Tuesday, November 13, 2018

State Cross-Country Meet firsts for Tallahassee high schools

You've probably heard repeatedly that records are made to be broken. It's one of those phrases that gets repeated endlessly, probably because it's true. "Best ever" is a transient title, because it's really only "best so far." Eventually someone will come along and run a little bit faster or jump a little bit farther.


"First ever," though, is forever. Roger Bannister was the first to run sub-4:00 in the mile, and although hundreds of runners have done it since, and most of them have done it faster, Bannister is still the first. He always will be. Just as Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary will always be the first to summit Mount Everest, Roald Amundsen will always be the first to reach the South Pole, and Neil Armstrong will always be the first to set foot on the Moon. Someone somewhere was the first person to say, "Records are made to be broken."

1977 FHSAA class 3A girls' state cross-country team champions
1977 Leon High girls' cross-country team

Because courses in cross-country running are so variable, times aren't particularly meaningful. You certainly don't want to fall into the trap of comparing times and establishing "records." But you can track "firsts." And unlike records, those "firsts" will never change.


After the 2018 FHSAA Cross-Country State Championships, I collected some firsts for Tallahassee schools over the years.


First Tallahassee school to send a boys' team to State
Florida State University School, 1963 (The team placed third in Class A)

First Tallahassee school to win a boys' team title at State
Leon High, 1969 (Class 2A. The Lions' first trip to State)

First Tallahassee school to send a girls' team to State
Leon High, 1974 (The first year that FHSAA staged a State Championship in cross-country for girls. The team placed sixth.)

First Tallahassee athlete to win a boys' race at State
Herb Wills of Leon, 1976 (Class 4A)

First Tallahassee school to win a girls' team title at State
Leon High, 1977 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee school to win two girls' team titles at State
Leon High, 1977 and 1978 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee school to win three girls' team titles at State
Leon High, 1977, 1978, and 1986 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee school to win four girls' team titles at State
Leon High, 1977, 1978, 1986, and 1987 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee school to win five girls' team titles at State
Leon High, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1987, and 1988 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee school to win six girls' team titles at State
Chiles High, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017, and 2018 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee athlete to win a girls' race at State
Rosemary Desloge of Leon, 1979 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee school to sweep the individual titles at State
Leon, Ray Carter and Jessica Scafidi, 1988 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee athlete to win a boys' race at State twice
Ray Carter of Leon, 1988 and 1989 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee athlete to win a girls' race at State twice
Jessica Scafidi of Leon, 1988 and 1989 (Class 3A)

First Tallahassee athlete to win a girls' race at State three times
Jessica Scafidi of Leon, 1988, 1989 and 1990 (Class 3A. No other Tallahassee girl has done this.)

First Tallahassee school to win a boys' team title and a girls' team title in the same year
Maclay, 1998 (Class 2A)

First Tallahassee school to win two boys' team titles at State
Maclay, 1998 and 1999 (Class 2A and Class 1A)

First Tallahassee school to win three boys' team titles at State
Maclay, 1998, 1999, and 2000 (Class 2A and Class 1A)

First Tallahassee school to win four boys' team titles at State
Maclay, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 (Class 2A and Class 1A)

First Tallahassee school to win five boys' team titles at State
Maclay, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 (Class 2A and Class 1A)

First Tallahassee athlete to win a boys' race at State three times
Matt Mizereck of Leon, 2007, 2008, and 2009 (Class 3A. No other Tallahassee boy has done this.)

2018 FHSAA class 3A girls' state cross-country team champions
2018 Chiles High girls cross-country team

With Florida State University School making Tallahassee's first foray into the State Meet back in 1963, you'd think that after 55 years the city's preps would have exhausted all the possible "firsts." But just this year, Chiles High became the first program to win six girls' team titles. We're still waiting to see which Tallahassee high school will be the first to win six boys' team titles and the first to win seven girls' team titles. Someone could still be the first girl in the city to win four (or more) individual titles, or the first boy to do the same. Or perhaps you've thought of a "first" that I've overlooked?


Links
#2392