Thursday, October 1, 2015

Molen and Blake lead the stampede at the Mustang Invitational

2015 Mustang Cross Country StampedeOn Wednesday evening, 30 September 2015, Montford Middle School hosted the penultimate meet in Leon County Schools' middle school cross country season, the third annual Mustang Invitational. Emily Molen won the girls' two mile in 12:25, her second win in a row this season, while the Swift Creek girls took the team title. Swift Creek's Wes Blake scored a come-from-behind victory with an 11:56 in the boys' two mile. The Deerlake boys won the team competition.

The Mustang Invitational may be three years old, but the course this year was completely new. Ongoing construction on the school grounds made it impossible to use last year's course, so Montford planned a new route, finalized only days before the race. How did the new course compare to its predecessor?

"I felt like it was a lot harder than last year," said Emily Molen, winner of the girls' race. "Last year was hard, too, but this was even more difficult."

Emily MolenI liked it a lot better than last year's course," said boys' champ Wes Blake. "It was a lot easier."

So opinions varied. At least they agreed that it was indeed a new course.

The girls' race started at 6:00 PM. Deerlake eighth-grader Emily Molen was soon out in the lead. Swift Creek eighth-graders Alyson Churchill and Megan Churchill led the pursuit, but neither challenged Molen. Late in the race, Montford eighth-grader Caitlin Wilkey overtook the Churchill's but Molen was far ahead. Deerlake's ace went on to win the race by close to 150 meters, running 12:25. Wilkey was second in 13:02. Megan Churchill was third in 13:08, and Alyson Churchill fourth in 13:25.

Caitlin WilkeyChase Merrick made it three in the top ten for Swift Creek, coming in fifth in 13:25. But eighth-grader Gabrielle O'Sullivan (6th, 14:02) and seventh-grader Lauren Cook (7th, 14:28) made three in the top ten for Deerlake as well. Sixth-grader Scout Causey (12th, 14:51) scored fourth for Deerlake. But Swift Creek put eighth-grader Rylee French (14th, 14:56), eighth-grader Chloe Molinaro (17th, 15:04), and seventh-grader Lauren Whittier (20th, 15:14) across the finish line before Deerlake's fifth scorer arrived. The Swift Creek Wolves had 43 points and their fourth win of the season. Deerlake was a close second with 50, and Montford placed third with 54.

Only the Leon County Schools' championship meet remains on the schedule, coming up on Wednesday, 7 September 2015, on the Apalachee Regional Park Championship Cross Country Course. Deerlake's Molen knows ARPXC well.

"I was out there [Apalachee Regional Park] this past weekend," said Molen. "I normally run out there at least twice a week."

One of those twice-weekly runs will be the 2015 LCS Championship.

2015 Mustang Stampede Team Standings, Girls
  1. Swift Creek, 43 points
  2. Deerlake, 50
  3. Montford, 54
  4. Raa, 80
  5. Cobb, 148
  6. Fairview, 151
    Fort Braden, NTS
    Griffin, NTS
    Nims, NTS
    Woodville, NTS

Top 15 Girls, 2015 Montford Mustang Stampede Two Mile
  1. 12:24.24 ~ Emily Molen (Deerlake) 8Megan Churchill
  2. 13:01.26 ~ Caitlin Wilkey (Montford) 8
  3. 13:07.70 ~ Megan Churchill (Swift Creek) 8
  4. 13:24.02 ~ Alyson Churchill (Swift Creek) 8
  5. 13:31.20 ~ Chase Merrick (Swift Creek) 8
  6. 14:01.01 ~ Gabrielle O'Sullivan (Deerlake) 8
  7. 14:12.66 ~ Lauren Cook (Deerlake) 7
  8. 14:27.14 ~ Allison Burton (Montford) 7
  9. 14:29.53 ~ Lilli Unger (Raa) 7
  10. 14:36.67 ~ Caroline Cummings (Montford) 6
  11. 14:44.44 ~ Arianna Barrow (Raa) 6
  12. 14:50.26 ~ Scout Causey (Deerlake) 6
  13. 14:55.39 ~ Grace Overholt (Fairview) 8
  14. 14:55.64 ~ Rylee French (Swift Creek) 8
  15. 14:59.37 ~ Nia Graham (Raa) 7

Levi Streval, Wes BlakeRaa eighth-grader Nile Bryant grabbed a big lead early in the boys' two-mile. Swift Creek seventh-grader Wes Blake chased him in second place, but Blake was already twelve-seconds down at the half mile. Bryant was still twelve seconds ahead with half-a-mile left in the race, but during that final half mile Blake acquired a rival. Deerlake sixth-grader Levi Streval moved up to challenge Blake for second.

"The guy right behind me [Streval] kept pushing," said Blake. "I didn't think we'd catch the guy in first [Bryant] but we kept pushing and I caught him. I sprinted in and got him."

Blake won in 11:56, with Bryant a close second in 11:58 and Streval third in 12:00. Deerlake eighth-grader Spencer Amsellem was fourth in 12:25. Then Montford opened with three runners in the top ten--eighth-grader Hawthorne Hay (5th, 12:28), sixth-grader Trey Daniels (7th, 12:50), and eighth-grader Sam Hartmann (8th, 12:54). But seventh-grader Michael Sweeney (10th, 12:58) made it three runners in the top ten for Deerlake as well. Eighth-grader Findley Tucker (11th, 12:58) scored fourth for Montford, but Deerlake closed their own team scoring with eighth-grader Carson Holman (12th, 12:59) and seventh-grader CJ Derickson (14th, 13:01). With 43 points, the Deerlake boys were the 2015 Mustang Invitational team champions. Montford was second with 50 points, and Swift Creek third with 59.

Nile BryantIn addition to their Montford Invitational title, the Deerlake boys have a Fort Braden Run win this season. Montford has a win at the Everhart Invitational. The most important meet the of the season, the LCS Championship remains to be contested.

"I'm just going to run my own race," said Swift Creek's Weston Blake.

That sounds like a good plan.

2015 Mustang Stampede Team Standings, Boys
  1. Deerlake, 43 points
  2. Montford, 50
  3. Swift Creek, 59
  4. Raa, 66
  5. Cobb, 141
  6. Fairview, 179
  7. Fort Braden, 207
    Griffin, NTS
    Nims, NTS
    Woodville, NTS

Top 15 Boys, 2015 Montford Mustang Stampede Two Mile
  1. 11:55.22 ~ Weston Blake (Swift Creek) 7Wes Blake
  2. 11:57.05 ~ Nile Bryant (Raa) 8
  3. 11:59.39 ~ Levi Streval (Deerlake) 6
  4. 12:24.44 ~ Spencer Amsellem (Deerlake) 8
  5. 12:27.25 ~ Hawthorne Hay (Montford) 8
  6. 12:41.15 ~ Kyle Spratt (Swift Creek) 6
  7. 12:49.09 ~ Trey Daniels (Montford) 6
  8. 12:53.44 ~ Sam Hartmann (Montford) 8
  9. 12:57.08 ~ Steven Johnson (Raa) 8
  10. 12:57.39 ~ Michael Sweeney (Deerlake) 7
  11. 12:57.79 ~ Findley Tucker (Montford) 8
  12. 12:58.56 ~ Carson Holman (Deerlake) 8
  13. 12:58.71 ~ Brody Miller (Swift Creek) 6
  14. 13:00.10 ~ Cj Derickson (Deerlake) 7
  15. 13:01.46 ~ Carlos Urrutia (Raa) 8

Mustang Cross-Country Stampede Champions
2013 - 2015
Girls' Two Mile
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
27 September 2013Swift Creek, 37 points13:42, Saige Kemeny (Montford) 7
10 September 2014Swift Creek, 3412:46, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake) 8
30 September 2015Swift Creek, 4312:25, Emily Molen (Deerlake) 8
Boys' Two Mile
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
27 September 2013Montford, 56 points11:56, Jacob Dodson (Raa) 8
10 September 2014Swift Creek, 6612:14, Tavaris King (Griffin) 8
30 September 2015Deerlake, 4311:56, Weston Blake (Swift Creek) 7


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