Nearly two months ago when the Cedar Park cross country team were finishing up their home invitational, the Timberwolves were just starting to realize what they were fighting for.
They weren't just fighting individually, they were fighting for the team. It wasn't always about getting individual points, they rather focused on how their individual finish would effect the entire team.
The focus paid off as both the boys' and girls' teams qualified for the UIL State Cross Country Championships Saturday at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.
"We've had a lot of tough races, but all the tough races have been good for team bonding and what we want to come out of the season at the end of the year," senior Sophia Roach said. "We've been working really hard through all our tough races. Coming together as a team has helped the overall outcome of the season."
Roach won the individual district title as did teammate Owen Daugherty. Gracie Hall was the top finisher for the Timberwolves at the regional meet for the girls' team and Austin Grendel was best for the boys' squad.
The Timberwolves won both the boys and girls district and regional team titles.
"I know that each person has their own job," Roach said. "Overall, I want to see everyone on the team, not only me, do their job. If they do their job, we'll get the outcome we want (at the state meet)."
Cedar Park won't be the only local school represented. Sydney Knight and Megan Ombres both qualified in the girls' Class 5A race.
The entire Vandegrift girls' team qualified along with junior Viper Anthony Monte, who will run against Vista Ridge senior Nick Alfaro and Round Rock senior Jacob Reynolds in the Class 6A boys' race.
But having the entirety of both teams is a major advantage, according to Cedar Park cross country coach Jason Grennier.
"It just makes life easier," he said. "It's rewarding for the kids that their hard work has paid off. We just want to run well. I always tell my kids that as long as you can leave the meet and say you don't have any regrets, then we did our job."
The girls' 6A race is the first one to begin at 8:30 a.m. and the boys' race will follow at 9:10 a.m. The girls' 5A will begin at 2:30 p.m. and the boys' 5A race will finish off the meet at 3:10 p.m.