ROUND ROCK — Lufkin High School senior Adan Hernandez finished 29th overall in his third trip to the Texas UIL Cross Country Championships, and LHS sophomore Kristopher Murphy was 65th in his first appearance.

Hernandez completed this afternoon’s 5K race at Old Settlers Park in 15 minutes, 56.31 seconds, averaging 5:08 minutes per mile, while Hernandez finished in 16:23.72, an average of 5:17 a mile.

Panthers head coach Hunter Russell said Hernandez and Murphy got out to a faster start than they had planned — reaching the first mile marker in about 4 minutes, 46 seconds — but that they were able to keep up their fast pace.

“I think they actually ran better than we expected,” Russell said. “They ran a very, very good race. … It showed that they were mentally ready to race, because they were able to handle whatever was thrown at them.”

Today’s race was the final one for Hernandez, who recorded his best finish in three years at the state meet.

“That just goes to show what type of athlete he is, inside and out, every day,” Russell said. “He shows up to practice and is always giving 100% for himself and his teammates. He’s been a great leader for this team the last three years, and we’re going to miss not only his points, but his leadership.”

Hernandez will move on to soccer. Murphy will have two more years, if all goes well, to work to return to Round Rock.

“Kris is just getting started,” Russell said.

Click here to see the full list of results from today’s Class 5A state championship race.