Girls cross country returns to states


photo by Jake Arthur

The girls team warms up for the Oct. 24 District Championship meet in Deland.

Victoria Tomeo, Staff Reporter

Both the girls and the boys cross country team competed at Lake Nona High School for the regional championships on Saturday, Oct. 31. The boys team finished ninth place, which will not bring them to the state championship. The girls, meanwhile, finished in sixth place, qualifying for the state championship on Nov. 7 at FSU.

Senior Andrew Stivers came in fifth place for the boys while junior Nicolette Worrell came in sixth place for the girls with times of 18:55.25 for Worrell and 16:07.90 for Stivers, allowing them both to qualify to move on to the state championship as individuals.

“Their jobs are to take care of themselves and the team follows suit,” head coach Jay Getty said. “They handle what they’re supposed to.”

Injuries, such as sprained ankles and torn ligaments, affected the girls and the boys team throughout the season, however, and made it especially difficult to run the sudden turns and potholes that covered the Lake Nona course. Senior Kelcey Stivers experienced a foot injury during the UCF Meet on Sept. 20 while sophomore Maria Ball came away with some pain after the Astronaut Meet on Sept. 5.

In order to prepare for the district and regional championships, the teams practiced in miniature training cycles, which were crucial during the middle of the season, where the teams trained the hardest, that focused on endurance such as partner 400’s, running hard for six minutes, four minutes, and two minutes with breaks in-between.

For six weeks, the teams started out practicing longer distances, but as the championship rolled around, shorter distances were integrated into the speed workouts in order to get everybody’s legs in shape and ready to race.

The district meet, which took place in Deland on Oct. 24, was successful for the girls and the

“Districts was a very hard race because our particular region that our school is in is considered the ‘Region of Death,’ Worrell said. “So many people who race in it are just so fast.”

Sophomore Rafaella Gibbons, who runs for the Winter Park girls cross country team, second in the state, was only a freshman when Winter Park won the 2014 Cross Country State Championships. Gibbons came in first place for every single race this season except for The Coach Benson Double Dip Invitational on Sept. 12 where she placed third. Senior Joshua Jacques, who runs for Lyman’s cross country team, which is tenth in the state, came in first for three out of the six meets this season.

Despite many runners on the team being seniors who will not be here next year, and the boys team will not be competing in the state championships, the season has paved the way for better seasons to

“Had we been anywhere else, we probably would have been guaranteed a place in states,” Worrell said. “But since we are who we are and we are where we are, it just makes us have to work that much harder.”

Cross Country Stats