Friday, September 9, 2016

Kate Smith and Patrick Koon get cross country wins at the Crusader Classic

Holy Comforter Episcopal School seventh-grader Kate Smith ran 13:01 to win the 3000-meter girls' race at her school's Crusader Cross Country Classic on Friday afternoon, 9 September 2016. Smith's victory led her Crusader team to the girls' team title at the meet, scoring a near-perfect 18 points. Patrick Koon, a fifth-grader at the Tallahassee School of Arts and Sciences, scored a close win in the boys' race, covering the 3000 meters on Lawson's Course at Holy Comforter in 11:35. The Crusaders took the team title, though, putting up a mathematically unbeatable score of 24 points.

The middle school girls' race preceded the boys' 3000 meters at the Tallahassee, Florida cross country meet. Elise Ferguson, a Fairview Middle School seventh-grader, led most of the first half of the race. However, two Holy Comforter athletes, eighth-grader Katelyn Dessi and seventh-grader Kate Smith, remained in contact. The second half of the race belonged to Smith; she took over the lead and opened a huge gap on the field. Dessi also overtook Ferguson, but at the finish line Kate Smith was 150 meters ahead in 13:01. Dessi took second in 13:42, while Ferguson was third in 14:21.

Kate Smith
Kate Smith

Holy Comforter took the next three places after Ferguson, with seventh-grader Sophia Umana fourth in 14:28, sixth-grader Grace Reichelderfer fifth in 14:31, and sixth-grader Camille Resavage sixth in 14:57. With five of the top six places, the Crusaders ended up with 18 points and the girls' team title. Led by Ferguson, the Falcon Track Club was second with 51 points. Behind the twelth-place 16:06 performance of sixth-grader Lillee Tang, Cornerstone was third with 85 points.

2016 Crusader Classic Team Standings (Girls)
  1. Holy Comforter, 18
  2. Falcon Track Club, 51
  3. Cornerstone, 85
  4. Riversprings, 90

Katelyn DessiTop Ten Girls, 2016 Crusader Classic 3K
  1. 13:00.81 ~ Kate Smith (Holy Comforter) 7
  2. 13:41.09 ~ Katelyn Dessi (Holy Comforter) 8
  3. 14:20.97 ~ Elise Ferguson (Falcon Track Club) 7
  4. 14:27.90 ~ Sophia Umana (Holy Comforter) 7
  5. 14:30.04 ~ Grace Reichelderfer (Holy Comforter) 6
  6. 14:56.20 ~ Camille Resavage (Holy Comforter) 6
  7. 15:07.00 ~ Kate Krizner (Holy Comforter) 7
  8. 15:10.83 ~ Leah Mazur (Falcon Track Club) 8
  9. 15:21.62 ~ Hannah Delp (Holy Comforter) 7
  10. 15:38.43 ~ Imani Walker (Holy Comforter) 7

It wasn't Patrick Koon's first time at the Crusader Cross Country Classic. He had also raced at the meet in 2015 as a fifth-grader.

"I ran much faster this year," said Koon.

He did indeed. In 2015 Koon had placed tenth, running 12:38. In the 2016 race, though, Koon was always contending for the lead. A group of three runners set the pace for the field during the first two kilometers of the three kilometer race--Koon, Holy Comforter seventh-grader Leo Kelly, and Fairview eighth-grader Nicholas Samuel. During the final kilometer Samuel fell back, but Holy Comforter seventh-grader Ben Kirbo caught up with the front-runners, keeping three runners in the lead group. With 150 meters to go Koon made his move.

Patrick Koon
Patrick Koon

"My dad always taught me to go as hard as I could at the end," said Koon.

Patrick Koon could do worse than listen to his father, Bryan Koon. A master runner, the elder Koon has posted a 16:44 5K on the Tallahassee roads this year.

Ben Kirbo started to gain on the home stretch but he couldn't catch Koon. Koon was first across the finish line in 11:35 with Kirbo second in 11:36. Leo Kelly was third in 11:40 and Nicholas Samuel fourth in 11:54.

Altogether, Holy Comforter put six runners in the top ten. Crusader seventh-grader Jackson Yarborough was seventh in 12:46, eighth-grader Jackson Jones was eighth in 12:52, and eighth-grader Wilson Roberts was ninth in 12:53. That gave Holy Comforter 24 points and a third straight boys' title at the Crusader Classic. Maclay was second with 59 points, led by the sixth place 12:44 showing of sixth-grader Drew Whitfield. Christ Classical edged Fairview for third, 84 to 87.

2016 Crusader Classic Team Standings (Boys)
  1. Holy Comforter, 24
  2. Maclay, 59
  3. Christ Classical, 84
  4. Falcon Track Club, 87
  5. Trinity Catholic, 130
  6. Cornerstone, 166

Leo KellyTop Ten Boys, 2016 Crusader Classic 3K
  1. 11:34.55 ~ Patrick Koon (Arts & Sciences) 5
  2. 11:35.41 ~ Ben Kirbo (Holy Comforter) 7
  3. 11:39.29 ~ Leo Kelly (Holy Comforter) 7
  4. 11:53.36 ~ Nicholas Samuel (Falcon Track Club) 8
  5. 12:35.06 ~ Filippo Aldrovandi Reina (Falcon Track Club) 7
  6. 12:43.41 ~ Drew Whitfield (Maclay) 6
  7. 12:45.20 ~ Jackson Yarborough (Holy Comforter) 7
  8. 12:51.32 ~ Jackson Jones (Holy Comforter) 8
  9. 12:52.11 ~ Wilson Roberts (Holy Comforter) 8
  10. 12:59.80 ~ Caleb Heuchan (Holy Comforter) 6


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