Thursday, October 2, 2014

Deerlake girls stun Swift Creek, Fairview boys win first title

Alyson ChurchillThe Swift Creek girls' cross-country team had a winning streak of eight meets that went back to the 2012 Leon County Schools' Championship. At the 2014 championship on Wednesday evening, 1 October 2014, the Deerlake girls brought that streak to an end, winning the county title on a tie-breaker. Deerlake's Lawton Campbell led her team, finishing first in the girls' two-mile race in 12:12 for her fourth win in an undefeated season. Griffin's Tavaris King got his third win on the season, winning the country crown with an 11:59 win in the boys' two-mile race. Fairview won their first Leon County Schools' title ever, leading the teams with a 44-point total.

Lawton Campbell isn't the fastest middle school girl in the history of Leon County Schools cross country. She is fast, though. Fast enough to have gone undefeated in the 1600 while running for Montford during the 2014 track season. Fast enough to have gone undefeated while running for Deerlake during the 2014 cross-country season. Fast enough to have run 12:12, the best two-mile time by a middle school girl at the Leon County Schools Cross-Country Championship in the five years the meet has been at Apalachee Regional Park.

Soon after the start of the 2014 Championship race, Lawton Campbell was out in front.

"I was pumped up," she said later. "It was my last meet as a middle schooler and I was excited."

Lawton CampbellExcitement bought Campbell a five-second lead by the end of the first 800 meters. Swift Creek's Alyson Churchill trailed in second, staying within five seconds till about 800 meters to go. At that point the course started a long uphill that ended with the steep climb called The Wall.

"There's only one tough part; that's the hill towards the end," Campbell said of the course after the race. "But that's toward the end, so it's not a big deal."

It wasn't a big deal to Campbell. Racing up The Wall, she pulled farther away from Alyson Churchill. After the climb Campbell continued to add seconds to the margin, going on to win the race in 12:12. Alyson Churchill finished second in 12:24. Megan Churchill of Swift Creek shook several challengers near The Wall to take third in 12:36.

After Campbell, Deerlake had three other runners in the top ten--Emily Molen was fourth in 12:46, Grace Jackson eighth in 13:18, and Gracie Streeval ninth in 13:55. When Deerlake's fifth runner, Gabrielle O'Sullivan, placed 14th in 14:28, the team had 36 points. However, the defending champions from Swift Creek also had 36. The tiebreaker was the sixth runner on each team, and Deerlake's was faster--Lauren Cook finished 15th in 14:36. The Deerlake girls had won the Leon County Schools' 2014 cross-country title, while the Wolves took the second-place trophy back to Swift Creek. Montford was third with 79 points.

2014 Deerlake girls' cross-country teamTeam Standings, Girls
  1. Deerlake, 36 points
  2. Swift Creek, 36
  3. Montford, 79
  4. Fairview, 101
  5. Raa, 105
  6. Cobb, 169

Top Ten Girls
  1. 12:11.26 ~ Lawton Campbell (Deerlake) 8Top ten girls, Leon County Schools' 2014 middle school cross-country championship
  2. 12:23.41 ~ Alyson Churchill (Swift Creek) 7
  3. 12:35.72 ~ Megan Churchill (Swift Creek) 7
  4. 12:45.16 ~ Emily Molen (Deerlake) 7
  5. 12:46.08 ~ Emily Culley (Montford) 8
  6. 12:50.76 ~ Caitlin Wilkey (Montford) 7
  7. 12:59.90 ~ Chase Merrick (Swift Creek) 7
  8. 13:17.75 ~ Grace Jackson (Deerlake) 8
  9. 13:54.43 ~ Gracie Streeval (Deerlake) 8
  10. 14:01.57 ~ Madison Rumenik (Raa) 8

Tavaris KingIn the boys' race, Griffin's Tavaris King looked a bit tired when he reached the top of The Wall. King also looked like he was 14 seconds ahead with just 400 meters to run when he reached the top of The Wall, and no one looked like they were going to catch him. No one did. King crossed the finish line with a winning time of 11:59, his fastest of the season. Bryant McKnight of Montford crested The Wall in a crowd, but he ran away from them over the final 400 to take second in 12:05.  Alexander Gilliam of Fairview edged Montford's AJ Hodges for third, 12:12 to 12:13.

It was an important third place, but all the places were important in the tight competition for the team championship. Montford was ahead of Fairview through the first three runners on each team. The fourth and fifth scorers, though, put Fairview ahead. Gilliam, Charles Hruda (6th, 12:16), Townshend Porcher (12th, 12:35), Jalen Greenwood (13th, 12:36), and Mkharis Lindsey (15th, 12:40) totalled 44 points for Fairview--good enough for the Falcons first Leon County Schools' cross-country title. The defending champs from Montford were a very close second with 46 points. Swift Creek was third with 55.

2014 Fairview boys' cross-country teamTeam Standings, Boys
  1. Fairview, 44 points
  2. Montford, 46
  3. Swift Creek, 55
  4. Deerlake, 97
  5. Raa, 125
  6. Cobb, 166

Top Ten Boys
  1. 11:58.37 ~ Tavaris King (Griffin) 8Bryant McKnight
  2. 12:04.92 ~ Bryant McKnight (Montford) 8
  3. 12:11.02 ~ Alexander Gilliam (Fairview) 8
  4. 12:12.34 ~ Aj Hodges (Montford) 8
  5. 12:13.55 ~ Ky Peltier (Swift Creek) 8
  6. 12:15.78 ~ Charles Hruda (Fairview) 8
  7. 12:17.46 ~ Yunus Kovankaya (Swift Creek) 8
  8. 12:19.80 ~ Sam Mountin (Deerlake) 8
  9. 12:24.36 ~ Noah Allum (Montford) 8
  10. 12:28.02 ~ Michael Sweeney (Deerlake) 6

2014 Leon County Schools
Middle School Cross-Country Season Summary
MeetTeam ChampIndividual Champ
Fort Braden (Story)
3 Sep 2014
Swift Creek, 3613:13, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake)
Montford (Story)
10 Sep 2014
Swift Creek, 3412:46, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake)
Everhart (Story)
18 Sep 2014
Swift Creek, 3512:41, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake)
Championship (Story)
1 Oct 2014
Deerlake, 3612:12, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake)
MeetTeam ChampIndividual Champ
Fort Braden (Story)
3 Sep 2014
Swift Creek, 6013:00, Bryant McKnight (Montford)
Montford (Story)
10 Sep 2014
Swift Creek, 6612:14, Tavaris King (Griffin)
Everhart (Story)
18 Sep 2014
Fairview, 5912:04, Tavaris King (Griffin)
Championship (Story)
1 Oct 2014
Fairview, 4411:59, Tavaris King (Griffin)

Leon County Schools Middle School Cross-Country Championships
Apalachee Regional Park, 2010 - 2014
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
6 Oct 2010Raa, 3213:34, Rebecca Clendinen (Raa) 8
28 Sep 2011Swift Creek, 3113:24, Zoe Sheldon (Swift Creek) 7
26 Sep 2012Swift Creek, 3612:49, Audrey Dogan (Raa) 8
2 Oct 2013Swift Creek, 4313:00, Ana Wallace (Deerlake) 8
1 Oct 2014Deerlake, 3612:12, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake) 8
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
6 Oct 2010Raa, 2411:35, Wil Luca (Raa) 8
28 Sep 2011Raa, 5811:42, Evan Francis (Raa) 8
26 Sep 2012Montford, 5611:49, Matthew Cashin (Raa) 8
2 Oct 2013Montford, 3711:19, Jacob Dodson (Raa) 8
1 Oct 2014Fairview, 4411:59, Tavaris King (Griffin) 8
Note: LCS held middle-school cross-country championships before 2010.
This table summarizes the history of the championship at ARPXC.


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