Pilot Point's first, Addison Hite wins gold
By Joe Fragano
Addison Hite became the first cross country state champion in Pilot Point High School’s history on Nov. 4 when she took gold in the 2022 UIL state championship meet in Round Rock.
Hite qualified for the state meet in both 2020 and 2021, but she had never finished higher than eighth until this year. On Nov. 4, Hite smashed her previous best finish by taking gold a full four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
The junior’s finishing time of 12:01.2 was a personal best at the state meet. Hite said she knew midway through the race that she had a chance to leave Round Rock as champion.
“I was pretty much leading the race from 400 [meters], that’s when I took the lead,” Hite said. “From there, I had some girls with me up to about a mile. After that, going up through the hills I knew I had it.”
After qualifying for three state championship meets in three years, Pilot Point head cross country coach Jeff Price felt it was just a matter of time before Hite pulled off a gold medal performance.
“This year with her times and where she’s been running, we knew she was one of the favorites if not the favorite going into [the race],” Pilot Point cross country coach Jeff Price said. “She’s been running great all year and ran against returning girls from state last year [and beat] all of them. We knew she was going to have a really good chance to win it.
Hite was the most successful Lady Cat at the state championships, but she was not the only runner to qualify. Six other Lady Cats ran at the state championships.
A quartet of freshman, Ava Smith, Daiyton Deleon, Peytyn Goodin and Rylee LeMarr finished behind Hite in 14th, 66th, 72nd and 85th. Rounding out the Pilot Point girls was Ava Dennis in 97th and Rocio Luna in 100th.
“We’re really excited,” Price said. “We’re really young this year. Our lone senior, Ava Dennis, her leadership to help the young ones and her and [Hite helping] us get back to where [we want to be]. We’re really excited how young we are.”
The Aubrey boys qualified as a team and sent six runners to Round Rock on Nov. 4. The fastest finisher amongst the Chaparrals was senior Brayden Murphy, whose time of 16:55.1 netted him 14th. Finishing behind Murphy was Logan Parker in 30th, Gage Owen in 78th, Trenton Pentecost in 92nd, Landon Martino in 94th and Cole Govea in 106th.
Tioga High School qualified one runner for the state championship meet, senior Lonnie Cooper. Cooper finished with a final time of 18:10.9 for 19th place, his second top-20 finish at the state meet in two years.