Cooper sophomore Pedro Nasta won the Cooper Dragon Invitational. The John Cooper School photo




THE WOODLANDS, Texas - The John Cooper School boys’ cross country team took first place honors while the girls’ team claimed third place behind St. Agnes and Episcopal High School at the 16th Annual Cooper Dragon Cross Country Invitational.

Over 500 runners from 27 upper school teams and nearly 300 athletes from 20 middle school teams competed at Spring Creek Park in Tomball on Sept. 15.

The boys were led by sophomore Pedro Nasta with a time of 10 minutes, 10.20 seconds, who placed first in the 2-mile. Other standouts on the boys’ team included senior Matthew Flanagan at ninth (10:45.00) and juniors Derek Tam (10:53.20) at 11th place and Jacob Stelter (11:02.30) at 17th place. Sophomore Cody Bohan rounded out the scoring for Cooper at 31st (11:25.20).

“Pedro had another good showing, running a really smart race, leading a pack of Cooper runners for most of the first mile before breaking to the lead,” said coach George Dohner. “This was one of the keys to the team victory. Once he took the lead, Pedro was unstoppable finishing a full hundred yards in front of the second-place runner.”

The girls’ side was led by seniors Carly Stalder (13:20.10) and Arielle Coughlin (13:30.30), who finished in ninth and 11th places respectively. Junior Lauren Spearman followed them in with a time of 13:47.00.

“Our upperclassmen ran a great race and remain a solid group,” Dohner said. “However, freshman standout Kylie Melodick continues to take time off of her personal best, this time shedding more than a minute of her 3,200 time finishing at 24th place (13:50.50).

“Also showing improvement with personal bests were juniors Maddie Flanagan and Karen Maldonado. The girls’ team is showing great improvement with each meet,” said Dohner.

The Dragons will compete at the Andy Wells Kingwood Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Kingwood High School.

In other Cooper athletics, the Lady Dragons continued their impressive season with a 3-2 win at home against Concordia while the upper school football team’s next home game is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, vs. Kinkaid’s JV team.