* La Porte's Ryan Schoppe ran 14:14.02 for 5K on Saturday at Texas' State Cross Country Championships
- - -
Ryan Schoppe was on a mission Saturday.
The La Porte (TX) High School senior had been on a tear all season long, winning all four of his races over the fall with incredible efficiency. But a setback at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in October, a DNF following a lost shoe midway through the race, made his season imperfect.
Maybe that result made him even more driven, as Schoppe went on to record the second fastest 5K effort ever registered in high school boys cross country, winning the Texas UIL Class 6A State Championships in a time of 14:14.02 to shatter Texas' all-time best performance of 14:34.10, which was set in 2004 by Plano Senior's Scott Macpherson.
That mark, a 199 speed rating, passed the second best effort ever posted by Highland's (AZ) Leo Daschbach, who ran 14:14.26 at the Desert Twilight Festival in September to beat Valor Christian's Cole Sprout, who went 14:16.01.
On Saturday, Texas didn't have a bad day overall, either.
One other performer from the state went on to eclipse Macpherson's all-time best at Old Settler's Park. Aledo's Graydon Morris went 14:33.43 in the race prior, beating El Paso Hanks' Michael Abeyta in the Class 5A race by mere seconds.
Six runners ran times on Saturday that now sit top 10 all-time on the course.
But Schoppe's performance will go down as unforgettable.
He stuck with the leaders through the first mile, hitting marker at roughly 4:32, before athletes faced their first slight incline. And it was there where Schoppe took off. By the second mile he had formed a formidable gap.
He was on his own island by the time he hit the bridge, roughly 300 meters from the finish, and Schoppe closed with the kind of drive that set him apart on the track during the previous outdoor season, when he won the adidas Boost Boston Games mile in 4:09.15.