Saturday, November 6, 2010

2010 FHSAA District 1-3A Cross-Country Meet

On Saturday morning, 6 November 2010, Panhandle high school cross-country teams assembled at Sims Middle School in Pace for the District 1 Championships. At stake in this opening round of the state championship series was the right to advance to the Region 1 championship the following week. Only eight girls' teams would move on; only eight boys' teams would move on. For the other teams, the season would end in Pace.


The girls' 5K race started at 8:00am CT. The course was three loops around the schoolyard, and Darroneshia Lott of Pine Forest immediately took the lead, remaining up front for the entire first loop. Lily Williams of Chiles overtook Lott near the end of the third kilometer and ran away to win in 18:27. Lott hung on for second in 18:40, just ahead Chiles' Carly Thomas (18:44), the defending state champion. Williams and Thomas were joined in the top ten by their teammate Jodie McGuff (8th, 19:25). Kellie Bahn (13th, 19:45) and Stephanie Reynolds (14th, 19:48) completed the Chiles top five, giving their team a winning total of 39 points. The Chiles Timberwolves were on track in their quest for a third straight state title. Fort Walton Beach, led by Ivy Chastain (4th, 19:11), placed as runners-up with 58 points. Niceville (85), Choctawhatchee (130), Pine Forest (149), Leon (184), Gulf Breeze (208), and Pace (217) were the other teams that qualified for the Region 1 Championship in Tallahassee on 13 November 2010.


Washington's Peter Fricke, flanked by teammate Jacob Kotick, set the pace for a large lead group through the first loop of the boys' 5K race. After two kilometers Kotick fell back as the Fricke's closest pursuers dwindled to three runners, Thomas Howell of Niceville, John Hazleton of Leon, and Riley Doherty of Leon. Approaching the three-kilometer mark, Hazleton moved around Fricke to take the lead. After four kilometers, Fricke had lost another place as Doherty moved into second, and then Howell was breathing down Fricke's collar. Hazleton went on to win in 15:44, while Doherty finished second in 15:53. Fricke held off Howell for third, 15:57 to 15:58. Fricke and Kotick were joined in the top ten by their Washington teammates Ian Bordelon (8th, 16:16) and Thomas Arnold (10th, 16:26). With their fifth runner, Harrison Edwards, running 16:35 to place 14th, Washington totaled 40 points to win the district title, ahead of runner-up and defending state champion Leon (62). The other six school to reach the Region 1 Meet were Niceville (93), Lincoln (103), Fort Walton Beach (105), Chiles (156), Navarre (218), and Choctawhatchee (294). Pace scored a heart-breaking single point out of eighth place to end their season with 295 points.


The morning was cold and clear, perfect weather for cross-country running. Not so typical of cross country was the course at Sims, which was utterly innocent of either trees or hills. You could argue that it was spectator friendly, but so is a track. In fact, the course was a lot like a track. Most of the course was a graded dirt path, closely resembling the tracks that us more mature runners remember from our youth. And with the runners going three laps around the course, there were lapped runners as there would be in a race on the track. But cross-country runners should expect to compete on all sorts of terrain and surfaces, and the meet was exceptionally well organized. And you won't find many cross-country events with such a well-stocked (or heavily advertised) concession stand.


Girls' Team Standings (Eight Qualify for Region)
  1. Chiles, 39
  2. Fort Walton Beach, 58
  3. Niceville, 85
  4. Choctawhatchee, 130
  5. Pine Forest, 149
  6. Leon, 184
  7. Gulf Breeze, 208
  8. Pace, 217
  9. Navarre, 225
  10. Washington, 232
  11. Milton, 313
  12. Lincoln, 354
  13. Mosley, 369
  14. Pensacola, 374
  15. Escambia, 418
  16. Tate, 509

Top Fifteen Girls
  1. Lily Williams (Chiles) 18:26.07
  2. Darroneshia Lott (Pine Forest) 18:39.22
  3. Carly Thomas (Chiles) 18:43.83
  4. Ivy Chastain (Fort Walton Beach) 19:10.27
  5. Sara Steele (Choctawhatchee) 19:16.74
  6. Crystal Wachob (Pine Forest) 19:19.45
  7. Sarah Devaux (Fort Walton Beach) 19:19.89
  8. Jodie McGuff (Chiles) 19:24.60
  9. Laura Nelson (Niceville) 19:25.13
  10. Marsel Mosley (Niceville) 19:32.01
  11. Briana Degennaro (Fort Walton Beach) 19:41.75
  12. Brooke Eubanks (Leon) 19:43.09
  13. Kelley Bahn (Chiles) 19:44.51
  14. Stephanie Reynolds (Chiles) 19:47.45
  15. Casey Evans (Choctawhatchee) 19:55.09

Boys' Team Standings (Eight Qualify for Region)
  1. Washington, 40
  2. Leon, 62
  3. Niceville, 93
  4. Lincoln, 103
  5. Fort Walton Beach, 105
  6. Chiles, 156
  7. Navarre, 218
  8. Choctawhatchee, 294
  9. Pace, 295
  10. Mosley, 300
  11. Pine Forest, 313
  12. Gulf Breeze, 319
  13. Crestview, 339
  14. Milton, 370
  15. Escambia, 390
  16. Tate, 475
  17. Pensacola, 508

Top Fifteen Boys
  1. John Hazleton (Leon) 15:43.64
  2. Riley Doherty (Leon) 15:52.54
  3. Peter Fricke (Washington) 15:55.30
  4. Thomas Howell (Niceville) 15:56.50
  5. Jacob Kotick (Washington) 15:58.85
  6. Jacob Slupecki (Lincoln) 16:00.58
  7. Christian Buzzard (Chiles) 16:13.36
  8. Ian Bordelon (Washington) 16:15.31
  9. Jacob Dearmon (Fort Walton Beach) 16:20.66
  10. Thomas Arnold (Washington) 16:25.54
  11. Jason Riggs (Niceville) 16:27.86
  12. Trevor Touchton (Lincoln) 16:30.72
  13. William Henderson (Leon) 16:31.19
  14. Harrison Edwards (Washington) 16:34.66
  15. David Van Steenbergen (Choctawhatchee) 16:35.77

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