ROUND ROCK — Alice High School senior Matthew Lara came through with a solid run in the most important cross country race of the season.

Lara, who overcame a severe ankle injury midway through the season, placed 22nd out of a field of 152 runners at the University Interscholastic League Class 5A state cross country meet at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock Saturday morning.

Lara was the only Alice runner in the meet, but he was followed by a huge crowd of supporters, all wearing Alice XC shirts.

Lara advanced to the state meet two weeks ago by placing 14th at the Region IV-5A meet at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. He finished the regional race with a time of 16:33. The top four teams and the top 10 individual runners not part of an advancing team qualify for state. Lara was 14th out of 144 runners at regionals.