Collin County Cross Country State Champions

The Collin County Cross Country team brought home State for the first time in school history.
The Collin County Boys Cross Country team reached the pinnacle of Cross Country achievements for the 2022 season, winning the State Championship. After a long season of races, practices, and comradery all the effort that has been put in each day has borne fruit. Anson Markwell, the Collin County Cross Country head coach was able to share what it took and what the moment they had been training for felt like. “I was proud of our kids… It’s like being a parent, knowing what someone is capable of and then seeing it come to fruition.” The Markwells have been a part of the CDA Family in Collin County since 2016 when their three children began attending. That same year, Coach Markwell’s son, Ethan, joined the Cross Country team that was started by Coach Jessica Seekamp. Coach Markwell also started running with the team to support the kids and grew in his role over the next couple of years. When an assistant coach’s position opened up, Markwell officially joined the staff. Since then, Coach Markwell has moved up to being head coach of the Cross Country team.
As this season progressed, Markwell tells us that the team focused on goal setting. “I have everyone set goals early in the season whether it’s a mile goal, race goal, or season goal and we follow up throughout the year.” Coach Markwell stated that throughout the year he saw The Lord working through the students in encouraging and pushing each other to achieve these goals that had been set. Starting early in the summer, the Girls team consistently pushed each other to execute each day, and this became contagious to the Boys team.
Before the big race the team has a tradition of gathering for a movie night to watch the cross country movie McFarland USA and to mentally get themselves ready for the meet. “It’s the little things before a big race such as getting good sleep, managing nutrition, and executing their workouts.”
On the day of the TAPPS State Championship race, each school sends their best seven runners to compete as a team, while only the top five team finishers make up the team score. The Girls team started the fireworks by finishing as the 2nd Place team in only their second ever State Meet with a full team! Hannah Van Eerden led the way for the girls finishing 4th overall in the race and earning All-State honors. Anna Johnson ran a great race as well and qualified for Academic All-State. The Boys were the last race of the day and won the school's first ever athletic team championship! Leading the way for the Lions were Patrick and Luke Teson who finished 3rd and 4th overall! The Boys team finished with three Academic All-State runners, with Nathan Langham joining the Teson twins in the honor. Each of the top five finishers for the CDA Boys placed in the top 30 out of 127 runners competing.
Coach Markwell stated that one of his biggest focuses as a coach is to teach athletes to develop their gifts. “Not everyone is born to be an elite or Olympic-level runner, but goal setting and establishing a plan to improve throughout the years and persevering through those seasons is a lot like life.” Thank you to the parents, coaches, and staff who have helped the Collin County campus achieve such an amazing feat.

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