Chris' Musings - September 30, 2007

Coach Chris Sumner, Godby High School

Saturday proved to be one of the best weekends so far this season for many local runners. The morning started off bright and early with the Prefontaine Classic out at Silver Lake. In honor of one of the legends of XC, the course was challenging but fun. Surprisingly a few athletes were able to run personal bests on what should have been a tough course. Laura Hempel raised her mark on the Honor Roll with a nice performance of 20:21 to win the girls section. Hopefully she is recovered from her injuries last year and will be able to mix things up in 2A.

After the race a few of us headed down to Tampa to see the fireworks and the stars shine at the Southern Stars Invitational. All season some of the area’s top athletes have had their eyes set on this meet. The course is blazing fast and the environment fires up all that attend. Plus, this would be the first match up of some highly talented programs. Smokin’ Joe cruised to an easy victory dominating the STARS race from start to finish and achieving a personal best of 15:27. Alicia Fenley broke her own personal best from 7th grade to lead the area girls with an impressive 18:51.

Chiles took top honors for the area ladies edging out Maclay by 45 points. Led by Kara Taylor, these girls are looking good and getting better every week. Leon boys came out looking extremely tough knocking off some very well respected programs while finishing 3rd only 9 points behind the winners in the STARS race. I’m hoping they are thinking about Nike Team Nationals. I believe they would have a good chance as well as they have been running this season. A different race with slightly different teams could very easily swing in Leon’s favor.

This week fans will have to look elsewhere for races. The closest meet will be in Panama City at HG Harden Park hosted by Rutherford on Saturday. Further west Jay HS and Milton will host meets for those keeping an eye on the competition over there. But the big meet will be way down in Titusville. will be hosting their 8th Invitational. This year it will be sponsored by Nike and will feature legends Jim Ryun and Alan Webb as guest speakers. This meet has grown to be the largest meet in the Southeast and probably bigger. I’m not sure who will attend, but it should be exciting to keep an eye on.

Congrats again to all on such an awesome weekend.