Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clendinen and Khosla first at Fort Braden

Rebecca Clendinen of Raa Middle School ran to her second win of the 2010 middle-school cross-country season in the girls' race at the Fort Braden School cross-country meet on Wednesday afternoon, 22 September 2010. Clendinen's time in the two-mile race was 15:01. In the boys' race Raa's Sukhi Khosla picked up his first win of the season with a 12:26. Raa's girls won their team division, as did the Raa boys, making for a Raa sweep.

The girls' race started in Fort Braden Park just after 6:00 pm. Raa runners Rebecca Clendinen and Lindsay Hughes were already leading the pack as the runners left the park, about a quarter mile into the run. Clendinen and Hughes gradually dropped their pursuers. By a mile and a half, only Madeline Horgan of Swift Creek was in striking distance, and then she, too, fell back. Over the last quarter mile Clendinen took command of the race, building up a 30-meter lead on Hughes. Clendinen crossed the line with the win, with Hughes finishing second in 15:07. Horgan hung on for third in 15:17, and Deer Lake's Alex Wallace placed fourth in 15:29. A week earlier at the Battle at Tom Brown, Swift Creek had come out ahead of Raa in the team standings, but at Fort Braden Raa was revenged, beating Swift Creek 33 to 49.

The boys raced next. Raa's Wil Luca and Sukhi Khosla jumped to the front, covering the first quarter mile in 77 seconds. After that the pace slowed, but Luca continued to run away from the rest of the field. Luca reached the mile in 5:54 with a substantial lead on Khosla. On the second mile, Khosla began to reel Luca in. When the leaders returned to the park with less than a half mile to go, Khosla had overtaken Luca. The two circled the park together. They were still running nearly side-by-side with 50 meters to go, but Luca was in distress. Khosla dashed past Luca to take the win. Luca struggled over the line in second at 12:33. The next four places were all Raa runners--Lewis Langston (3rd, 12:46), Devon Foster (4th, 12:47), Evan Francis (5th, 12:47), and Jason Benn (6th, 12:48). Cobb's Anthony Walker (7th, 12:51) was the first runner to crack Raa's monopoly on the top places. With five scorers in the top five spots, Raa scored the best possible total of 15 points, winning the meet. Montford beat out Swift Creek for the runner-up position, 84 to 91.

The Fort Braden meet was a new meet with a new course. The runners started at the lower end of Fort Braden Park then climbed north out of the park. The course then left the park on a narrow footbridge over a ravine. The bridge took the runners to the grounds of Fort Braden School. After completing a circuit of the school grounds, the runners returned to the park on the footbridge. After a loop around the park the race finished on the football field. The course was perched on the rim of Ochlockonee River valley, so the athletes had plenty of uphill and downhill to negotiate during their two-mile race.

The Fort Braden Meet was the second of the Leon County Schools' middle school cross-country season. That season is now half over, with only two meets remaining: the Everhart Invitational at Gretchen Everhart School on September 30, and the Championship Meet at the Apalachee Regional Park Trail on October 6.

Girls' Team Standings
  1. Raa, 33
  2. Swift Creek, 49
  3. Montford, 73
  4. Cobb, 98
  5. Deer Lake, 129
  6. Fairview, 152
  7. Fort Braden, 187

Top Ten Girls
  1. Rebecca Clendinen (Raa) 15:01
  2. Lindsay Hughes (Raa) 15:07
  3. Madeline Horgan (Swift Creek) 15:17
  4. Alex Wallace (Deer Lake) 15:29
  5. Zoe Sheldon (Swift Creek) 15:46
  6. Christiana Dogan (Raa) 15:57
  7. Maddy Kennan (Cobb) 15:58
  8. Katie Jones (Swift Creek) 16:03
  9. Brittany Asbury (Raa) 16:06
  10. Jewels Krueger (Montford) 16:22

Boys' Team Standings
  1. Raa, 15
  2. Montford, 84
  3. Swift Creek, 91
  4. Cobb, 109
  5. Deer Lake, 130
  6. Fairview, 131
  7. Griffin, 193
  8. Fort Braden, 241

Top Ten Boys
  1. Sukhi Khosla (Raa) 12:25
  2. Wil Luca (Raa) 12:33
  3. Lewis Langston (Raa) 12:46
  4. Devon Foster (Raa) 12:47
  5. Evan Francis (Raa) 12:47
  6. Jason Benn (Raa) 12:48
  7. Anthony Walker (Cobb) 12:51
  8. Jimmy Gillard (Montford) 12:59
  9. Harry Burn (Raa) 13:02
  10. Tyler Holton (Swift Creek) 13:03



  1. Thanks as always for the coverage, Herb. GPS track from the race is here. It depicts the revised finish from the proposed track.

  2. Why does that second one have so many loops and multiple tracks? Is it a composite of both races?

  3. I turned the GPS on at the start line before the Girls' race. Didn't turn it off till after the Boys' finish. The track shown depicts where I was between those two points in time...

  4. That explains the "Drunkard's Walk" on the football field. But I like the way that the two tracks were identical over most of the course.