Sunday, September 3, 2017

Phillips, Wallace, and Chiles win everything at the Big Bend Invitational

It was the Chiles High Timberwolf show at Tallahassee, Florida's Apalachee Regional Park. During the high school session of the inaugural Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational on Saturday morning, 2 September 2017, the Timberwolves took the team titles in both the High School girls' 5K and the high school boys' 5K. Not only that, Chiles senior Ana Wallace won the girls' 5K in 19:02, and another Chiles senior, Michael Phillips, won the boys' 5K in 15:51.

Ana Wallace
Ana Wallace

After an open Community 5K at 7:30 AM, high school competition commenced just after 8:15 AM with the high school girls' 5K. Half a kilometer into the race there was a lead group of four runners--Arnold frosh Marisa Ashley, Mosley senior Ella Swigler, Chiles junior Emily Culley, and P. K. Yonge frosh Juliette Palechor. Ana Wallace was ten seconds back in the seventh position. Wallace wasn't running as fast as the leaders but she was running as fast as she needed that early in the race. When the early leaders wilted, Wallace took over. Halfway through the race Wallace was running first, ten seconds up on the next runner, with Culley in second, Ashley in third, and Swigler in fourth. Those runners spread out during the second half of the 5K, but maintained their positions. Chiles' Wallace took first in 19:02, Chiles' Culley was second in 19:21, Arnold's Ashley was third in 19:57, and Mosley's Swigler fourth in 20:21.

"It was all right," said Wallace. "It wasn't my best effort. I need to be able to push harder."

Emily Culley
Emily Culley

Wallace and Culley weren't the only Chiles girls in the top ten. The Timberwolves also had sophomores Caitlyn Wilkey (5th, 20:35) and Emily Molen (6th, 20:55) put up top ten performances. The Chiles fifth runner was senior Reagan Mahler (13th, 21:51), giving the Timberwolves a mathematically unbeatable score of 27 and first place in a field of fifteen teams. Led by the ninth-place, 21:22 finish of junior Kat Resavage, Leon was second with 77 points. Lincoln was third with 77 points behind their top runner, sophomore Megan Churchill (7th, 21:04).

"This will be the last time we race here [Apalachee Regional Park] before the State Meet," said Wallace of Chiles. "We're not going to the FSU Invitational. We're going to Great American in North Carolina instead."

Marisa Ashley
Marisa Ashley

Experience on the State Meet course is always important, but Wallace and her teammates look like they've figured out how to race at Apalachee Regional Park.

Team Standings, Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational High School Girls' 5K
  1. Chiles, 27
  2. Leon, 77
  3. Lincoln, 92
  4. Maclay, 106
  5. Arnold, 179
  6. Florida State, 196
  7. Suwannee, 219
  8. Santa Fe, 252
  9. Wakulla, 270
  10. Mosley, 282
  11. Rutherford, 288
  12. P. K. Yonge, 306
  13. Blountstown, 319
  14. Franklin County, 351
  15. John Paul II, 375

Top Ten, Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational High School Girls' 5K
  1. 19:01.49, Ana Wallace (Chiles) 12
  2. 19:20.15, Emily Culley (Chiles) 11
  3. 19:56.58, Marisa Ashley (Arnold) 9
  4. 20:20.85, Ella Swigler (Mosley) 12
  5. 20:34.50, Caitlin Wilkey (Chiles) 10
  6. 20:54.22, Emily Molen (Chiles) 10
  7. 21:03.89, Megan Churchill (Lincoln) 10
  8. 21:19.60, Chase Merrick (Lincoln) 10
  9. 21:21.65, Katherine Resavage (Leon) 11
  10. 21:23.81, Hannah Hosay (Maclay) 10

Count Chiles senior Michael Phillips as one of the athletes who knows how to win at Apalachee Regional Park. Phillips won the state title for class 3A boys on the course in 2016, and he dominated the field like a state champion at the 2017 Big Bend Invitational. Phillips shrugged off the competition during the first half of the race, then ran the second half of the 5K alone. Phillips took first in 15:51, while Chiles seniors Matthew Newland and Robert Nowak were second in 16:20 and third in 17:18.

Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips

The Chiles boys also got top ten performances from junior Clay Milford (6th, 17:35) and sophomore Hawthorne Hay (10th, 17:47), putting the Timberwolves first in the team standings with a mathematically unbeatable 22 points. Led by sophomore Joseph Ashebo (12th, 17:51), Leon edged Wakulla for second place, 104 to 107. Wakulla's top runner was junior Chris Porter, thirteenth in 17:55.

Team Standings, Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational High School Boys' 5K
  1. Chiles, 22
  2. Leon, 104
  3. Wakulla, 108
  4. Blountstown, 141
  5. Lincoln, 142
  6. Maclay, 174
  7. Suwannee, 193
  8. Santa Fe, 209
  9. P. K. Yonge, 253
  10. Rutherford, 275
  11. Mosley, 276
  12. Arnold, 320
  13. Franklin County, 349
  14. Northside Methodist, 360
  15. John Paul II, 361

Top Ten, Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational High School Boys' 5K
  1. 15:50.80, Michael Phillips (Chiles) 12
  2. 16:19.23, Matthew Newland (Chiles) 12
  3. 17:17.48, Robert Nowak (Chiles) 12
  4. 17:28.10, Micah Hilliard (Suwannee) 12
  5. 17:28.75, Blake Turner (Arnold) 12
  6. 17:34.43, Clayburn Milford (Chiles) 11
  7. 17:38.69, Jesse Boyd (Blountstown) 12
  8. 17:43.84, Timothy Choe (Suwannee) 12
  9. 17:46.32, Jay Brown (Maclay) 10
  10. 17:46.78, Hawthorne Hay (Chiles) 10

The middle school girls' 3K followed the high school races. Panhandle Express runners Stella Lewis and Clifton Lewis reached the top of The Wall before anyone else in the race, then over the last 400 meters Stella Lewis pulled away to win in 14:57. Clifton Lewis was second in 15:04. Montford seventh-grader Sophia Harris was third in 15:15.

Stella Lewis, Clifton Lewis
Clifton Lewis and Stella Lewis

Led by eighth-grader Shelby Harrison, Riversprings took first in the team standings with 24 points. Fairview was second with 31 points behind their top runner, eighth-grader Joycelin Foust (6th, 16:19).

Team Standings, Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational Middle School Girls' 3K
  1. Riversprings, 24
  2. Fairview, 31

Top Ten
  1. 14:56.65, Stella Lewis (Panhandle Express) 7
  2. 15:03.97, Clifton Lewis (Panhandle Express) 4
  3. 15:14.46, Sophia Harris (Montford) 7
  4. 15:56.38, Paige Campbell (Christ Classical) 8
  5. 16:01.09, Kate Smith (Holy Comforter) 8
  6. 16:18.01, Joycelin Foust (Fairview) 8
  7. 16:20.88, Ella Grace Hodges (Montford) 8
  8. 16:40.17, Sarah Tychsen (Unattached) 6
  9. 16:42.97, Shelby Harrison (Riversprings) 8
  10. 16:59.90, Morgan Crews (Community Christian) 6

The middle school boys' 3K concluded the Big Bend Invitational. In that last race, Patrick Koon went to the front almost immediately. The Fairview sixth-grader ran the rest of the race unchallenged, finishing 300 meters ahead of the next runner in 12:09. Montford eighth-grader Carter Quiggens was second in 13:28, and Montford sixth-grader Jackson Rowe was third in 13:37.

Patrick Koon
Patrick Koon

Montford also took three of the next four places, with sixth-grader Timothy Starling fourth in 13:50, eighth-grader Bradley Thompson fifth in 13:52, and seventh-grader Kellen Quiggens seventh in 14:00. The next three places also belonged to Montford runners, but the Mustangs already had a mathematically unbeatable total of 21 points and the team title. Fairview was second with 65 points. Christ Classical, led by eighth-grader Tristan Carrasquilla (13th, 14:22) was third with 74 points.

Team Standings, Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational Middle School Boys' 3K
  1. Montford, 21
  2. Fairview, 65
  3. Christ Classical, 74
  4. Maclay, 82

Top Ten
  1. 12:08.11, Patrick Koon (Fairview) 6
  2. 13:27.46, Carter Quiggens (Montford) 8
  3. 13:36.58, Jackson Rowe (Montford) 6
  4. 13:49.29, Timothy Starling (Montford) 6
  5. 13:51.89, Bradley Thompson (Montford) 8
  6. 13:57.82, Aiden Van Iddekinge (Maclay) 7
  7. 13:59.60, Kellen Quiggens (Montford) 7
  8. 14:00.08, Miller Strickland (Montford) 8
  9. 14:07.32, Dylan Davis (Montford) 6
  10. 14:08.25, Tony Guillen (Montford) 8

The Big Bend Cross-Country Invitational had originally been scheduled as an early season meet in 2016 but had to be canceled because of damage from Hurricane Hermine. With luck, the hurricanes will stay clear of Tallahassee and cross-country fans will see a second annual Big Bend Invite in 2018. Miles and Minutes, LLC, timed and scored the 2017 Big Bend Invitational.


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