Oct. 23.

The UIL state meet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, Texas.