Cross Country

Austin Royals XC Fall 2016

Cross Country is one of the premier sports programs that the Austin Royals offers for home school athletes.  In the 2016 season, the program consisted of approximately 30 athletes that competed against both public and private schools.  During the season, the Royals cross-country team competed in the large school classification races at the high school level defeating many 5A and 6A teams.  As a result of this past season, two of our Royals cross-country athletes will be furthering their careers as distance runners at the collegiate level.

Start Date: June 7, 2017 (Wednesday 7AM)

  • For those interested in running cross-country with the Royals this year please contact our Program Director, Sabrina B Uriegas to get on the e-mail list for cross-country at:

***Registration must be completed by July 31, 2017 in order to continue participation with the team for the cross-country season.  A link will be on the website by early June 2017. ***

Practice Time: Monday-Friday 7AM-9AM

Location (Primary Location):

Champion Park

3830 Brushy Creek Rd.

Cedar Park, Texas 78613

Cross-County Season Outline:

  • Summer Training (June-August)-Voluntary (Highly recommended)
  • Competition Season (Late August-End of October)
  • Post-Season (Late October-Mid November)-Voluntary

In determining whether cross-country would be a good fit for you or your child there are a few questions we would like to answer:

What is Cross-Country?

Cross-country is a unique sport in which teams gather to race a 5K (3.1 miles) for high school and 2 miles for junior high.  The top 5 finishers on each team are added together to create a team score (Ex: If our Royals athletes finished 7th, 12th, 35th, 72nd, and 125th their team score would be 251.)  The lowest team score wins the cross-country meet.  Additional athletes are not counted in the team score, but would serve as tie breakers in the event of a tie.

Who joins Cross Country?

Students that are in grades 7-12 are eligible to join the cross-country team.  Most of our athletes have joined for the following reasons:

  • Running offers the best opportunity to further their athletic goals
  • Desire to be part of a team, enjoy athletics, or have a desire to challenge themselves.
  • Others join to develop good exercise habits and to get into shape.
  • Many of our athletes have also joined due to the encouragement of friends or prior participation of siblings who have competed in the program

What is required?

The most important requirement for our athletes is:


Cross-country is a team sport that requires an appropriate level of commitment in order to be successful.  We meet from 7-9AM Mon.-Fri. typically at Champion Park along the Brushy Creek running trail, but we do take advantage of other running locations throughout the season.  Our program is run just like other private or public school cross-country programs in the area.

We train throughout the summer and highly encourage members of the team to come out and build the necessary endurance and fitness needed so they can compete at a high level during the season.  Our high school runners understand that to have the opportunity to compete on the varsity level they are expected to train throughout the summer.  

Why should an individual run Cross Country?

  • Most importantly, we focus on respecting and encouraging each other, and honoring God with our best effort.  Joining a cross-country team is an opportunity to take part in a shared challenge with other runners that forces you out of your comfort zone and breaks down mental and physical barriers that were once thought impossible.  As a result, friendships are made and lessons are learned that can last a lifetime.
  • Every individual is equally important.  Running teaches our athletes how to set and achieve goals and how to develop good exercise and stretching habits.
  • Additionally, running is a lifelong sport that can be done anywhere with only a pair a shoes!

For a glimpse into what cross country is like, we invite you to enjoy our 2016 season video:

Who are the coaches?  

Matt Manly and Joy Hilscher have coached together with the Austin Royals for many years.  Having experienced success as runners at both the high school and collegiate levels, they continue to have a passion for the values and life lessons that can be taught through distance running and the lasting impact it has on the runners they coach.

Matt Manly

Cedar Park High School (2000-2004)

  • 4 year letter winner
  • Cross-Country MVP (2001)
  • 4 time All-District performer (Cross-Country)
  • All Region in cross-country (Individual-2001)
  • Cross-Country State Qualifier (Individual-2001)
  • Member of 4 district champion cross-country teams
  • Member of 2 regional champion cross-country teams (2000, 2001)
  • Member of 3 state qualifying cross-country teams (2000, 2001, 2003)
  • Member of 3rd place overall team finish at state cross-country meet (2000)
  • Member of 3 top 5 team finishes at state cross-country meet
  • Texas Relays 3200m qualifier (2004)
  • Times: 1600m (4:34), 3200m (9:37), 3 miles (15:07), 5K (15:53)

Texas Christian University (2004-2008)

  • 4 year letter winner
  • Member of team runner-up finishes at the Mountain West Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track Meets (2008)
  • Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Scorer (2007, 2008)
  • Top 5 All time in school history: (Steeplechase, 10K)
  • Times: 1500m (4:04), 3000m (8:47), 3000m Steeplechase (9:39), 5000m (14:59), 8K (24:55), 10K (31:35)

Joy Hilscher

Southfield Christian High School (1988-1992)

  • 4 year letter winner
  • Cross Country Team Captain
  • Track Most Improved Athlete and Most Valuable Athlete (1989, 1991)
  • School records (800m (has not been broken in 25 years), 3200m relay)
  • Member of Champions County, Regional, and Conference Cross Country Teams (1988-1991)
  • Member of State Champion Cross Country Team (1989, 1991)
  • Member of 2nd Place State Finish Cross Country Team (1990)
  • State Champion 800m (1991)
  • Member of State Champion 3200m Relay Team (1990, 1991)
  • 5th place individual finish at State Cross Country Finals (1991)
  • High School PRs:  400m (60.2), 5k (18:30), 800m (2:17.3)

Hillsdale College (1992-1996)

  • 4 year letter winner Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track
  • All American 1st place finishes Distance Medley & 3200m Relay indoor track (1994)
  • All American 5th and 6th place indoor track 1500m Finish (1993, 1996)
  • Undefeated Conference Champion 1500m (1993-1995)
  • Set School and Conference Record 1000m (1993, 1994)
  • NAIA and NCAA Division II Finals Qualifier 1500m Indoor & Outdoor Track (numerous years)
  • Member Cross Country Conference Champion Team (numerous years)
  • Member of NAIA Cross Country Championships top 5 finish team (numerous years)