Thursday, September 6, 2018

Fort Braden falls to Paige Churchill and Wyatt Townsend

It's not possible for an athlete to win the Fort Braden Run more than three times. It's a middle school cross-country meet, it's only held once a year, and middle school only lasts three years. So three wins is the absolute limit. Paige Churchill became the first athlete to reach that limit on Thursday evening, 6 September 2018, when the Swift Creek eighth-grader won the girls' 3K at the ninth annual Fort Braden Run, her third and final Fort Braden victory. Churchill's win led the Swift Creek girls to their second straight Fort Braden Run team title, the school's sixth in the nine-year history of the meet. In the boys' 3k, Wyatt Townsend hadn't won the race before, but the Deerlake eighth-grader certainly won on Thursday, crossing the finish line more than eighty meters ahead of the runner-up. Like Churchill, Townsend's first-place finish led his Deerlake team to first place in the team standings.

Paige Churchill

Starting with the 2018 cross-country season, the competition distance for Leon County Schools middle schools changed from two miles to three kilometers. To accommodate the shorter distance, the Fort Braden Run course had to be slightly altered from earlier years. Neither the shorter distance nor the course changes seemed to matter to Churchill. Breaking away from the field mid-race, Churchill was still lengthening her lead when she crossed the finish line in a winning 12:51, nearly 100 meters ahead of the next runner. It was her largest margin of victory yet at Fort Braden. Deerlake seventh-grader Maya Tang took second in 13:17. A week earlier, Tang had won the season opener at Apalachee Regional Park. Stella Lewis, a Swift Creek eighth-grader, was third in 13:58, and Deerlake seventh-grader Leah Kiros was fourth in 14:09.

Maya Tang

Seventh-grader Ava Jones also cracked the top ten for Swift Creek, placing fifth in 14:12. Swift Creek had additional scoring performances from seventh-grader Elizabeth Kessler (11th, 15:20) and eighth-grader Alima Hemenway (15th, 15:41), giving the Wolves 35 points and first place in the girls' team standings. Led by Tang, Deerlake edged Montford for second in the seven-team field, 65 to 66.


2018 Fort Braden Run Team Standings, Girls
  1. Swift Creek, 35
  2. Deerlake, 65
  3. Montford, 66
  4. Raa, 113
  5. Cobb, 128
  6. Fairview, 130
  7. Fort Braden, 181

Top Ten Girls, 2018 Fort Braden Run
  1. 12:50.37, Paige Churchill (Swift Creek) 8
  2. 13:16.32, Maya Tang (Deerlake) 8
  3. 13:57.47, Stella Lewis (Swift Creek) 8
  4. 14:08.55, Leah Kiros (Deerlake) 7
  5. 14:11.03, Ava Jones (Swift Creek) 7
  6. 14:24.55, Livia Rose Clark (Montford) 8
  7. 14:35.74, Skye Williams (Montford) 7
  8. 14:40.89, Madison Sims (Fort Braden) 6
  9. 15:10.94, Nicole Kelly (Deerlake) 8
  10. 15:16.98, Skyler Walker (Raa) 7

Just after the start of the boys' 3K, Swift Creek eighth-grader Connor Edwards led the field out of Fort Braden Park, crossing a foot-bridge to the grounds of Fort Braden School. Wyatt Townsend was right behind Edwards, though, and Townsend took the lead in the schoolyard. While the athletes completed a loop around the school, Townsend pulled steadily away from Edwards and everyone else. By the time Townsend returned to the park he had broken the race open, cruising across the finish line in 11:07 with the win. Edwards managed to stay ahead of Patrick Koon to take second in 11:26. Koon, a Fairview seventh-grader, was third in 11:29. Jackson Rowe, a Montford seventh-grader, placed fourth in 12:13.

Wyatt Townsend

Including Edwards, Swift Creek had three runners in the top ten, but Deerlake had four--Townsend, seventh-grader Davis McNeely (5th, 12:21), and eighth-graders Carter Rothell (7th, 12:24) and Alastair Deng (10th, 12:38). When Deerlake's fifth scorer, eighth-grader Daniel Aguilar, crossed the finish line sixteenth in 13:00, the Bucks had 39 points, the best score of the eight teams in the meet. Swift Creek was a close second with 42 points, and Montford took third with 85 points.

Connor Edwards

The middle school cross-country runners of Leon County Schools race next on Thursday morning, 13 September 2018, in the 32nd Everhart Invitational at Gretchen Everhart School. The season continues after that with the Mustang Invitational at Montford Middle School on Thursday, 20 September 2018, and the Falcon Invitational at Fairvew Middle School on Thursday, 27 September 2018, then concludes with the Leon County Schools' Championship Meet at Apalachee Regional Park on Thursday, 4 October 2018.


2018 Fort Braden Run Team Standings, Boys
  1. Deerlake, 39
  2. Swift Creek, 42
  3. Montford, 85
  4. Fairview, 97
  5. Raa, 117
  6. Fort Braden, 191
  7. Cobb, 197
  8. Griffin, 221

Top Ten Boys, 2018 Fort Braden Run
  1. 11:06.27, Wyatt Townsend (Deerlake) 8
  2. 11:25.09, Connor Edwards (Swift Creek) 8
  3. 11:28.86, Patrick Koon (Fairview) 7
  4. 12:12.11, Jackson Rowe (Montford) 7
  5. 12:20.54, Davis McNeely (Deerlake) 7
  6. 12:21.37, Eric Stillman (Swift Creek) 8
  7. 12:23.83, Carter Rothell (Deerlake) 8
  8. 12:24.11, Yien Liu (Fairview) 7
  9. 12:35.46, Kade Dazevedo (Swift Creek) 8
  10. 12:37.94, Alastair Deng (Deerlake) 8

Fort Braden Cross-Country Meet Champions, 2010 - 2018
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) 713:26, 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
6 September 201811:07, Wyatt Townsend (Deerlake ) 812:51, Paige Churchill (Swift Creek) 8


Fort Braden Cross-Country Meet Team Titles, 2010 - 2018
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)
6 September 2018Deerlake (39 points)Swift Creek (35 points)


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