Good Results at Regionals

Jana Stolting, November 15, 2009

It was a solid weekend of racing for Tallahassee’s distance prepsters, as they competed in their respective Regional Championship Meets. For most, these races seemed to be simply a formality, a final hurdle before the real fun begins next weekend.

Maclay made the trip down to Santa Fe Community College to compete in the 1A Region 1 Championship Meet. The Marauder girls cruised to a first place overall showing, led by Jana Stolting (first in 18:20.50), Stefanie Kurgatt (second in 18:48.58), Kristin Sweeney (eighth in 19:51.89), and Shelby Salimone (ninth in 19:52.89). Their male teammates took second overall, led by Patrick Swain’s win in a time of 16:20.65. Austin Stevens (fifth in 17:04.46), Travis Covert (ninth in 17:39.75), and Jacob Coates (tenth in 17:41.23) also finished inside the top ten. North Florida Christian and Wewahitchka also participated in the meet, but will not be moving on to the State Finals.

Back home in Tallahassee (or, a little north, at Sunny Hill Plantation), both the 2A and 3A Region 1 Championship Meets were contested. Florida High made valiant efforts in both the girls and boys 2A races, but unfortunately failed to move on to the state meet. Seminole runner, Albert Edwards, did place inside the top fifteen (fifteenth in 16:53.60), earning him an individual berth to the State Meet. Godby also advanced two individual runners, despite the fact that they failed to advance as a team. Dieumy Duclos (seventh in 16:43.35) and Terrell Bryant (thirteenth in 16:51.55) will both toe the line at State.

In the 3A race, it was more of what we’ve seen all season: Chiles domination on the girls’ side and Leon supremacy for the guys. The first place Chiles charge was led by Lily Williams (first in 18:29.52) and Carly Thomas (second in 18:31.29). Teammates, Kendall Andrews (fifth in 18:56.63) and Jodie McGuff (eighth in 19:08.30) also finished inside the top ten. Leon’s girls finished tenth overall, meaning they will not be moving on to the State Meet.

On the boys’ side, Leon left the competition in the dust. Matt Mizereck won in a time of 15:26.48. Teammates, Riley Doherty (third in 15:47.79) and a still-recovering Will Stanford (fourth in 15:56.15) sealed Leon’s first place fate. The Chiles boys took fifth overall, meaning they too will get to make the trip to Dade City. They were led by Taylor Buzzard (twentieth in 16:42.04), Branden Lingerfelt (twenty-first in 16:42.46), and Sam Sutton (twenty-third in 16:45.90). Lincoln finished fifteenth overall and will not advance.

With the Regional Championships behind us, it is finally time for the ultimate showdown: the State Championship Meet. Representatives from five Tallahassee high schools will be charging up the finish hill, into glory, when all is said and done next Saturday. With the way things have gone so far this season, only one thing is certain, and that is that nothing is certain. There is something about the State Meet that seems to fly in the face of predictability. It must be that Dade City air, the way it fills each breath with the sweet tang of hope and courage, making feet a little fleeter and turning underdogs into champions.