Another Weekend - Bobcat Classic and Quail Trail Invitational

Jana Stoltz, September 27, 2009

This past weekend, area athletes traveled to two different venues to show off their distance running prowess. Chiles made the trip to Gainesville to take part in the Bucholz Bobcat Classic, while Maclay, Florida High, and Lincoln went just up the road to Pebble Hill Plantation in Georgia to be a part of the very first Quail Trail Invitational.

In Gainesville, Chiles dominated the girls’ field, taking home the win. They were led by a first through third sweep consisting of Lily Williams (first in 18:25.49), Carly Thomas (second in 18:54.69), and Rachel Givens (third in 18:57.82). Teammate, Kelley Bahn, rounded out the top five with her twenty-first place finish in 21:00.95.

The men of Chiles were not quite as dominant, but they still came out a solid fourth overall. They were led by Branden Lingerfelt’s fifth place finish in 16:34.70. Teammates, Sam Sutton (eighth in 16:46.30) and Taylor Buzzard (ninth in 16:48.70) added the depth needed to place so highly in such a respectable field.

Back in our neck of the woods (or a little up the road from it, in Georgia), Maclay proved to be the team to beat. The Marauders took first overall in both the girls’ and boys’ races, proving they can get the job done even on very “creatively measured” courses. After all, accuracy falls by the wayside, as it should, in real cross country. The lady Marauders matched the lady Timberwolves, with a first through third sweep of their own. Jana Stolting (first in 18:43.00), Stefanie Kurgatt (second in 20:18.00), and Shelby Salimone (third in 21:10.00) sealed Maclay’s first place fate. The Maclay boys were led by Austin Stevens, who finished in second with a time of 17:49.00. Behind him, teammates, Patrick Swain (sick, with a third place finish of 18:21.00) and Travis Covert (ninth in 19:28.00) wrapped up the necessary points to take home the win.

Lincoln’s girls finished fifth overall, and their boys finished fourth (their lead runners plagued with illness). Florida High’s boys took third, led by a Trey Edwards’s fourth place finish (18:35.00) and a fifth place finish by Robert Abellera (18:56.00).

The Big Bend has enjoyed another successful weekend at the races, even as sickness makes its way through area teams. Hopefully, everyone will be healthy two weeks from now, when FSU hosts its Invitational at the brand new Apalachee Regional Cross Country Park. Our very own Brian Corbin has made it his mission to provide the community with a true cross country venue, and his mission has been accomplished. He and countless volunteers have spent many-a-Saturday toiling away to create this great course from scratch. Words cannot begin to describe the level of appreciation my fellow runners and I have for those who undertook this daunting task. It is my feeling that the greatest way we can all say “Thanks” is to break it in right on October 10.