Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Francis goes 4-0 while Raa boys win when it counts

Fronted by Evan Francis' race-winning 11:42 two-mile cross-country run, the Raa boys picked up their first win of the 2011 season by winning the Leon County Schools middle school title for the eighth year in a row. The Raa team scored 58 points in the meet at Apalachee Regional Park Trail, just four points ahead of runner-up Montford and only eleven points up on third-place Swift Creek. As for Francis, it was his fourth win of the four-meet LCS season, having preceded the championship meet with victories at Battle at Tom Brown (7 September 2011), the Fort Braden Meet (14 September 2011), and the Owl Run (22 September 2011).

The meet opened with the girls' race at 6:00PM; the boys got their turn at the starting line at 6:30. By the end of the first kilometer the dust had settled from the initial stampede, and Raa's Evan Francis was out in front, a couple of seconds ahead of Adam Wallenfelsz of Montford. After a trip through the piney woods Francis had five seconds on Adam Wallenfelsz, while the Montford runner was shadowed by a group of four athletes--Shawn Nerney (Deerlake), Alex Holm (Cobb), Aiden Sailor (Montford), and Dylan Price (Deerlake). During the second half of the race, Francis opened an ever wider gap on the field and Adam Wallenfelsz dropped out of contention. Nerney and Price shrugged off Sailor and Holm, then, running side by side, fought for second place. Francis went on to win by nearly 50 meters in 11:42, and Nerney outkicked his teammate Price for the runner-up spot, 11:52 to 11:53. Behind them, Raa's James Dodson had worked his way up from twelfth place at the end of the first kilometer to finish fourth.

The Montford boys had earned wins at Fort Braden and the Owl Run, but those victories had been led by top ten performances by Adam Wallenfelsz. Even so, Montford's depth kept the team in the contest. Raa, Montford and Swift Creek each had two runners in the top ten and four in the top twenty (five in the case of Montford), but it was Raa with low score of 58 and the 2011 league championship. Montford took the runner-up trophy home with 62 points. Swift Creek, winners of the 2011 season opener at Tom Brown Park, settled for third with 69.

Boys Team Standings
  1. Raa Middle School, 58 points
  2. Montford Middle School, 62
  3. Swift Creek Middle School, 69
  4. Deerlake Middle School, 97
  5. Fairview Middle School, 108
  6. Cobb Middle School, 147
  7. Griffin Middle School, 160
  8. Fort Braden Middle School, 243

Top Ten Boys
  1. 11:41.25 ~ Evan Francis (Raa) 8
  2. 11:52.00 ~ Shawn Nerney (Deer Lake)
  3. 11:52.92 ~ Austin Dodson (Deer Lake)
  4. 11:56.61 ~ James Dodson (Raa) 8
  5. 11:59.88 ~ Alex Holm (Cobb) 8
  6. 12:03.81 ~ Aiden Sailor (Montford) 8
  7. 12:13.62 ~ Irfan Kovankaya (Swift Creek) 8
  8. 12:23.55 ~ Jackson McKnight (Montford) 8
  9. 12:31.98 ~ Troy Monroe (Swift Creek) 8
  10. 12:34.41 ~ Kyle Kincey (Fairview)


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