Districts - The First Step to State

Jana Stolting, November 9, 2009

Last week, area athletes participated in their District Championship Meets. Although the dates and venues of these contests varied, there was one constant: Tallahassee teams prevailed, proving they are ready to take on the challenge of Regionals and beyond.

The 1A District 1 Championship Meet was hosted by Maclay on Thursday. Gary Droze’s new course configuration sent runners through the infamous holding pond three times, instead of the usual two. To his chagrin, however, the course was not nearly as wet as it had been at City, allowing runners to navigate the muddy portions with relative ease. Maclay dominated the field in both the girls’ and boys’ races. The girls just missed attaining a perfect score, settling for an impressive 17 points to take the overall win. The top four girls cruised the course as a pack, with Shelby Salimone taking first (20:24.78), Jana Stolting in second (20:25.67), Stefanie Kurgatt in third (20:26.07), and Kristin Sweeney in fourth (20:42.95). Lindsey Poole rounded out Maclay’s top five, finishing in eighth place with a time of 21:58.26. The Marauder men finished the meet with a decisive victory, scoring 22 points. They were led by teammates Patrick Swain (17:22.48) and Austin Stevens (17:22.67), who finished first and second respectively. Jacob Coates was the third Marauder across the line, finishing fourth in a time of 17:41.85.

The 3A District 1 Meet was held on Saturday in Pensacola. As expected, Chiles dominated the women’s field and Leon trounced the male competition. Teammates, Lily Williams (18:32.65) and Carly Thomas (18:38.85) led the Chiles charge, taking first and second respectively. The lady Timberwolves finished with a total team score of 24 points, 19 points ahead of second place. The Leon girls placed fourth overall, led by Brooke Eubanks, who took sixteenth place in a time of 20:31.62. This means that the lady Lions will be moving on the Regional Championship Meet this Saturday. The boys of Leon will also be making that trip, as they took the overall win, with a team score of 59 points. Matt Mizereck led the way, finishing first in 16:07.93. Teammates, Will Stanford (who is still returning from illness) and Riley Doherty finished third and fourth respectively, with times of 16:20.03 and 16:20.44. The Chiles boys will also move on to Regionals, as they finished fourth overall.

The 2A District 1 Meet took place at our very own Apalachee Regional Park on Saturday. Florida High was the top scoring local team in both the girls’ and boys’ races, with their girls taking second and their boys taking fourth. The lady Seminoles were led by Allison Murray’s sixth place finish in a time of 21:26.85. The Seminole men were bolstered by Robert Abellera’s strong fourth place showing, in a time of 17:03.83. Godby’s boys proved they are still contenders, taking fifth overall to move on to Regionals. Cougar, Dieumy Duclos was the top Godby finisher, taking third place in a time of 16:54.77.

With District competition behind us, it is time to look ahead to Regionals. The top four teams from each region will advance to the State Meet. Those four spots will not come easily, as everyone wants the chance to toe the line in Dade City. Something tells me, however, that Tallahassee will be well represented on that line come November 21.