A Shining Season For Boys Cross Country


Junior Neeraj Kulkarni helped greatly in completing one of LTHS’s best cross-country seasons. Photo Credit: LTHS Yearbook

On Saturday Nov. 5, the boys 5A cross country state championships were held in Round Rock, Texas. Junior Neeraj Kulkarni and Nathanial Guajardo were running for LT. 


Kulkarni and Guajardo were the first ever cross country athletes from LT to qualify for state. While the whole team was not able to qualify, it still marked a tremendous amount of growth for the team as a whole. 


“It came down to those guys just buying into what it was we were trying to do, holding each other accountable, and building a running culture,” Coach Johnson said.


To climb up to the top and be considered one of the highest ranked cross country athletes in Frisco ISD a lot of it comes down to the training and preparation.


“I run 50 miles a week, while at the same time I train smartly,” Kulkarni said. “[I stay motivated by] looking ahead to the next race and wanting to get better as a runner, and I do an ice bath the night before a race to mentally prepare myself.”


Before this year, the cross country season had always ended after the completion of district. Although the past did not bring any doubt when it came to qualifying for state this year.


“The times were speaking for itself [sic],” Johnson said. 


Kulkarni felt confident during his race that he would be successful.


“I knew pretty much as soon as I crossed the finish line [that I was gonna make state]”  Kulkarni said. 


In the end, both Kulkarni and Guajardo ended up respectively placing during their time at state. It was a success for both themselves and the overall cross country team. 


“They trusted the process – it’s a model that a lot of students can look at as far as what it actually takes to get there,” Johnson said. “It’s an exciting time when hard work pays off.”


While overall, the season was a success, Kulkarni’s 17th place at state was a slight disappointment for him


“Still I was pretty happy that I placed top 20 for my first time running the course,” Kulkarni said.

(Nathanial Guajardo did not respond to interview request)