Friday, October 13, 2017

Soto and Ashby were conquerors at Comforter

Holy Comforter Episcopal School in Tallahassee, Florida has been hosting two annual middle school cross-country meets for quite a few years now, but it was only in 2014 that the second of the two was designated the Tallahassee Open Middle School Cross-Country Championships. It was at that meet on Thursday afternoon, 12 October 2017, that the Holy Comforter Crusaders swept the boys' and girls' team titles for the second time in the past three years. Crusader sixth-grader Mary Clayton Soto won the girls' 3K, running 12:36, her best time yet on Holy Comforter's home course. And coming all the way from Burns Middle School in Owensboro, Kentucky, seventh-grader Thomas Ashby took first in the boys' 5K with a 10:45.

Mary Clayton Soto
Mary Clayton Soto

The middle school girls' 3K started a few minutes after 4:00 PM. Almost immediately after the start, Mary Clayton Soto was out ahead of the field. After half a kilometer it looked like the race was for second place. It was. Soto only widened her margin over the rest of the runners on her way to a 12:36 win. Liliana Lewis, a Wakulla sixth-grader, took control of second halfway through the race then went on to finish runner-up in 13:21. Holy Comforter seventh-grader Camille Resavage placed third in 13:44. Paige Campbell of Christ Classical held off Sophia Umana of Holy Comforter for fourth, 13:52 to 13:53.


The Holy Comforter girls also took the next two places, with eight-grader Kate Smith sixth in 14:00 and seventh-grader Grace Reichelderfer seventh in 14:15. After taking five of the first seven places, the Crusaders had a mathematically unbeaten score of 22 points and the 2017 Tallahassee Open team title, their third in the past four years. Led by eighth-grader Paige Campbell, Christ Classical was second in the six-team field with 84 points. Riversprings Middle School of Wakulla County took third with 91 points; the top Riversprings runner was sixth grader Haley Perry, nineteenth in 17:03.

Lilliana Lewis
Lilliana Lewis

Girls' Team Standings, 2017 Tallahassee Open Middle School XC Championship
  1. Holy Comforter, 22
  2. Christ Classical, 84
  3. Riversprings, 91
  4. Trinity Catholic, 95
  5. Wakulla, 96
  6. Community Leadership, 161

Top 10 Girls, 2017 Tallahassee Open Middle School XC Championship
  1. 12:35.87, Mary Clayton Soto (Holy Comforter) 6
  2. 13:20.66, Liliana Lewis (Wakulla) 6
  3. 13:43.71, Camille Resavage (Holy Comforter) 7
  4. 13:51.26, Paige Campbell (Christ Classical) 8
  5. 13:52.35, Sophia Umana (Holy Comforter) 8
  6. 13:59.02, Kate Smith (Holy Comforter) 8
  7. 14:14.84, Grace Reichelderfer (Holy Comforter) 7
  8. 14:17.10, Erica Smith (Holy Comforter) 7
  9. 15:19.85, Hannah Delp (Holy Comforter) 8
  10. 15:28.51, Widney Large (Trinity Catholic) 8

The boys' 3K followed the girls' race, starting just after 4:30 PM. The 2016 champion, Holy Comforter eighth-grader Jackson Yarbrough, was in the field, but it was Leo Kelly and Thomas Ashby who burst out into the lead. A Holy Comforter eighth-grader, Kelly had already won an earlier race on Lawson's Course, taking the Crusader Classic two weeks earlier in 11:03. Ashby, doing most of his racing back home in Kentucky, had never run on Lawson's Course before, but he had notched three wins during the 2017 season back in the Bluegrass State.

Thomas Ashby, Leo Kelly
Thomas Ashby and Leo Kelly

For most of the first kilometer Kelly and Ashby ran close together, Ashby just off of Kelly's shoulder. By the end of the kilometer, though, Ashby was setting the pace while Kelly followed. Halfway through the race, Ashby started to pull away. The gap only grew as Ashby ran home in a winning 10:45. Kelly took second in 10:59. Yarbrough, the defending champion, placed third in 11:45. Trinity Catholic seventh-grader William Stephenson was fourth in 12:07 and Maclay seventh-grader Aiden Van Iddekinge was fifth in 12:11.


Maclay put two more runners in the top ten, seventh-graders Grayson Oberste (6th, 12:17) and Jack Matthews (8th, 12:20). Holy Comforter also had a third runner in the top ten, sixth-grader Will Winsor (10th, 12:25). Seventh-grader Clayton Knox (11th, 12:25) ran fourth for Maclay, but while the Marauders were waiting on their fifth scorer, Holy Comforter seventh-graders Caleb Heuchan (12th, 12:42) and Ryals McMucllian (13th, 12:42) finished the scoring for the Crusaders, giving their team 35 points and first place out of five teams. Maclay was second with 47. Led by fifth-grader Peter Boulware (7th, 12:19), Community Leadership placed third with 85 points.

Thomas Ashby
Thomas Ashby

Boys' Team Standings, 2017 Tallahassee Open Middle School XC Championship
  1. Holy Comforter, 35
  2. Maclay, 47
  3. Community Leadership, 85
  4. Christ Classical, 90
  5. Trinity Catholic, 107

Top 10 Boys, 2017 Tallahassee Open Middle School XC Championship
  1. 10:44.70, Thomas Ashby (Burns) 7
  2. 10:58.32, Leo Kelly (Holy Comforter) 8
  3. 11:44.92, Jackson Yarbrough (Holy Comforter) 8
  4. 12:06.09, William Stephenson (Trinity Catholic) 7
  5. 12:10.20, Aiden Van Iddekinge (Maclay) 7
  6. 12:16.05, Grayson Oberste (Maclay) 7
  7. 12:18.86, Peter Boulware (Community Leadership) 5
  8. 12:19.21, Jack Matthews (Maclay) 7
  9. 12:23.72, Noah Deem (Community Leadership) 5
  10. 12:24.21, Will Winsor (Holy Comforter) 6

Tallahassee Open winners, 2014 - 2017
Boys
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
23 October 2014Maclay, 189:42, Clayburn Milford (Maclay) 8
15 October 2015Holy Comforter, 2710:25, Jacob D'Aleo (Emerald Coast) 8
13 October 2016Holy Comforter, 1711:05, Jackson Yarbrough (Holy Comforter) 7
12 October 2017Holy Comforter, 3510:45, Thomas Ashby (Burns) 7
Girls
DateTeam ChampIndividual Champ
23 October 2014Holy Comforter, 2711:28, Katherine Resavage (Holy Comforter) 8
15 October 2015Holy Comforter, 2111:23, Emily Molen (Deerlake) 8
13 October 2016Maclay, 1711:35, Lindsay James (Maclay) 8
12 October 2017Holy Comforter, 2212:36, Mary Clayton Soto (Holy Comforter) 6

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