One hundred and thirty teams from Florida, George, and Alabama traveled to Tallahassee on Friday and Saturday, October 6-7 to compete in the Florida State University (Pre-State) Invitational. Teams were divided into 4 groups based on season best rankings.
The Girls Varsity team was invited to take part in the Elite race competing against the States best in all classifications. The team was seeded 12th coming into the meet and would finish 6th with outstanding efforts from everyone. With 250 of the best from 3 states competing together, Freshman Sinkenesh Parker would lead the way for the girls with a 12th place finish in a personal best time of 19:02 over the 5000 meter (3.1 mile) race at Apalachee Regional Park under unseasonably hot and humid conditions. Parker would be followed in the team scoring (top 5 runners score) by Sophomore Brooke McEwen who would finish 41st in 19:59, Freshman Archike Parker (62nd in 20:46), Sophomore Mulu Parker (78th in 21:01), and 8th grader Caroline Spivey (131st in 21:55. Emily Granstaff (8th grade) would run 23:23, along with Grace DeJesus (6th grade) and Mia Young (11th grade) who would run 23:25 and 24:04 to round out the finishers for the Lady Centurions.
The Boys Varsity Team was invited to compete in the Varsity “B” Division and collectively, they raced to one of their best team finishes of the season. Lead by sophomore Josh Workowski who would finish 7th in 18:10, the boys were the highest Class 1A team in the race and gained valuable experience for a hopeful return to the same course for the 2017 State Championships in early November. Additional team scorers included talented 7th grader Jack DeJesus who would finish 15th in 18:42 followed by Senior Stephen Graham (58th in 19:46), Noah Mitchell (59th in 19:47), and Junior Christopher Haak (69th in 20:05). The remaining team finishers included Junior Alex Haak (20:24), and 7th graders Abu Parker (20:25), Calvin Jagen (20:46) and Aaron Pearson (21:15).
It was a great meet and weekend for the team who dedicated their races to their friend Kate (wearing awesome blue “Kates Kickin JDM” bracelets) who continues to be an inspiration to them in her fierce battle against Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). We love you Kate!