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Stratton second at Daytona Beach XC

FIHS Myers third at Caples XC

Randy Lefko
Sports Editor

Posted 12/31/69

DAYTONA BEACH - With renewed confidence from a win at the Clay County Cross Country Invitational a week ago, St. Johns Country Day School junior Rebecca Stratton ran a strong second place by just 20 …

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Stratton second at Daytona Beach XC

FIHS Myers third at Caples XC


DAYTONA BEACH - With renewed confidence from a win at the Clay County Cross Country Invitational a week ago, St. Johns Country Day School junior Rebecca Stratton ran a strong second place by just 20 seconds at the Embry-Riddle Cross Country Classic in Daytona Beach amidst a bucketload of cross country action around the southeast United States.

Stratton, second in 21 minutes, 30.10 seconds to Melbourne High's Hannah Harris's 21:10.80 on the hilly, undulating course at Embry-Riddle, led her Lady Spartans team to a third-place team finish with Melbourne and Orangewood Christian both putting four runners each in the top 10 to get the top two spots.

St. Johns got an 18th-place finish from Kate Staten, an improving seventh grader.

For the Spartan boys, fifth in team points, senior Richard Nichols was sixth in 18:12.3 to winner Trenton Riley of Melbourne who won in 17:31.5.

In the men's college race, Oakleaf High grad A'Jani Stokes, now at Flagler College, placed third in 27:32.50 for the 8K (4.97 miles) circuit.

Middleburg High grad Logan Moore, now at Florida State College Jacksonville, was 40th in 30:25.50.

In the girl's college race, Middleburg High's Kayleigh McWatters, a three-sport athlete for the Broncos, was 31st in 22:43.00.

Myers third; FIHS fifth at Caples

JACKSONVILLE - In a unique night-time start, Fleming Island senior cross country runner Graham Myers negotiated the stadium lighting around Bishop Kenny High School to take third in the annual Katie Caples Invitational elite boys race held Saturday night.

Myers, second in 3A last year in cross country, finished in a pack of four runners that all broke 16 minutes and were separated by just nine seconds. Myers finished third in 15:56.75 with the 1-2 going to Buchholz teammates Riley Smith and Evan Fleming in 15:50.40 and 15:54.74.

For Fleming Island also, John Keester IV, finished eighth in 16:18.22.

Bolles won the boy's team title 81-85 over Buchholz with Buchholz fifth runner in at 59th while Bolles had their top five in the top 25.

Fleming Island finished with 180 points.

Fleming Island's girl's team finished 12th in the elite race led by sophomore Brooke Reynolds at 24th in 20:14.19. Lake Highland Prep seventh grader Annabella Tomasic won in an astounding 17:48.82.

Nesi ups Guy at Mountain Dew XC

FIHS Millson, OHS Barerra race XC

GAINESVILLE - In a return to a high school state meet that featured six Clay County runners about five years ago, two of those five; Joel Nesi, then of Ridgeview, and Alex Guy, then of Keystone Heights, got to duke it out in college Friday at the University of Florida's Mountain Dew Classic on the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Nesi, now at Flagler College and holder of numerous program records, bested Guy, now at Florida Southern and also a program record holder in numerous events, with a 30th place finish in 25:07.24 for the five miles while Guy was 44th in 25:20.84.

In the girl's race, Fleming Island High grad Emma Millson, who had a season-ending injury in her junior season, but stormed back as a senior and earned a spot on the University of North Florida team, ran a scintillating 18:07.10 split for 32nd place in the Mountain Dew for the three-mile course.

Also running, for North Florida, was former Fleming Island High standout Kameron Wallizada who finished 121st in 26:58.1.

Also in the girl's race, Oakleaf High standout Sierra Barrera, now at Florida A & M University, finished 102nd in 20:12.10. Barrera, a state meet qualifier last year in cross country and track, had a minor injury for track and did not compete at the state meet.

Barerra, in her first cross country meet for FAMU on Wed., Sept. 13 was third at the TCC (Tallahassee Community College) Open in 20:47 and was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Runner of the Week. FAMU's women's team was second in the meet.

MHS Mussante gets first first XC

Middleburg High grad Emma Mussante earned her first collegiate cross-country victory with a top finish at the Falcon Classic at Montevallo (AL), the site of the 2023 NCAA South Region championships in November.

Mussante, a junior, led the Lady Mocs to the team win among 16 teams with an 18-minute, 4.63-second split which is the seventh-best time for the FSC program. Mussante's win was the first individual win in the program since 2013. FSC won with just 18 team points; 15 being a cross country shutout.