Footlocker FunJana Stolting, November 29, 2009
With the regular season existing only as a fond memory in the collective mind of Tallahassee’s prepsters, it is time to move on to post-season competition. This past Saturday, local athletes from Leon, Maclay, and Chiles made the trip up to North Carolina to compete in either the Footlocker South Regional Meet or the Nike Cross Southeast Regional Meet. The ultimate goal was, of course, to finish in the top ten at Footlocker or in the top two teams at Nike, thereby gaining a berth to the respective National Meets. While only one local athlete accomplished this remarkable feat; it was not for lack of effort. When all was said and done, the Big Bend proved, once again, why it is known for its special breed of distance runner.
In Charlotte, freezing temperatures couldn’t cool off the hot competition at the Footlocker South Regional Meet. The festivities got underway at 10 AM, with the girls’ seeded race. Jana Stolting, of Maclay, was the lone female representative from the Big Bend. She finished in seventeenth place, with a time of 17:51. Forty minutes later, the boys’ race started. Leon’s Matt Mizereck came back from his devastating eleventh place finish of the previous year to claim a solid fourth place overall, in a smoking time of 14:51. He will be going to San Diego in two weeks to represent the South Team at Nationals. Fellow Lion, Riley Doherty, also competed, finishing in seventy eighth place, with a time of 15:56.
Up the road a ways, in Cary, the Chiles girls competed at Nike Cross Southeast. They faced stiff competition, but managed to grab a respectable seventh place overall. They were led by Lily Williams, who finished in tenth place, with a time of 18:10.40. Behind her, teammates Carly Thomas (thirty-second place in 18:50.80), Jodie McGuff (fifty-fifth place in 19:18.80), Kendall Andrews (fifty-sixth place in 19:19.20), and Kelley Bahn (seventy-sixth place in 19:47.30) rounded out the top five.
You may think that this past weekend finally marked the end of cross country competition for local athletes… but you thought wrong! This coming Saturday, many of the area’s senior distance junkies will be back at the world famous Apalachee Regional Park, racing in the Senior All-Star Meet. With that all important commodity on the line: pride, you can bet this will be a race to remember. For those of you who wish to come out and support the class of 2010, the races will get underway at 9 AM, or so I am told. For those of you who wish to stay warm and cozy in your beds, send some good vibes to the warriors of Region 1.