Miller leads strong Clay County race presence

By Randy Lefko
Posted 7/11/18

JACKSONVILLE - Fleming Island High track and cross country standout Andrew Miller showed off some college-level prowess in finishing third overall at the Celebration 5K road race held July 4 by 1st …

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Miller leads strong Clay County race presence

Posted

JACKSONVILLE - Fleming Island High track and cross country standout Andrew Miller showed off some college-level prowess in finishing third overall at the Celebration 5K road race held July 4 by 1st Place Sports of Jacksonville.

Miller, a state meet competitor the past two years in track and cross country at Fleming Island, fourth in 4A in the 3200 in 2017, was slowed by an illness in the 2018 finals and finished a surprising ninth overall in 9:39.55. Miller was eighth in 4A in cross country in 15:57.16 in 2018. Miller was region track champion in the 3200 in 9:25.46.

On Wednesday, Miller, 18, and heading to Elon University in the fall, blasted to a 15 minute, 58 second third place finish to take third at the annual July 4 race in Jacksonville with the winning time at 15:34 by Chris Haynes, 25, and second place at 15:50 by Samuel Mueller, 26.

In fourth place, just 25 seconds off Miller was Fleming Island High freshman standout Kameron Wallizada, who set numerous freshman records in his first season as a Golden Eagle. Wallizada crossed the line at 16:23 after watching Miller pull away in the last mile.

“I was in sight of Andrew up until the 1.5 mile mark, then him and the top two guys started to pull away,” said Wallizada, who ran 18:27 in his 4A region cross country race. “I wanted to stay as close to Andrew as I could because I knew he would be running fast.”

Just 10 seconds behind Wallizada was Orange Park High’s John Bear at 16:33 in seventh place to finish off three Clay County high schoolers in the top 10 at the traditionally fast field. Bear ran 17:14.84 for 18th in the Class 3A region cross country meet.

In 15th place, a third Fleming Island High running graduate, Luke Steinberg, 24, now a U.S. Air Force officer in Colorado, finished strong in 17:17. Steinberg has been a part of the US Air Force cycling and triathlon team since graduating from the University of Central Florida.

In 19th, Ridgeview High senior Joel Nesi finished in 17:39. Nesi was 10th in the 2A region 3200 in 10:42.43 and ran 17:29.31 at the 2A region cross country race.

In the women’s race, Crystal Davis, 24, of Jacksonville, a frequent runner in Clay County races, won convincingly in 17:56 for 25th place overall. Behind Davis, Lauren Scott, 26, of Jacksonville Beach, finished as second female in 18:42 for 37th place. Caitlin Marino, 23, was third female in 18:54.

In the age group listings were Ana Chiang, 10, of Orange Park, in 24:10 and Sean McCormack, 57, in 19:32. Chiang is the younger sister of Mei Chiang, a top middle school state runner with records in them mile and two mile for Orange Park Junior High. McCormack, 57, a former Jacksonville Marathon winner, showed off some foot speed after taking time off for minor injuryies.

Oldest finisher was 88 year old August Leone in 41:42.

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