Posted Date: 11/08/2023
Mon, Oct 30, 2023
DODD CITY -- When playing basketball, Jaden Mahar can seemingly walk on air.
After airborne catches of long downcourt passes, the Dodd City senior then glides the rest of the way to the basket.
While still elevated, he outmaneuvers opponents en route to scoring -- pump faking with the ball and adjusting his shot as needed.
Mahar has now also uplifted what it means to be the best in boys' cross country at the Class 1A school.
On Oct. 23, he became the first boy from Dodd City to qualify twice for the State competition in the sport. He advanced individually for the second-straight year, finishing ninth amongst 139 runners in 17:51.8 at the Region III-1A boys' meet at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie.
"I think it's a great accomplishment," said Mahar on Oct. 30. "Being my senior year. I have had more drive and want to succeed. I have had a one-last-chance mindset, am more focused and more mature. It's been exciting and nerve racking."
With his second advance, he joins the other multiple State cross country trip qualifier from Dodd City -- former Lady Hornet Lindsey Mauppin who made four trips (2019-22).
"I think I have set a standard [on the boys' side]," said Mahar, when asked.
"I have brothers in junior high and elementary school," he said. "I want them to be better than me.
"Not just be like Jaden, but -- be better than Jaden."
He has one more chance to make being like -- or outdoing -- him mean something additionally for his successors, running in the 1A State boys' race on Nov. 3 at Old Settler's Park in Round Rock.
"He's driven. I think last year he was just happy to make State," said Dodd City cross country coach Chad Crossland on Oct. 30. "This year, he has goals. "He could be Top 10.
"He has a competitive nature," said Crossland. "If he sets a personal record, he has a chance.
"He has hit sub 17 minutes in practice."