Monday, November 11, 2013

State Championship Titles of Tallahassee & Leon County High School Cross-Country Teams, 1947-2013

Another high school cross-country season has come and gone in the State of Florida, climaxing with the FHSAA State Cross-Country Championships on Saturday morning, 9 November 2013. For the second year in a row, the state meet was held at Leon County's Apalachee Regional Park, giving Tallahassee folks an excellent chance to see their talented local athletes performing at the championship level. From 1947 to 2011, the first 65 years of Florida high school cross-country history, the closest the state meet ever came to Tallahassee was Gainesville. If you didn't take advantage and attend this year, hey, you had the opportunity. Maybe you're not really a cross-country fan?


Sukhi KhoslaThe fans that did attend saw some fine accomplishments by Tallahassee harriers. Foremost was Sukhi Khosla's win in the 3A boys' race. The Leon junior finished an undefeated season with a 15:08.61 run around the 5K course at ARPXC, the fastest time of all eight races that morning. Khosla's title is Leon's eighth in boys' cross country. No school in Florida has more, and only Bishop Kenny has as many. It also forces me to update my list of state championship titles by local high school teams and runners.


Griffith RutherfordKhosla's victory led Leon to a fourth-place spot in the 3A boys' team standings with 186 points. But the Lions were outshone by the Chiles Timberwolves. Behind the sixth-place 15:32.68 of Cade Zimmerman, Chiles tallied 116 points to take second in class 3A behind the defending champs from Belen Jesuit (85 points), taking home a runner-up trophy to go with their three state championship trophies. Khosla and Zimmerman weren't the only local runners to medal, either. In the class 1A boy's race, North Florida Christian senior Griffith Rutherford had another top-ten finish this year, earning a third-place medal with a 15:51.97. Behind, Rutherford, NFC scored 218 points to place sixth in the team standings. Tallahassee Maclay's top runner, senior Connor Daughton (12th, 16:36.87), didn't quite crack the top ten, but led his team to the second-place spot in class 1A with 101 points, earning the Marauders a runner-up trophy.


Not making it to the podium, but still noteworthy, Caroline Willis (19th, 19:28.09) led Tallahassee Maclay School to a 12th place showing with 309 points in the 1A girls race, the opening event of the meet. Neither Chiles nor Leon advanced a girls' team to State in class 3A, but Chiles was represented by senior Ashton McMurray (15th, 19:03.41) and sophmore Alex Wallace (18th, 19:08.96), and Leon by frosh athlete Audrey Dogan (44th, 19:45.34).


Madison HarrisTallahassee's neighbors were represented as well. Behind the finish of eighth-grader Camry Grant (141st, 23:05.18), Aucilla Christian placed 24th in the 1A girls' race with 691 points. An Aucilla Christian boys' team appeared at the State Meet for the first time ever, placing 18th in class 1A with 428 points, led by senior Braden Mattingly (25th, 17:02.87). Blountstown High also made a first-ever trip to the State Meet; led by junior Thomas Howell (47th, 17:29.61) BHS scored 558 points to finish 24th among class 1A boys' teams. In class 2A The Wakulla High girls made their second trip in three years to the State Meet. Wakulla senior Madison Harris earned a ninth-place medal, running 18:56.89, and leading her team to a 16th-place showing with 400 points, the Eagles best finish ever. Wakulla also sent a boys' team to State for the first time in school history. In their championship debut, the Eagle boys placed 23rd with 510 points, led by the sophomore Albert Smythe (74th, 17:15.49). Meagan Giddens, the sole entry for Perry's Taylor County HS, placed 17th in the 2A girls' race with a 19:38.39.


I don't know whether or not the State Championships will return to Apalachee Regional Park in 2014. If there's a better venue in the state of Florida then the FHSAA should certainly move the meet there. I can't imagine what that better venue would be, though. But wherever the races are run, I look for Tallahassee and Leon County athletes to continue making history.




CHILES HIGH SCHOOLTimberwolves

Team Titles

Boys:
FHSAA 3A State Champions, 2003
FHSAA 3A State Champions, 2005
FHSAA 3A State Champions, 2006

Girls:
FHSAA 3A State Champions, 2008
FHSAA 3A State Champions, 2009
FHSAA 3A State Champions, 2010


Individual Titles

Boys:
2003, Alex Miletich, 3A State Champion

Girls:
2009, Carly Thomas, 3A State Champion
2012, Rachel Givens, 3A State Champion



GODBY HIGH SCHOOL

Individual Titles

Boys:
2007, Joe Franklin, 2A State Champion





LEON HIGH SCHOOL

Team Titles

Boys:
FHSAA 2A State Champions 1969
FHSAA 3A State Champions 2007
FHSAA 3A State Champions 2008
FHSAA 3A State Champions 2009

Girls:
FHSAA 3A State Champions 1977
FHSAA 3A State Champions 1978
FHSAA 3A State Champions 1986
FHSAA 3A State Champions 1987
FHSAA 3A State Champions 1988


Individual Titles:

Boys:
1976 Herb Wills, 4A State Champion
1986 Doug Dickinson, 3A State Champion
1988 Ray Carter, 3A State Champion
1989 Ray Carter, 3A State Champion
2007 Matt Mizereck, 3A State Champion
2008 Matt Mizereck, 3A State Champion
2009 Matt Mizereck, 3A State Champion
2013 Sukhi Khosla, 3A State Champion

Girls:
1979 Rosemary Desloge, 3A State Champion
1988 Jessica Scafidi, 3A State Champion
1989 Jessica Scafidi, 3A State Champion
1990 Jessica Scafidi, 3A State Champion



LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL

Individual Titles

Girls:
1991 Kathy Ward, 4A State Champion
1992 Kathy Ward, 4A State Champion




MACLAY SCHOOL

Team Titles

Boys:
FHSAA 2A State Champions, 1998
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 1999
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 2000
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 2001
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 2002


Girls:
FHSAA 2A State Champions, 1997
FHSAA 2A State Champions, 1998
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 1999
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 2001
FHSAA 1A State Champions, 2005


Individual Titles

Boys:
2002, Ryan Deak, 1A State Champion
2008, Patrick Swain, 1A State Champion
2009, Patrick Swain, 1A State Champion



NORTH FLORIDA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

Individual Titles

Boys:
1989, Robert Boyd, 1A State Champion



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