Thursday, September 14, 2017

Close battles at Fort Braden for Filippo Reina and Paige Churchill

In Tallahassee, Florida Hurricane Irma kept Leon County Schools students out of the classroom from 8 September 2017 through 13 September 2017. But on Thursday, 14 September 2017, classes resumed and so did Leon County Schools' middle school cross-country season. The middle school harriers returned to action at the eighth annual Fort Braden Run, west of Tallahassee at Fort Braden Park. The Swift Creek Middle School girls picked up their first team victory of the season, led by the first-place finish of Swift Creek seventh-grader Paige Churchill. Deerlake Middle School took the team title in the boys' race, while their eighth-grade ace Filippo Reina took individual honors.

Paige Churchill
Paige Churchill

Competition opened at 6:00 PM with the girls' two mile. If you had to pick a favorite in the race, you would probably have chosen Paige Churchill. The Swift Creek seventh-grader was the Fort Braden Run defending champ and the 2016 Leon County girls' cross-country champion. Churchill was also coming off a win at the Leon County Schools season opener, the Swift Creek Invitational on 7 September 2017. Instead of a foregone conclusion, though, there was a bitter battle for first between Churchill and Swift Creek eighth-grader Elise Ferguson. Churchill made it across the line a few meters ahead of runner-up Ferguson, the two runners going 13:48 and 13:49. It was also a close contest for third, with Deerlake seventh-grader Maya Tang running 13:53, just ahead of the 13:54 posted by Montford sixth-grader Livia Rose Clark and the 13:55 of Swift Creek seventh-grader Stella Lewis.


After Swift Creek put three runners in the top five, the Wolves completed their team scoring with seventh-grader Alima Hemenway (6th, 14:13) and sixth-grader Ava Jones (8th, 14:16). That gave Swift Creek a mathematically unbeatable 22 points and the school's fifth all-time team title in the Fort Braden Run girls' race. The Deerlake girls, 2016 Fort Braden Run champs, were second in the seven-team field with 47 points. Montford placed third with 68 points.


2017 Fort Braden Run Team Standings, Girls
  1. Swift Creek, 22 points
  2. Deerlake, 47
  3. Montford, 68
  4. Raa, 126
  5. Fairview, 151
  6. Cobb, 160
  7. Fort Braden, 175

Top Ten Girls, 2017 Fort Braden Run
  1. 13:47.36, Paige Churchill (Swift Creek) 7
  2. 13:48.49, Elise Ferguson (Swift Creek) 8
  3. 13:52.75, Maya Tang (Deerlake) 7
  4. 13:53.54, Livia Rose Clark (Montford) 6
  5. 13:54.31, Stella Lewis (Swift Creek) 7
  6. 14:12.51, Alima Hemenway (Swift Creek) 7
  7. 14:14.28, Parker Matherne (Cobb) 8
  8. 14:15.30, Ava Jones (Swift Creek) 6
  9. 14:16.58, Nicole Kelly (Deerlake) 7
  10. 14:25.51, Kendall Meyer (Deerlake) 8

The boys' two-mile race followed at 6:30 PM. Keeping up the pattern of close finishes, Deerlake eighth-grader Filippo Reina edged Deerlake seventh-grader Wyatt Townsend for the win, 11:51 to 11:54. It was the second-fastest winning time in the eight-year history of the Fort Braden Run; bettered only by the 11:50 winning time posted by Weston Blake of Swift Creek in 2016. James Fygetakis-Gollop, a Raa eighth-grader, was third in 11:56.

James Fygetakis-Gollop

After the one-two finish of Reina and Townsend, Deerlake also got scoring performances from eighth-graders William Wilkerson (10th, 12:26) and Jonas Wars (13th, 12:39), as well as seventh-grader Carter Rothell (15th, 12:45). Those five athletes totaled 41 points for the Bucks, good enough for first place among nine teams. Swift Creek, the 2016 champs, were second with 52 points, led by seventh-grader Connor Edwards (5th, 12:08). Montford was third with 81 points behind the Mustangs' top runner, eighth-grader Ben Kirbo (4th, 12:06).


2017 Fort Braden Run Team Standings, Boys
  1. Deerlake, 41 points
  2. Swift Creek, 52
  3. Montford, 81
  4. Cobb, 93
  5. Raa, 102
  6. Fairview, 189
  7. Fort Braden, 224
  8. Griffin, 251
  9. Nims, 259

Top Ten Boys, 2017 Fort Braden Run
  1. 11:50.65, Filippo Reina (Deerlake) 8
  2. 11:53.72, Wyatt Townsend (Deerlake) 7
  3. 11:55.98, James Fygetakis-Gollop (Raa) 8
  4. 12:05.86, Ben Kirbo (Montford) 8
  5. 12:07.82, Connor Edwards (Swift Creek) 7
  6. 12:16.60, Eric Stillman (Swift Creek) 7
  7. 12:17.01, Justin Moore (Cobb) 8
  8. 12:18.91, Nate Thompson (Montford) 7
  9. 12:23.40, Kaseem Ibraheem-Washington (Cobb) 8
  10. 12:25.56, William Wilkerson (Deerlake) 8

Next up on the Leon County Schools' racing schedule is the only morning competition in a season of evening cross-country meets--the Everhart Invitational. The 31st Everhart Invitational is slated for Thursday morning, 21 September 2017, at Gretchen Everhart School. The season continues on Thursday evening, 28 September 2017, with the Mustang Stampede at Montford Middle School, then concludes on Thursday evening, 5 October 2017, at the Leon County Schools Championship at Apalachee Regional Park.


Fort Braden Cross-Country Meet Champions, 2010 - 2017
DateBoysGirls
22 September 201012:26, Sukhi Khosla (Raa) 815:01, Rebecca Clendinen (Raa)
14 September 201112:16, Evan Francis (Raa)14:45, Zoe Sheldon (Swift Creek)
12 September 201212:40, Matthew Cashin (Raa) 813:58, Audrey Dogan (Raa)
4 September 201312:15, Jacob Dodson (Raa)13:51, Saige Kemeny (Montford)
3 September 201413:00, Bryant McKnight (Montford)13:13, Lawton Campbell (Deerlake)
9 September 201513:08, Weston Blake (Swift Creek) 813:26, Alyson Churchill (Swift Creek) 8
14 September 201611:50, Weston Blake (Swift Creek) 814:05, Paige Churchill (Swift Creek) 6
14 September 201711:51, Filippo Reina (Deerlake) 813:48, Paige Churchill (Swift Creek) 7


Fort Braden Cross-Country Meet Team Titles, 2010 - 2017
DateBoysGirls
22 September 2010Raa (15 points)Raa (33 points)
14 September 2011Montford (55 points)Swift Creek (47 points)
12 September 2012Swift Creek (54 points)Montford (48 points)
4 September 2013Montford (38 points)Swift Creek (44 points)
3 September 2014Swift Creek (60 points)Swift Creek (36 points)
9 September 2015Deerlake (44 points)Swift Creek (38 points)
14 September 2016Swift Creek (23 points)Deerlake (42 points)
14 September 2017Deerlake (41 points)Swift Creek (22 points)


Links
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