Monday, September 28, 2015

Emma Tucker and the Chiles boys win at Alligator Lake

Nearly 200 years ago there was a North Florida village named Alligator. Later the town was incorporated as Lake City, a name friendlier to real estate values. There's still an Alligator Lake in Lake City, and from that pond the Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational takes its name. An annual event till 2013, the Invitational had skipped a year in 2014, but it was back on Saturday morning, 26 September 2015.


The 2015 Alligator Lake Invitational started at 7:30 AM with the high school girls varsity invitational 5K. Chiles senior Emma Tucker closed with the leaders during the final mile or the race, then outkicked Columbia sophomore Bridget Morse and Newberry senior Maggie Rice to get the win. Tucker, runner-up Morse, and third-place finisher Rice were all clocked in 19:02--it was that close. Chile senior Alex Wallace followed in fourth place at 19:15, giving the Timberwolves two scores in the top ten. But after Harrison sophomore Kira Stanley finished fifth in 19:46, it was time to hear from Niceville.


Niceville opened with a 19:46 sixth-place finish from sophomore Hannah Schneidewind, and continued with scores from junior Claire Crist (11th, 19:52), senior Claudia Howes (14th, 20:12), frosh Erin Eubanks (23rd, 20:52), and sophomore Ally Woodward (32nd, 21:13). Those five gave the Eagles 84 points and first place in a field of 22 teams. For the Niceville girls, it was their fourth win in four meets so far this season.


Harrison was second with 98 points, and Chiles third with 109. Fort Walton Beach, one of Niceville's Panhandle rivals, was fourth with 119 points.


2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational Team Standings (High School Girls)
  1. Niceville, 84
  2. Harrison, 98
  3. Chiles, 109
  4. Fort Walton Beach, 119
  5. Walton, 153
  6. Eastside, 157
  7. Ocala Vanguard, 166
  8. Providence, 186
  9. Columbia, 214
  10. Bishop Snyder, 241
  11. Leon, 336
  12. Gainesville, 346
  13. South Walton, 365
  14. Trinity Catholic, 438
  15. Fernandina Beach, 444
  16. Pace, 456
  17. Trinity Christian, 466
  18. Suwannee, 469
  19. Newberry, 556
  20. Ridgeview, 579
  21. Branford, 628
  22. Santa Fe, 634

Top 15 High School Girls, 2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational
  1. 19:02 ~ Emma Tucker (Chiles) 12
  2. 19:02 ~ Bridget Morse (Columbia) 10
  3. 19:02 ~ Maggie Rice (Newberry) 12
  4. 19:15 ~ Alexandra Wallace (Chiles) 12
  5. 19:36 ~ Kira Stanley (Harrison) 10
  6. 19:46 ~ Hannah Schneidewind (Niceville) 10
  7. 19:47 ~ Brooke Crane (Fort Walton Beach) 12
  8. 19:47 ~ Stephanie Hansen (Ocala Vanguard) 11
  9. 19:50 ~ Carter Page (Gainesville) 12
  10. 19:51 ~ Emma Rudman (Fort Walton Beach) 12
  11. 19:52 ~ Claire Crist (Niceville) 11
  12. 20:00 ~ Maddie Fulmer (Fort Walton Beach) 12
  13. 20:08 ~ Audrey Woods (Providence) 9
  14. 20:12 ~ Claudia Howes (Niceville) 12
  15. 20:17 ~ Stephanie L'Estrange (Walton) 11

Competition continued at 7:50 AM with the high school boys varsity invitational 5K. There were no finish line dramatics up front in this race--Gainesville senior Blake Lowery cruised the 5K in 16:02, winning by almost 100 meters. Leon junior Matt Cashin was second in 16:20. After Walton junior Andrew Singh finished third in 16:23, Leon put another runner in the top ten when senior Adam Wallenfelsz took fourth in 16:24.


But Leon wasn't the only Tallahassee school with two scorers in the top ten. Chiles, who had edged Leon for the class 3A state title in 2014, was also at Alligator Lake. Right behind Wallenfelsz, Chiles senior Austin Dodson finished fifth in 16:27, then Chiles sophomore Michael Phillips was sixth in 16:39. Sophomore Matthew Newland (13th, 17:04) was the third Chiles scorer. Leon's third scorer, senior James Dodson (15th, 17:05) wasn't far behind Newland. But while Leon was waiting for a fourth runner, Chiles junior Alexander Gruenwald (30th, 17:36) and Chiles sophomore Robert Nowak (35th, 17:40) ran home for the Timberwolves. Chiles had 89 points and the Alligator Lake title while Leon was second in the 26-team field with 117. It was the 2014 State Final all over again. Niceville's boys squeaked by Gainesville for third, 136 to 138.


2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational Team Standings (High School Boys)
  1. Chiles, 89
  2. Leon, 117
  3. Niceville, 136
  4. Gainesville, 138
  5. Walton, 147
  6. Harrison, 159
  7. Mandarin, 173
  8. Ocala Vanguard, 181
  9. Buchholz, 208
  10. Pace, 253
  11. Fort Walton Beach, 343
  12. Bishop Snyder, 350
  13. Eastside, 375
  14. Pensacola Catholic, 395
  15. South Walton, 399
  16. Trinity Christian, 458
  17. Providence, 490
  18. Ridgeview, 491
  19. Trinity Catholic, 560
  20. Suwannee, 577
  21. Fernandina Beach, 580
  22. Newberry, 597
  23. St. Francis Catholic, 617
  24. Columbia, 670
  25. Santa Fe, 758
  26. Trenton, 829

Top 15 High School Boys, 2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational
  1. 16:02 ~ Blake Lowery (Gainesville) 12
  2. 16:20 ~ Matthew Cashin (Leon) 11
  3. 16:23 ~ Andrew Singh (Walton) 11
  4. 16:24 ~ Adam Wallenfelsz (Leon) 12
  5. 16:27 ~ Austin Dodson (Chiles) 12
  6. 16:39 ~ Michael Phillips (Chiles) 10
  7. 16:40 ~ Trenton Liberty (Mandarin) 12
  8. 16:46 ~ Ben Dahlgren (Walton) 11
  9. 16:58 ~ Kray Hubner (Ocala Vanguard) 12
  10. 16:59 ~ Calum McFetridge (Buchholz) 11
  11. 17:00 ~ Teig Hennessy (Ocala Vanguard) 12
  12. 17:03 ~ Tommy Howell (Buchholz) 12
  13. 17:04 ~ Matthew Newland (Chiles) 10
  14. 17:05 ~ Jason Nodjomian (Niceville) 12
  15. 17:05 ~ James Dodson (Leon) 12

The future of the sport was on display in the middle school girls' 3K, scheduled to start at 8:50 AM. Eighth-grader Sydney Runyan won the race in 12:15, finishing a solid half-a-minute ahead of the runner-up, Abraham Lincoln sixth-grader Ani Veltcheva. Veltcheva ran 12:45, and Holy Comforter eighth-grader Elizabeth Calabro was third in 13:30.


Abraham Lincoln sixth-graders Kate Johnson (6th, 13:51) and Twaneise Johnson (7th, 13:51) joined Veltcheva in the top ten, but Tallahassee's Holy Comforter Episcopal School also had another runner in the top ten--eighth-grader Avery Smith. And while the Abraham Lincoln team was waiting for their fourth girl, three more Crusaders came home for Holy Comforter--eighth-grader Lauren Dessi (12th, 14:11), sixth-grader Kate Smith (14th, 14:32), and sixth-grader Kate Krizner (17th, 14:44). When the scores were totaled, Holy Comforter had 38 points and first place. Abraham Lincoln was a close second with 44, and Jacksonville Episcopal was third with 59.


2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational Team Standings (Middle School Girls)
  1. Holy Comforter, 38
  2. Abraham Lincoln, 44
  3. Jacksonville Episcopal, 59
  4. Lake City, 83
  5. Queen of Peace, 130

Top 15 Middle School Girls, 2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational
  1. 12:15 ~ Sydney Runyan (Unattached) 8
  2. 12:45 ~ Ani Veltcheva (Abraham Lincoln) 6
  3. 13:30 ~ Elizabeth Calabro (Holy Comforter) 8
  4. 13:44 ~ Amelie Nichol (Fernandina Beach) 8
  5. 13:47 ~ Taylor Siefert (Unattached) 7
  6. 13:51 ~ Kate Johnson (Abraham Lincoln) 6
  7. 13:51 ~ Twaneise Johnson (Abraham Lincoln) 6
  8. 13:51 ~ Avery Smith (Holy Comforter) 8
  9. 13:52 ~ Allison Drummond (Unattached) 7
  10. 14:04 ~ Ellie Kowkabany (Jacksonville Episcopal) 6
  11. 14:08 ~ Alexis Foster (Jacksonville Episcopal) 7
  12. 14:11 ~ Lauren Dessi (Holy Comforter) 8
  13. 14:18 ~ Sarah Ziegaus (Lake City) 8
  14. 14:32 ~ Kate Smith (Holy Comforter) 6
  15. 14:35 ~ Suzannah Raines (Lake City) 7

The middle school boys raced at 9:10. Following the Holy Comforter girls' win, the Holy Comforter boys had a chance to make it a Crusader sweep of the middle school team titles. They made the most of that chance. Lake City eighth-grader Seth Ziegaus won the race in 11:20, and Abraham Lincoln sixth-grader Anton Matchev took second in 11:51. Right behind Matchev were the Crusaders. The next five places belonged to Holy Comforter runners--eighth-graders Trey Jackson (3rd, 11:55), Joseph Ashebo (4th, 12:15), and Jackson Roberts (5th, 12:22); sixth-grader Leo Kelly (6th, 12:26); and eighth-grader Brecht Heuchan (7th, 12:42). Those five totaled a mathematically unbeatable 25 points for Holy Comforter, giving their team the win. In fact, the Crusaders had seven runners in the top ten after seventh-grader Jackson Jones (9th, 12:55) and Ben Kirbo (10th, 12:57) came in.


Abraham Lincoln was second with 64 points. Led by eighth-grader Ben Easton (12th, 13:03) Jacksonville Episcopal was third with 80.


2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational Team Standings (Middle School Boys)
  1. Holy Comforter, 25
  2. Abraham Lincoln, 64
  3. Jacksonville Episcopal, 80
  4. Queen of Peace, 121
  5. Lake City, 133
  6. Providence, 137
  7. First Christian, 184

Top 15 Middle School Boys, 2015 Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational
  1. 11:20 ~ Seth Ziegaus (Lake City) 8
  2. 11:51 ~ Anton Matchev (Abraham Lincoln) 6
  3. 11:55 ~ Trey Jackson (Holy Comforter) 8
  4. 12:15 ~ Joseph Ashebo (Holy Comforter) 8
  5. 12:22 ~ Jackson Roberts (Holy Comforter) 8
  6. 12:26 ~ Leo Kelly (Holy Comforter) 6
  7. 12:42 ~ Brecht Heuchan (Holy Comforter) 8
  8. 12:52 ~ Findley Tucker (Eye of the Tiger) 8
  9. 12:55 ~ Jackson Jones (Holy Comforter) 7
  10. 12:57 ~ Ben Kirbo (Holy Comforter) 6
  11. 13:01 ~ Jacob Faltemier (Fernandina Beach) 7
  12. 13:03 ~ Ben Easton (Jacksonville Episcopal) 8
  13. 13:06 ~ Konnor Herrmann (Abraham Lincoln) 7
  14. 13:09 ~ Rives Martin (Providence) 7
  15. 13:12 ~ Caden McCowen (Jacksonville Episcopal) 7

Alligator Lake Cross Country Invitational Champions
2008 - 2015
High School Girls 5K
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
4 October 2008Flagler Palm Coast, 27 points20:39, Molly Teague (Buchholz) 10
24 October 2009Ridgeview, 4619:37, Sierra Solaun (Bucholz) 12
23 October 2010
22 October 2011Providence, 3418:42, Danielle Van Liere (Providence) 8
22 September 2012Walton, 4119:04, Emma ZeeAbrahamsen (Lassiter) 11
21 September 2013Fort Walton Beach, 5418:41, Emma Rudman (Fort Walton Beach) 10
26 September 2015Niceville, 8419:02, Emma Tucker (Chiles) 12
High School Boys 5K
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
4 October 2008Flagler Palm Coast, 39 points16:32, Carter Robertson (Buchholz) 12
24 October 2009Buchholz, 5515:50, Jimmy Clark (Creekside) 11
23 October 2010
22 October 2011Leon, 6115:53, Garret Westlake (P. K. Yonge) 11
22 September 2012Walton, 5216:05, Kenan Farmer (Walton) 11
21 September 2013Chiles, 7315:09, Sukhi Khosla (Leon) 11
26 September 2015Chiles, 8916:02, Blake Lowery (Gainesville) 12
In 2008 and 2009 the meet was called the Greater North Florida Invitational.
No meet was held in 2014.


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