Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cashin and Churchill win in blowouts, but Chiles teams continue to dominate 3A District 3

At the FHSAA 3A District 3 Cross-Country Championship on Saturday morning, 22 October 2016, the winners were truly poster children for the "loneliness of the long-distance runner." In the five-kilometer boys' race through Tallahassee, Florida' Phipps Park, Leon senior Matt Cashin led from start to finish, running alone while successfully defending his district title with a 17:01. Lincoln frosh Alyson Churchill had an even more solitary run in the high school girls' 5K, winning by more than 400 meters in 18:29. Chiles High swept the team titles, the boys scoring a winning 40 points and the girls placing first in their race with 31.

Matt Cashin
Matt Cashin

For perhaps the first time during the 2016 season, it was the kind of weather that makes you think about cross-country, with clear skies, temperatures in the 50s, and a strong breeze. It certainly wasn't the muggy conditions eight weeks earlier, when many of the athletes had raced on the same Phipps Park course during the Cougar Cross-Country Challenge. At that race, Matt Cashin had finished third behind Michael Phillips and Matthew Newland of Chiles. The District boys' race didn't start out like that at all. Near the mile mark, Cashin was over a hundred meters ahead of the next runner.

"I wanted to finish high and score as few points for the team as possible," said Cashin. "I didn't expect Chiles to be holding back that much."

Matt Newland, Michael Phillips
Matt Newland and Michael Phillips

Cashin himself was letting up late in the race, but still crossed the finish line first in 17:01, five seconds faster than he had run at Cougar Cross-Country Challenge and 80 meters ahead of the next runner. Chiles junior Michael Phillips was second in 17:19 and Matthew Newland of Chiles took third in 17:20. Chiles also put Alex Gruenwald across the finish line ninth in 17:52, Robert Nowak tenth in 17:52, and Zachary Jackson sixteenth in 18:14. Those five athletes gave Chiles 40 points and their sixth-straight District 3 title since 2011, the first year that FHSAA divided Florida up into sixteen districts for cross-country. Leon was second with 57 points. Led by senior Joshua Liles, Lincoln placed third with 70 points. Behind the fourth place 17:24 performance of junior Samuel Skiles, Stanton was fourth in the team standings with 89 points. Those top four schools advanced to the 3A Region 1 championships. Columbia runners Yassin Raffay (7th, 17:35) and Burch Greene (12th, 18:00) also made the cut for the Region 1 meet, qualifying as individuals. The 3A Region 1 races are scheduled for Saturday, 29 October 2016 at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.

"We ran it for the first time this year," said Cashin, talking about the Santa Fe course. "It was pretty fast. I had my season best there.

"It's a real tough Region. There will be a lot of guys up there. Matthew Clark from Creekside, for one."

Chiles High boys' cross-country team
Chiles High boys

Boys' Team Standings, 2016 FHSAA 3A District 3 XC Meet
  1. Chiles, 40
  2. Leon, 57
  3. Lincoln, 70
  4. Stanton, 89
  5. Columbia, 129
  6. Paxon, 195
  7. Ed White, 196
  8. Terry Parker, 237
  9. Englewood, 251

Top 15 Boys, 2016 FHSAA 3A District 3 Cross-Country ChampionshipsTop 15 Boys, 2016 FHSAA 3A District 3 XC Meet
  1. 17:00.16 ~ Matthew Cashin (Leon) 12
  2. 17:18.72 ~ Michael Phillips (Chiles) 11
  3. 17:19.90 ~ Matthew Newland (Chiles) 11
  4. 17:23.33 ~ Samuel Skiles (Stanton) 11
  5. 17:29.80 ~ Colter Foster (Leon) 12
  6. 17:32.55 ~ Joshua Liles (Lincoln) 12
  7. 17:34.01 ~ Yassin Raffay (Columbia) 11
  8. 17:34.22 ~ Sebastian Kenne (Stanton) 10
  9. 17:51.66 ~ Alexander Gruenewald (Chiles) 12
  10. 17:51.92 ~ Robert Nowak (Chiles) 11
  11. 17:58.96 ~ Clayton Carlson (Lincoln) 11
  12. 17:59.85 ~ Burch Greene (Columbia) 10
  13. 18:03.06 ~ Dennis Majano (Lincoln) 11
  14. 18:03.66 ~ Jacob Dodson (Leon) 11
  15. 18:09.66 ~ Charles Hruda (Lincoln) 10

In the boys' race, people were throwing around phrases like "holding back" and "letting up." If there was any talk like that in the girls' race, you didn't hear it from Lincoln's Alyson Churchill.

Alyson Churchill
Alyson Churchill

"The coach doesn't want me to run hard," said Churchill. "But you get out there, and it's a race."

For Churchill, it could have been a time trial. By two kilometers the Lincoln frosh was so far ahead that she was out of sight of the rest of the field.

"I've been working on even mile splits," said Churchill. "I didn't do it today, though."

Alyson Churchill
Alyson Churchill

What she did do was run a winning 18:29, even faster than the 18:47 that she had posted on the same course at the Cougar Cross-Country Challenge back in August. Chiles junior Ana Wallace moved up during the final kilometer of the race to finish second in 20:09. Columbia junior Bridget Morse took third in 20:12.

After Wallace, the Chiles Timberwolves piled four more athletes into the top twelve, with Emily Culley placing fourth in 20:15, Caitlin Wilkey sixth in 20:32, Erin Phelps seventh in 20:33, and Emily Molen twelfth in 20:20. That added up to 31 Timberwolf points and Chiles' fifth 3A District 3 girls' title in the last six years. Behind Alyson Churchill's win, Lincoln scored 55 points to take second. Leon, led by the fifth place 20:20 performance of Katherine Resavage, placed third with 76 points. The fourth place team was the last to advance to the 3A Region 1 championship, and Stanton edged Columbia for that spot, 99 to 101. Columbia athletes Bridget Morse (3rd, 20:12) and Cassandra Pierron (15th, 21:53) advanced to the Region 1 meet as individuals.

2016 FHSAA 3A District 3 girls' cross-country race
Approaching the 2K mark of the high school girls' 5K

At Region, teams and athletes will be fighting for a spot on the starting line at the State Final, slated for Saturday, 5 November 2016, at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Alyson Churchill has been running on that course since 2014.

"I like it being here," said Churchill. "It's definitely an advantage."

It's also an advantage to have run 18:07 on that course, as Churchill did three weeks earlier at the FSU Invitational.

Chiles High girls' cross-country teamGirls' Team Standings, 2016 FHSAA 3A District 3 XC Meet
  1. Chiles, 31
  2. Lincoln, 55
  3. Leon, 76
  4. Stanton, 99
  5. Columbia, 101
  6. Paxon, 154
  7. Englewood, 230
  8. Terry Parker, 235

Top 15 Girls, 2016 FHSAA 3A District 3 XC Meet
  1. 18:28.87 ~ Alyson Churchill (Lincoln) 9
  2. 20:08.35 ~ Ana Wallace (Chiles) 11
  3. 20:11.36 ~ Bridget Morse (Columbia) 11
  4. 20:14.76 ~ Emily Culley (Chiles) 10
  5. 20:19.48 ~ Katherine Resavage (Leon) 10
  6. 20:31.51 ~ Caitlin Wilkey (Chiles) 9
  7. 20:32.56 ~ Erin Phelps (Chiles) 11
  8. 20:32.92 ~ Alivia Davis (Stanton) 11
  9. 20:43.63 ~ Chase Merrick (Lincoln) 9
  10. 21:05.16 ~ Elizabeth Calabro (Leon) 9
  11. 21:10.19 ~ Megan Churchill (Lincoln) 9
  12. 21:19.20 ~ Emily Molen (Chiles) 9
  13. 21:26.03 ~ Zoe Sheldon (Leon) 12
  14. 21:48.59 ~ Yoonkyung Oh (Chiles) 10
  15. 21:52.33 ~ Cassandra Pierron (Columbia) 11

FHSAA 3A District 3 Cross-Country Champions, 2011 - 2016
DateTeam ChampsIndividual Champs
5 November 2011Chiles, 3816:01, Christian Buzzard (Chiles) 12
3 November 2012Chiles, 4015:58, Cooper Zimmerman (Chiles) 11
26 October 2013Chiles, 5015:52, Sukhi Khosla (Leon) 11
1 November 2014Chiles, 3216:04, Sukhi Khosla (Leon) 12
24 October 2015Chiles, 2516:38, Matthew Cashin (Leon) 11
22 October 2016Chiles, 4017:01, Matthew Cashin (Leon) 12
DateTeam ChampsIndividual Champs
5 November 2011Chiles, 1918:32, Lily Williams (Chiles) 12
3 November 2012Chiles, 3019:33, Rachel Givens (Chiles) 12
26 October 2013Stanton, 3719:36, Audrey Dogan (Leon) 9
1 November 2014Chiles, 2519:27, Emma Tucker (Chiles) 11
24 October 2015Chiles, 2719:50, Emma Tucker (Chiles) 12
22 October 2016Chiles, 3118:29, Alyson Churchill (Lincoln) 9
The 3A District 3 meet was run at Apalachee Regional Park in 2011, 2012,
2013, and 2015.
The meet was held at Lake City's Alligator Park in 2014.
The meet was held at Tallahassee's Phipps Park in 2016.


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