Vandegrift’s Kevin Sanchez wins state cross country 6A meet

Junior Kevin Sanchez closing in on the finish line to a crowd of spectators, 11 seconds ahead of the second place finisher at the UIL Cross Country State Championships on Saturday, November 6 at Old Settlers Park. Photo by Elise Monroe

Kevin Sanchez after winning the UIL 6A state meet on Nov. 6 in Round Rock. Photo by Jared Lichtenberger

Kevin Sanchez after winning the UIL 6A state meet on Nov. 6 in Round Rock. Photo by Jared Lichtenberger

By DANIEL FARROW, Vandegrift Voice

Vandegrift junior Kevin Sanchez won the boys UIL 6A State Cross Country Championship with a time of 14:53.4 on November 6.

“[It’s] surreal,” Sanchez said. “I don’t know what to think. I’m still kinda wrapping my head around it.”

Before the timer started for the 5K course at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, Sanchez had some doubts.

“I was sick most of the week leading up to it so I don’t know,” Sanchez said. “I really wasn’t feeling optimal. I wasn’t feeling confident.”

But that didn’t seem to affect Sanchez. He started with an early lead and by the first mile was tied with 2nd place finisher Hudson Heikkinen at 4:40.9. By the second mile, Sanchez was ahead of him by nine seconds and ended up finishing the race 11 seconds ahead of the runner-up. 

It was a successful race with a dominant finish.

Colin Sully, VHS cross country head coach, was extremely proud of Sanchez and the team. 

“It was the first year for our boys team at state and we had our first individual state champion in Kevin Sanchez,” Sully said.

Lynette Haaland contributed to this article.

Kevin Sanchez falls to his knees after winning the UIL 6A state meet on Nov. 6 at Old Settlers Park. Photo by Jared Lichtenberger