Girls Varsity and JV Win / Boys Varsity and JV finish 5th and 4th
On Saturday, October 14, the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to North Florida for their annual overnight team trip to take part in the Amelia Island Pirate Invitational hosted by Nike and Fernandina Beach High School. This meet was a great finish to the regular season with 18 personal records set and the best team finishes of the season so far.
The Boys Varsity team opened up the meet early Saturday morning with the first race on the Fernandina Beach Golf Club with 5 of the 7 runners finishing with the fastest race of their careers. Jack DeJesus and Noah Mitchell lead the way finishing in 15th and 16th place with personal best times of 18:08 and 18:10 over the 5000 meter (3.1 mile) course. They were followed close behind by Josh Workowski (18:54), Taylor Hong (18:55 – PR), and Christopher Haak (19:12 – PR) who would finish in 27th, 28th, and 38th place to round out the scoring for their 5th place finish. Alex Haak (19:16 – PR) and Stephen Graham (19:32) would finish in 42nd and 43rd place to complete the team results.
The Varsity Girls team had a formidable showing taking 6 of the top 11 spots in the field on their way to an impressive win in the 12-team event. This was the teams 3rd team win of the regular season. The team was led by a strong 1-2 finish of Sinkenesh Parker winning her second meet of the season in a personal best time of 18:50 and Brooke McEwen who would finish runner-up in 19:44. Mulu Parker put together her best race of the season so far with a 5th place overall finish in 20:20. Archike Parker and Caroline Spivey would complete the scoring with personal best times of 20:40 and 20:57 while finishing in 8th and 9th place and making it to the awards podium One of the more impressive performances of the day was tuned in by 6th grader Grace DeJesus who would cut 1:33 from her previous best time en route to a 21:52 clocking and an 11th place finish in just her 3rd varsity meet. Emily Grandstaff would complete the varsity finishers with a solid 20th place showing just off her personal best in 22:53.
The combined JV race produced lots of excitement as 9 personal bests were set and with the Girls winning the race in a narrow 1 point victory over Gainesville Bucholtz. The boys also had a tight finish tying for 3rd place but ultimately finishing 4th in the tie-breaker. The Girls JV were led by a strong 2-3-4 finish from Sarah Rudolph (23:27 – PR), Mia Young (24:01), and Selah Williams (24:43) along with strong showings by Lilly Young (14th in 26:54 – PR), Kelsey Powell (29th in 30:14) and Madison Long (32nd in 36:21). The Boys JV team was led by a talented group of 6th and 7th graders that included Abu Parker (9th place in 20:04 – PR), Aaron Pearson (12th place in 20:17 – PR), Calvin Jagen (22nd place in 21:03), and Thomas Neeld (25th place in 21:42 – PR). Additional strong performances were given by Ryan Spidell (31st in 22:14), Braden Page (38th in 23:10), Christopher Hong (39th in 23:28), Dallas Bolton (49th in 25:06), Matthew Haak (56th in 25:57 – PR), Sam Parker (60th in 26:57 – PR), and Jonah Mitchell (63rd in 28:14 – PR).
This meet concludes the regular season portion of the cross country schedule as the team now begins to focus on the State Series Championships beginning with the Class 1A District 9 Championships at Embry Riddle University on Tuesday, October 24. This also concludes the season for the Junior Varsity and Middle School teams who had an outstanding season that identified some strong young talent and showcased steady progress by all of the team over the course of the season.