Schoppe and the winner, a senior from Flower Mound, ran neck and neck for the majority of the 3.1-mile race with identical times at the one- and two-mile marks. The senior pulled away with about 400 meters to go, said Zach Johnson, La Porte’s head cross country coach.
“It’s not very often that you have two guys in the same race make national marks,” Johnson said of the top two finishers. “The race was packed with elite talent.”
Schoppe is no stranger to this meet. Two years ago, he was the only freshman to qualify for the state championships, and he finished 43rd. This past year, he finished 25th among a field of 151 distance runners.
He will next attempt to qualify for nationals at the Nike Cross Regionals, set for November 17 at Woodlands Bear Branch Park against elite runners from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi.