MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High cross country runner Logan Moore was lurking in the midst of a three-way breakaway trio with Ridgeview’s Julio Rodriguez and Christ’s Church Academy seventh grader …
MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High cross country runner Logan Moore was lurking in the midst of a three-way breakaway trio with Ridgeview’s Julio Rodriguez and Christ’s Church Academy seventh grader Tyson Manley until the threesome hit the final quartermile lap on the Middleburg High football field track when disaster struck in the Bronco Bob Cross Country Invitational held Saturday.
Moore took over the lead amongst the three on the backstretch of the final 400 meters and was extending his gap when, on the final turn, he drastically started to limp as Rodrigue and Manley surged past.
Rodriguez would sprint home to take the win in 17 minutes. 17.50 seconds with Manley five seconds behind and Moore limping in at 17:28.90 before collapsing.
From fourth to 12th Middleburg with Kole Mussante following Moore in and Jonathan Mess for Ridgeview in close pursuit to amass team points.
In the final tally, Ridgeview won at 27 points with Middleburg runnerup at 48 and Christ’s Church third at 71.
Orange Park and Peniel Baptist were fourth and fifth.
For the girls race, Christ’s Church Academy sophomore took and early lead and ran alone to a 21:50.40 win with Middleburg’s Molly Burt second at 22:19.90 and Christ’s Church’s Danielle Raulerson third at 22:56.20.
Ridgeview, the three runners together at 5th, 6th and 7th; Emily Turner, Emory Thomas and Angelina Jean-Baptiste, got the win with 30 points with Middleburg second at 52 with Christ’s Church also with 52 points.
Barrera battles to tough second
Oakleaf High senior runner Sierra Barrera unleashed her coveted finishing kick and nearly came away with a win at the New World Fall Classic Invitational in one of three cross country matchups in north Florida on Saturday including the FSU Pre-State meet in Tallahassee.
At the New World Fall Classic, Barrera continued her strong season of running with a sprint finish to a 19:20 split that nearly caught frontrunner and eventual winner Kavya Patel, an eighth grader from Bolles, who was clocked with the same time for the win.
Fleming Island’s girls junior varsity team was led gy senior Anna Rafalski who finished ninth in 20:38 just steps ahead of St. Johns Country Day School’s Rebecca Stratton in 10th at 20:43.
Flagler Palm Coast took the team title with 80 points wiht Wakulla and Fernandina Beach second and third. St. Johns was ninth with Fleming Island 12th. Oakleaf finished 16th with Keystone Heights 18th led by freshman Alexis Taylor in 93rd at 24:02.
For the boys, South Florida HEAT’s Hunter Morgan, a junior, won in 16:13 with Flagler Palm Coast landing a second and third place and fifth to secure the team title with just 37 points ahead of Creekside at 83 and Providence at 85.
Locally, Fleming Island’s junior varsity was sixth, Oakleaf 11th and Keystone Heights 12th. St. Johns was 17th.
Myers sixth in elite FSU race
In Tallahassee, at the FSU Pre-State Invitational which featured a plethora of state championship returning runners, Fleming Island High junior Graham Myers, an 11th place finisher last year in Class 1A for St. Johns Country Day School in 16:38, ripped a personal best time on the hilly, challenging state championship race course in Tallahassee Apalachee Regional Park with a 15:17.80 split to take sixth overall against a virtual Who’s Who of incoming state meet contenders.
Up front, Myers contended with the likes of 3A defending champion Patrick Koon, of Leon, who won in 14:50 in a new course record, runnerup Marcelo Parra of San Antonio’s The Episcopal School of Texas, and third placer Emerson Miller of Buchholz for third. Fourth and fifth went to Belen Jesuit Prep Joshua Ruiz, second to Koon in 3A, in 15:16.60 with Alex Pena of Sunlake; third behind Koon and Ruiz in 3A, fifth at 15:17.40. Parra was a Texas state champion with his Episcopal Texas team winning the team state title with twin brother Franco, who finished 12th on Saturday.
As for the rest of the front runners, the top 44 runners finished under 16 minutes.
For the teams, for boys, Belen Jesuit won the team title with 85 points with Creekside second with a 147 total and Brother Martin of New Orleans third with 159. Fleming Island totaled 306 to finished seventh with Creekside the lone local school finishing ahead of the Golden Eagles.
Fleming Island’s second finisher, John Keester IV, was in at 16:15.50 for 60th with Danny Sakowski in at 16:25.60 for 73rd.
In the girls elite race, won with a scorching 17:39.80 by Cambridge Christian freshman and third in Class 1A last year behind two senior teammates Elian Black, the Golden Eagles got a top finish from Katelyn Thompson at 19:28.90 for 57th place. Fleming Island finished 15th with Ponte Vedra taking the team title over Niceville; 177-241. Buchholz, Episcopal and Bishop Kenny all finished in the top 10 for area schools.
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