Keystone Heights boys XC advances to regions

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 10/19/22

OAKLEAF - Oakleaf senior Sierra Barrera continued her quick ascent into being one of the more dangerous runners in Class 4A with a second place finish Saturday at the Matanzas High, RunMatanazas XC …

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Keystone Heights boys XC advances to regions

Posted

OAKLEAF - Oakleaf senior Sierra Barrera continued her quick ascent into being one of the more dangerous runners in Class 4A with a second place finish Saturday at the Matanzas High, RunMatanazas XC Invite. Barrera ran an 18:55.40 split in a duel at the finish line for a second straight race with The Master’s Academy junior Ava Wyant winning in 18:34.20.

Also in the race, Clay High junior Kaygen Williamson finished ninth in 21:28.70 to improve her times for the season. Oakleaf’s Tiffany Cox, a junior, finished seventh in 21:06.60.

For the Oakleaf boys, senior Duane Lee broke into the next level with a 16:40;40 for third overall behind a 16:19.40 from winner Ryan Jones of Matanzas.

In 3A, Fleming Island’s boys have gotten stellar performances from top to bottom led by Graham Myers touching elite level sub-16 minutes three times this season. John Keester IV is a post season gamer and Danny Sakowski is a tough senior dual sporter. If Flemin Island gets a good 4,5 going, the Golden Eagles are battling for a region title and top 10 state finish. Matanzas and Ponte Vedra are both tough teams in this district.

For the girls, Fleming Island has a tight 1-2-3 though the top times are about a minute off the top 10 finishers in the elite races. Fleming Island runs pack strategy with Katelyn Thompson a capable frontrunner that, on a good day, can be that number one that gets those first few points rolling. Allie Knotts is a veteran finisher and freshman Reese Scott is dangerously finding her way on tough courses.

Clay’s Kaygen Williamson is a tough multiple sport athlete from a super competitive family and could break out in post season action.

Keystone Heights Tyler Griffin has been in the mix since his freshman year and it will click soon despite being in a district of doom with the Bolles, Bishop Kenny combination. Griffin can run smart, be a region contender as Bolles and Kenny will be frontrunners in team scoring thus eliminated from solo flyers.

Update: Bolles senior Aidan Ryan won the Monday race in 16:12 with Bolles finishing the runners at 3-4-6-8-9-10 to win the team title with 22 points over Bishop Kenny’s 54. Griffin finished 19th in 17:58 and earned a region ticket as well as the eighth place finishing boys team with eighth grader James Thomas impressive at 18:52 for 33rd.

FHSAA rule: The first eight (8) placing teams and the top three (3) placing individuals who are

not members of an advancing team shall advance to the regional meet.

St. Johns Country Day School coach Greg Stratton knows November and Matt’s little sis Rebecca is rising in the ranks. Sophia Conde is a veteran runner with lots of miles in her and could be a strong contender on a good day. Richard Nichols saw what it takes behind Stratton and Myers last year.

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