Saturday, September 6, 2014

Leon and Khosla repeat at Cougar Challenge

Haleigh MartinIn George R. R. Martin's novel A Game of Thrones and its sequels, the sigil of House Lannister is a lion, and the family motto is "Hear Me Roar!" That could very well have been the motto of the Lions of Leon High at the Cougar Cross-Country Challenge on Saturday morning, 6 September 2014. Those distance-running Lions successfully defended their team titles in the high school girls' 5K and the high school boys' 5K, while Leon's ace, senior Sukhi Khosla, won the individual championship in the boys' race for a second year in a row.


Rawr!


As in years before, Tallahassee's 2014 high school cross-country season opened at Phipps Park with the Cougar Challenge. Competition started at 8:00 AM with the high school girls' race. Sophomores Haleigh Martin of Wakulla and Caroline Willis of Maclay battled shoulder to shoulder for the lead for more than four kilometers, then Martin pulled away on the final major uphill of the race, securing a 21:09 to 21:24 win. The next four runners after Willis, though, all wore Leon red and white. Gray Kinch (3rd, 23:00), Audrey Dogan (4th, 23:07), Grace Lockhart (4th, 23:10), and Zoe Sheldon (5th, 23:16) set up a Leon score of 44 points, good for the win. Only just good enough, though, because the Maclay Marauders were just a breath behind in second with 46 points. Wakulla was third in the twelve-team field with 93 points.


Team Standings, High School Girls, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. Leon, 44Gray Kinch
  2. Maclay, 46
  3. Wakulla, 93
  4. Lincoln, 119
  5. Thomas County Central, 162
  6. Aucilla Christian, 172
  7. John Paul II, 172
  8. Bainbridge, 216
  9. Pelham, 236
  10. North Florida Christian, 249
  11. Grace Christian, 273
  12. Baconton Charter, 307

Top Ten High School Girls, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
    Caroline Willis
  1. 21:08.67 ~ Haleigh Martin (Wakulla) 10
  2. 21:23.99 ~ Caroline Willis (Maclay) 10
  3. 22:59.09 ~ Gray Kinch (Leon) 10
  4. 23:06.14 ~ Adrianna Dogan (Leon) 10
  5. 23:09.31 ~ Grace Lockhart (Leon) 11
  6. 23:15.81 ~ Zoe Sheldon (Leon) 10
  7. 23:22.67 ~ Kenzie Mazziotta (Maclay) 8
  8. 23:24.75 ~ Molly McCann (Maclay) 10
  9. 23:54.95 ~ Monica Webb (Pelham) 10
  10. 23:56.00 ~ Constance Lewis (Wakulla) 11

Sukhi KhoslaPart of the "Challenge" in the Cougar Challenge comes from two major uphill climbs on the course, one starting near the two kilometer mark and the other just after the four kilometer mark. The second kilometer of the race, though, is a level stretch along the shore of Lake Jackson. By the time the runners in the boys 5K reached this point on the course, six Leon runners were out ahead of the field--Sukhi Khosla, Hunter Scott, Kyle Buchholz, Adam Wallenfelsz, Matthew Cashin, and Maxx Marshall--with Wakulla sophomore Bryce Cole following in their wake. The six Lions remained up front, Khosla winning in 16:42 while his team racked up a perfect score of 15 points. Maclay sophomore Jake Mazziotta overtook Wakulla's Cole to take seventh in 17:58, but Wakulla's team beat out the Maclay squad for the runner-up trophy, 90 points to 93.


Team Standings, High School Boys, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. Leon, 15Leon HS boy's cross-country team
  2. Wakulla, 90
  3. Maclay, 93
  4. Chiles, 117
  5. Bainbridge, 164
  6. Lincoln, 168
  7. Rickards, 194
  8. Thomas County Central, 201
  9. Aucilla Christian, 290
  10. North Florida Christian, 316
  11. Florida State, 336
  12. Baconton Charter, 349
  13. Pelham, 361
  14. Grace Christian, 375
  15. Franklin County, 440

Top Ten High School Boys, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. 16:41.80 ~ Sukhi Khosla (Leon) 12Hunter Scott
  2. 17:09.12 ~ Hunter Scott (Leon) 12
  3. 17:16.37 ~ Kyle Buchholz (Leon) 12
  4. 17:27.35 ~ Adam Wallenfelsz (Leon) 11
  5. 17:43.37 ~ Matthew Cashin (Leon) 10
  6. 17:51.58 ~ Maxx Marshall (Leon) 12
  7. 17:57.04 ~ Jake Mazziotta (Maclay) 10
  8. 18:04.03 ~ Bryce Cole (Wakulla) 10
  9. 18:10.49 ~ William Luca (Leon) 12
  10. 18:32.28 ~ James Dodson (Leon) 11

Godby High's 2014 Cougar Cross-Country ChallengeAfter the two high school 5K races, it was the middle school girls' turn to test themselves on the slopes of Phipps Park. Katherine Resavage of Holy Comforter Episcopal School won that race, turning 13:11 for three kilometers. In addition to Resavage, the Crusaders had four other runners in the top nine--Emma McGibany (4th, 14:07), Avery Smith (5th, 14:08), Elizabeth Calabro (7th, 14:11), and Hailey Hobbs (9th, 14:26). It was enough to give Holy Comforter an impressive team win with 26 points. Led by Lindsay James (2nd, 13:38) and Regan Hermeling (3rd, 13:54), Maclay took second with 97 points. Totaling 117 point, the Bainbridge team was third among the nine middle school girls squads.


Team Standings, Middle School Girls, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. Holy Comforter, 26Holy Comforter Episcopal School girls' cross-country team
  2. Maclay, 97
  3. Bainbridge 117
  4. Thomas County Central, 125
  5. Pelham, 138
  6. Grace Christian, 146
  7. Florida State, 154
  8. Cornerstone, 155
  9. Baconton Charter, 189

Top Ten Middle School Girls, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. 13:10.75 ~ Katherine Resavage (Holy Comforter) 8
  2. 13:37.94 ~ Lindsay James (Maclay) 6
  3. 13:53.06 ~ Regan Hermeling (Maclay) 7
  4. 14:06.93 ~ Emma McGibany (Holy Comforter) 8
  5. 14:07.72 ~ Avery Smith (Holy Comforter) 7
  6. 14:09.02 ~ Summer Williams (Florida State) 8
  7. 14:10.05 ~ Elizabeth Calabro (Holy Comforter) 7
  8. 14:20.72 ~ Anna James (Thomas County Central) 6
  9. 14:25.04 ~ Hailey Hobbs (Holy Comforter) 8
  10. 14:35.32 ~ Molly Dixon (Holy Comforter) 7

Caleb HarrisIn the final race of the morning, the middle school boys also ran three kilometers. Bainbridge Middle eighth-grader Caleb Harris got out front and stayed there, winning the race in 11:08. Maclay School answered with second- and third-place performances by sixth-graders Johnny McClure (11:19) and Kennan Milford (11:25). McClure and Milford were joined by Marauders Max Eastman (5th, 11:28), Alfredo Peres (9th, 12:21), and Hunt Deison (11th, 12:32), giving Maclay 30 points and the team title. Led by top ten finishes by Joseph Ashebo (6th, 11:52) and Bryce Valveri (7th 12:00), Holy Comforter's team took second with 64 points. Bainbridge was third with 84.


449 runners each finished one of four races at the 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge. Those runners represented 54 teams from 24 different schools.


Team Standings, Middle School Boys, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. Maclay, 30Johnny McClure
  2. Holy Comforter, 64
  3. Bainbridge, 84
  4. Florida State, 95
  5. Taylor County, 121
  6. Baconton Charter, 174
  7. Grace Christian, 176
  8. Thomas County Central, 186
  9. Pelham, 254

Top Ten Middle School Boys, 2014 Cougar Cross-Country Challenge
  1. 11:07.45 ~ Caleb Harris (Bainbridge) 8Kennan Milford
  2. 11:18.21 ~ Johnny McClure (Maclay) 6
  3. 11:24.28 ~ Kennan Milford (Maclay) 6
  4. 11:27.01 ~ Jahaz Morgan (Florida State) 5
  5. 11:27.87 ~ Max Eastman (Maclay) 8
  6. 11:51.75 ~ Joseph Ashebo (Holy Comforter) 7
  7. 11:59.09 ~ Bryce Valveri (Holy Comforter) 8
  8. 11:59.35 ~ Ashton Smith (Florida State) 8
  9. 12:20.21 ~ Alfredo Paredes (Maclay) 8
  10. 12:28.71 ~ Max Kallschmidt (Taylor County) 8

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