Thursday, August 31, 2017

Deison and Hosay make it Special

In Tallahassee, Florida's Phipps Park on Wednesday afternoon, 30 August 2017, Maclay sophomore Thomas Deison turned a 20:17 to win the boys' 5K at the Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special. Another Maclay sophomore, Hannah Hosay, went 23:20 to win the girls' 5K.

Thomas Deison
Thomas Deison

Wait. In the menagerie of cross-country meets, I've encountered invitationals, opens, and classics, but "Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special?" What sort of creature is that?

In order to accommodate multi-sport athletes on their team, some cross-country coaches allow athletes to miss practices or even races while those athletes are off swimming, playing volleyball, bowling, or playing 43-man squamish. It's an enlightened approach you'd never find in a high school band. While off at another sport's tournament, an athlete may not be able to run with the cross-country team at a mid-season invitational. There's the hope, though, that the athlete will be available to help the team when it counts--during championship series at the end of the season, district, region, and state. However, the Florida High School Athletic Association has a requirement that an athlete must race five times during the regular season in order to be eligible to compete in the championship series of meets. Miss enough races, and you won't have the minimum five to go to district.

Hannah Hosay
Hannah Hosay

Club soccer (aka "travel soccer") is especially greedy when it comes to weekends during cross-country season. Athletes who play on a travel soccer team find it nearly impossible to run cross-country on enough Saturdays to be eligible for district.

But there are other days of the week, such as Wednesday. In order to give area athletes a chance to log a race toward their required five, Maclay School cross-country coach Gary Droze slated the Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special on a Wednesday, locating the course in Phipps Park--conveniently near the Meadows Soccer Complex. Not that it was an entirely new course.

Weston Blake
Weston Blake

"This is a lot like the course we used for the 'Ski Lift Invitational,'" noted Lincoln High cross-country coach Chris Sumner.

So the genesis of the Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special is a sort of legalism, which is probably why it sounds more like a tax shelter than an athletic event. But even something forced into existence by the rules can have merit. Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album, was a comedy record the group had to produce because of, well, a contractual obligation to Charisma Records. Neverthless, the album actually achieved the highest rating on the charts of any that the Pythons ever released.

Avery Smith
Avery Smith

Not that I'm saying that the Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special was Tallahassee's best cross-country meet.

Behind Deison, the winner of the boys' 5K, Lincoln frosh Weston Blake was second in 21:13. Maclay junior Daniel Sweeney took third in 22:40. Neither Maclay nor Lincoln entered a full boys' team in the meet, though. Instead, it was Jefferson County who took the team title, scoring 25 points behind the fifth-place, 23:12 finish of sophomore Ja'Michael Steen. Munroe Day School was second in the team standings with 32 points, led by sophomore Levi Allen (7th, 25:13).

Chase Merrick
Chase Merrick

On the girls' side, Maclay sophomore Avery Smith finished runner-up behind Hannah Hosay, clocking 23:31. Lincoln sophomore Chase Merrick was third in 23:48. Only Maclay fielded a full girls' team, so the Lady Marauders won the meet with a perfect 15 points.

Boys' Team Standings, 2017 Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special
  1. Jefferson County, 25 points
  2. Munroe, 32
  3. Maclay, NTS
    Lincoln, NTS

Top Ten Boys, 2017 Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special
  1. 20:16.76, Thomas Deison (Maclay) 10
  2. 21:12.17, Weston Blake (Lincoln) 9
  3. 22:40.00, Daniel Sweeney (Maclay) 11
  4. 22:52.79, Michael Sweeney (Maclay) 9
  5. 23:11.27, Ja'Michael Steen (Jefferson County) 10
  6. 23:12.31, Matthew Steen (Jefferson County) 9
  7. 25:12.32, Levi Allen (Munroe) 10
  8. 25:35.17, Dean Cannon (Maclay) 9
  9. 27:00.11, Nasser Mohammed (Munroe) 10
  10. 27:15.23, Dylan Holland (Jefferson County) 6

Girls' Team Standings, 2017 Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special
  1. Maclay, 15 points
  2. Lincoln, NTS
    Jefferson County, NTS

Top Ten Girls, 2017 Maclay Travel Soccer Cross-Country Special
  1. 23:19.48, Hannah Hosay (Maclay) 10
  2. 23:30.23, Avery Smith (Maclay) 10
  3. 23:47.76, Chase Merrick (Lincoln) 10
  4. 26:22.65, Lexi Gray (Lincoln) 9
  5. 28:39.73, Victoria Lee (Maclay) 9
  6. 29:56.38, Maggie Boyd (Jefferson County) 6
  7. 32:08.75, Jamyia Steen (Jefferson County) 10
  8. 33:07.84, Anna Grant (Maclay) 9
  9. 33:12.08, Jane-Kathryn Whittington (Maclay) 9
  10. 33:12.30, Marie Shapley (Maclay) 11