Friday, September 21, 2018

Ella Porcher, Clayton Knox, and Maclay win everything at the Crusader Classic

According to the calendar, Thurday, 20 September 2018, was two days before the beginning of fall. In Tallahassee, Florida, though, the thermometer told a different story. A weather station on a hilltop at Holy Comforter Episcopal school recorded a 4:00 PM temperature of over 92 degrees, with a heat index of 106. The sky was almost cloudless. Below the hill it was just as hot, but the Maclay School cross-country runners were handling the heat. The Maclay girls took the team title at Holy Comforter's annual Crusader Classic Middle School Cross-Country Meet, with team leader Ella Porcher successfully defending her individual title in the three-kilometer race. The Maclay boys also grabbed first place in their race, with Maclay eighth-grader Clayton Knox taking individual honors.

Ella Porcher, Rory Claussen
Ella Porcher

There were nine teams in the middle school girls' 3K at the 2018 Crusader Classic, with Belmont Academy coming from Lake City to the east and Marianna Middle School coming from the west. A Panama City Beach visitor, Rory Claussen of the Shaldera Track Club, grabbed the early lead. Claussen had never run at Holy Comforter before, but she wasn't a stranger to racing in Tallahassee. Nineteen days earlier, she had won the middle school girls' 3K in the Big Bend Invitational at Apalachee Regional Park. Two weeks before that, she was the top girl in the Miller Landing Madness 3K cross-country run. Porcher had run at Miller Landing Madness as well, finishing half a minute behind Claussen.

Porcher also trailed Claussen at the Crusader Classic. Near the two-kilometer mark Porcher overtook Sarah Tychsen of Community Christian to move into second, but she was still 50 meters behind Claussen. Those 50 meters evaporated during the final kilometer of the race. Just before the final turn, Porcher caught Claussen then drove for the finish line. The Maclay eighth-grader crossed in 11:50, Crusader Classic champion for the second year in a row. Claussen was second in 11:55, and Tychsen third in 12:22.

Rory Claussen
Rory Claussen

Maclay also got top-ten performance from eighth-grader Sofia Paredes (4th, 12:26) and seventh-grader Gracie Koeppel (8th, 14:24). Sixth-graders Lauren Guyer (15th, 15:15) and Payton Thumm (16th, 15:18) were Maclay's fourth and fifth runners, giving the Marauders 40 points and the win. Holy Comforter's first runner was eighth-grader Camille Resavage; her seventh-place, 14:23 finish led the Crusaders to a team score of 60 points and second in the team standings. Community Christian scored 71 points to place third.

2018 Crusader Classic Team Standings (Girls)
  1. Maclay, 40
  2. Holy Comforter Episcopal, 60
  3. Community Christian, 71
  4. Trinity Catholic, 102
  5. Riversprings, 112
  6. Marianna, 185
  7. Belmont, 201
  8. Community Leadership, 205
  9. Cornerstone, 218
  10. Shaldera TC, NTS
    Christ Classical, NTS

Top Ten Girls, 2018 Crusader Classic 3K
  1. 11:49.40, Ella Porcher (Maclay) 8
  2. 11:54.40, Rory Claussen (Shaldera TC) 7
  3. 12:21.50, Sarah Tychsen (Community Christian) 7
  4. 12:25.40, Sofia Paredes (Maclay) 8
  5. 12:55.70, Lillee Tang (Trinity Catholic) 8
  6. 13:14.80, Lily Moore (Trinity Catholic) 8
  7. 14:23.00, Camille Resavage (Holy Comforter Episcopal) 8
  8. 14:23.10, Gracie Koeppel (Maclay) 7
  9. 14:25.80, Sarah Kate Costello (Community Christian) 7
  10. 14:33.00, Vanessa Todd (Belmont) 6

Will Springer, a Trinity Catholic seventh-grader, set the early pace in the boys' 3K. Maclay eighth-grader Clayton Knox was tucked back in the field, racing patiently. Patience paid off. Early in the second half of the race, Knox passed Springer and assumed the lead. Another Maclay eighth-grader, Lucas Mauch, caught Springer with a kilometer to go. No one was going to catch Knox, though. He crossed the finish line first, running 11:38. Mauch was second in 11:51, and Springer third in 11:56.

Clayton Knox, Will Springer, Lucas Mauch
Clayton Knox, Will Springer, and Lucas Mauch

Community Christian's Chris Tychsen was fourth in 12:01, just ahead of Maclay's third scorer, eighth-grader Jack Matthews (5th, 12:03). Maclay's remaining two scorers were eighth-grader Oakley Deison (17th, 13:23) and sixth-grader Marc Campbell (21st, 13:49), filling out their team's total of 40 points--good enough for first place. Led by sixth-graders Henry Fernandez (7th, 12:20) and Barnes Ray (8th, 12:20), host school Holy Comforter took second with 58 points. Marianna was third with 83 points behind the ninth-place, 12:24 finish of seventh-grader Trajan Spears.

2018 Crusader Classic Team Standings (Boys)
  1. Maclay, 40
  2. Holy Comforter Episcopal, 58
  3. Marianna, 83
  4. Trinity Catholic, 96
  5. Community Leadership, 127
  6. Belmont, 142
  7. Christ Classical, 158
  8. Community Christian, NTS
    Shaldera TC, NTS
    Cornerstone, NTS

Top Ten Boys, 2018 Crusader Classic 3K
  1. 11:37.90, Clayton Knox (Maclay) 8
  2. 11:50.20, Lucas Mauch (Maclay) 8
  3. 11:55.20, Will Springer (Trinity Catholic) 7
  4. 12:00.30, Chris Tychsen (Community Christian) 7
  5. 12:02.20, Jack Matthews (Maclay) 8
  6. 12:09.80, Peter Boulware (Community Leadership) 6
  7. 12:19.80, Henry Fernandez (Holy Comforter Episcopal) 6
  8. 12:19.80, Barnes Ray (Holy Comforter Episcopal) 6
  9. 12:24.00, Trajan Spears (Marianna) 7
  10. 12:25.00, Matthew Wilbourn (Holy Comforter Episcopal) 7


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