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Local standout to highlight cross country invitational

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Alex Maier

This year’s Flower Mound Cross Country Invitational will feature some of the top cross country programs in the state of Texas and one of the best runners in the entire country.

Flower Mound High School’s (FMHS) own Alex Maier is currently projected to be the No. 2 high school men’s cross country runner in the U.S., according to the Flo50 Boys Individual Rankings, as of Sept. 4, running a time of 15:01.00 at the Marcus I Invitational earlier this season.

FMHS Coach Andrew Cook said that Maier has made quite the impression on his program.

“Alex is humble and hardworking,” Cook said. “He has been a great leader for our team by setting a good example for all athletes to follow. Last year, he finished second in the state and has been working hard so he can move to the top of the podium.”

Maier also finished last season with fifth place finishes in two national meets.

This will be the 13th year for the Flower Mound Invitational and Cook said preparing for the meet is not without its challenges.

“Leading up to the event, we spend time mowing the course and trimming branches,” Cook said. “Unfortunately, due to a new housing development, we did have to make some changes. We had to create a whole new section of trail for our course after a new road was put in over the summer.”

The meet will feature such powerhouses as Marcus High School, Highland Park, Frisco Wakeland, Frisco Liberty, Canyon and Montgomery High School.

“Montgomery High School is traveling from the Houston area after one of their meets was canceled due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey,” Cook said.

The Flower Mound coach added that the main objective for the Flower Mound Invitational is to continue to improve and concentrate on, “being aggressive at the start of the race,” and added that– from a talent standpoint– it is a great way to help prepare his team for the district meet and beyond.

“This is an early season meet and our primary focus is improving and running strong as a team,” Cook said. “Even though this is considered an individual sport, teamwork is vital in order to be successful. It’s important for our athletes to run as a pack and encourage each other throughout the race.”

More than 2,000 high school athletes are scheduled to participate in the Flower Mound Cross Country Invitational Meet on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Gerault Park, 1200 Gerault Rd. in Flower Mound.

Boys and girls teams will be participating from across Texas with races starting at 7:30 a.m. with the Elite Varsity Girls and proceed on a rolling schedule. The four categories of runners are: Elite Varsity, Varsity, Junior Varsity and Middle School.

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