Area runners advance to regional cross country meet

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Several area runners will represent Nederland and Port Neches-Groves at the regional cross country meet next week.

The PNG girls placed second behind Barbers Hill by two points and will advance to the regional meet in Huntsville. Freshman

Morgan Campbell came in fist place at the district meet with junior Katherine Page right behind in second. PNG’s Marlee Sonnier finished seventh, and Cali Poss and Richuanna Kalariparampil rounded out the top-5 finishers for PNG.

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“They have been extremely dominant in Southeast Texas meets and at the district level,” PNG Coach Josh Tanner said. “I have been combing through the results for our region, and Morgan is definitely going to be challenged at the regional level. We have some strong teams coming out of Georgetown, Austin area. They have some strong and fast runners. I am still looking at what they have to do to advance to the next level.”

Tanner said the team took Campbell to Round Rock early in the year so she could see the level of competition she could face at the regional and state levels. The freshman responded by posting her fastest time of the season to date.

“She was pushed at a high level,” Tanner said. “I think Morgan has a solid chance to make state and I think Katherine is right in there behind her. They could both potentially qualify for state.”

Nederland senior Ava Wiltz and junior Trace Swanson will represent the Bulldogs in Huntsville.

Tanner said it is the first year for Sonnier to run cross country. Her primary sport is soccer and she committed to Lamar University on a scholarship earlier this year.

“She has been the MVP of our district in soccer,” Tanner said. “She has been the offensive MVP. She is a soccer player. Last year, she kept saying she was going to run cross country and I always thought she was kidding. I talked to her about it last year, but it didn’t work. At the end of soccer, last year, she said she was going to come out. She has been right there. The way Katherine has been on Morgan’s tail, Marlee has been on Katherine. Marlee has been pushing Katherine. To finish in the top-10 is great. Even if we didn’t qualify as a team, Marlee would’ve qualified on her own. I am really proud of her. It is her first year, but she is our only senior. She has done really well.”