Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Caroline Willis and Jake Mazziotta lead a Maclay sweep of District 3-1A

Caroline WillisIf you're at a cross-country event at Maclay School in Tallahassee, the stormwater retention pond is going to come up in conversation. The District 3-1A Meet on Tuesday morning, 28 October 2014, was no exception.

"We were in the right place at the right time," declared Maclay Coach Gary Droze. "I usually have to run the hose to get some water in there, but they filled it for the adventure race last weekend. And then the fire department came yesterday and tested the hydrants on campus."

The course takes the runners through the pond three times, and it was starting to sound like it would be three trips through a quagmire. It had been dry in Tallahassee, though, and all that watery input had left the pond only slightly more moist than a heavy dew on the grass.

Molly McCannBut athletes don't come to the District meet to play in the mud, anyway. They come to earn a spot in the Regional championship. Four teams had shown up for each race in District 3-1A this year, but only three would qualify. Like a game of musical chairs, when the running was over someone was going to be left out.

The Maclay girls weren't going to be the team without a Region 1 seat. Half a kilometer into the girls' 5K race, Maclay runners already held the first six places, led by defending district champion Caroline Willis. No one caught the Marauder top five. Willis went on to get another District title in 20:45. The next four places also went to Maclay, with sophomore Molly McCann taking second in 20:54, frosh Jainey Coates third in 21:44, sixth-grader Lindsay James fourth in 21:53, and junior Kathleen Whitworth fifth in 22:00. John Paul II sophomore Julia Travis took sixth n 22:09, but Maclay already had a perfect score of 15 points and the win. Aucilla Christian was second with 65 points and John Paul II third with 66, both teams joining Maclay in advancing to the Region 1 meet.

Girls' team standings, 2014 District 3-1A Cross-Country Championships
  1. Maclay, 15 *
  2. Aucilla Christian, 65 *
  3. John Paul II, 66 *
  4. North Florida Christian, 100
* Team advances to the Region 1 Championships

Top Ten Girls, 2014 District 3-1A Cross-Country Championships
  1. 20:44.21 ~ Caroline Willis (Maclay) 102014 FHSAA District 3-1A Cross Country
  2. 20:53.19 ~ Molly McCann (Maclay) 10
  3. 21:43.60 ~ Jainey Coates (Maclay) 09
  4. 21:52.18 ~ Lindsay James (Maclay) 06
  5. 21:59.69 ~ Kathleen Whitworth (Maclay) 11
  6. 22:08.48 ~ Julia Travis (John Paul II) 10
  7. 22:28.25 ~ Anne Desotell (Maclay) 09
  8. 22:59.59 ~ Jessica Secreast (Maclay) 11
  9. 23:14.86 ~ Emma Travis (John Paul II) 10
  10. 23:42.73 ~ Anna Lee Trest (Aucilla Christian) 06

Gatlin Nennstiel and Jack MazziottaIt had been foggy during the girls' race, but it was bright and sunny by 10:00 AM when the boys started. Aucilla Christian sophomore Gatlin Nennstiel went right to the front, building up a lead of nearly 50 meters during the first of three trips around the course. During the second loop, though, Maclay sophomore Jake Mazziotta came after Nennstiel. Mazziotta had outrun Nennstiel at the Cougar Challenge, Bearcat Invitational, and Pre State, but only ten days earlier Gatlin had run four seconds faster than Mazziotta at Aucilla Christian's Warrior Rampage. As Mazziotta closed on Nennstiel, the two left the rest of the field far behind. One of them would be District 3 champion.

With about a kilometer to go, Mazziotta overtook Nennstiel, then began to pull away. The Aucilla Christian Warrior never folded his tent, but Mazziotta continued strong to the finish, winning the race in 17:25. Nennstiel was second in 17:31. The next four places belonged to Maclay Marauders, with junior George Gwynn coming in third in 18:32, frosh Daniel Sweeney fourth in 18:39, frosh Seth Kemeny fifth in 18:43, and junior George Escobar sixth in 18:44. It's impossible to beat a score of 19 points; the District 3 title went to Maclay. Aucilla Christian was second with 57 points, and North Florida Christian scored 78 to take third place and the remaining Region 1 qualifying spot.

The teams that advanced will race next on Saturday morning, 8 November 2014, in the Region 1-1A Championship at Sunnyhill Farm in Tallahassee. From the Region 1 meet, six teams will earn a position on the starting line of the State Finals at Apalachee Regional Park on 15 November 2014.

Boys' team standings, 2014 District 3-1A Cross-Country Championships
  1. Maclay, 19 *
  2. Aucilla Christian, 57 *
  3. North Florida Christian, 78 *
  4. John Paul II, 86
* Team advances to the Region 1 Championships

Top Ten Boys, 2014 District 3-1A Cross-Country Championships
  1. 17:24.19 ~ Jake Mazziotta (Maclay) 102014 FHSAA District 3-1A Cross Country
  2. 17:30.67 ~ Gatlin Nennstiel (Aucilla Christian) 10
  3. 18:31.63 ~ George Gwynn (Maclay) 11
  4. 18:38.50 ~ Daniel Sweeney (Maclay) 09
  5. 18:42.01 ~ Seth Kemeny (Maclay) 09
  6. 18:43.42 ~ George Escobar (Maclay) 11
  7. 18:45.17 ~ Bradley Savary (North Fla Christian) 11
  8. 18:45.95 ~ Daniel Becker (Maclay) 11
  9. 19:20.33 ~ Jimmy Bolen (Community Christian) 09
  10. 19:37.97 ~ Garet Grant (North Fla Christian) 11


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