Cross Country runs through state playoffs


photo by DSP

Senior Tyler Klein runs during a race. The boys finished the season at regionals.

Michael Gibson, Staff Reporter

Even the hot Florida weather cannot keep the cross country team from running their way into the state championships. This season has been one of the most successful in program history, with the girls placing third in districts and regionals and the boys placing fifth in districts. Going to states has been the main goal all season, and both teams are on pace to do just that.

“I am expecting us to do well, and I’m really hoping that we are able to go to states because I know [everyone] wants to, and we definitely can if we are able to work hard enough,” senior Nicolette Worrell said.

Competition is not the only thing the runners had to battle to get to the playoffs. Horrid weather conditions, minor injuries and dehydration have ailed the team all season. To help resolve these issues, practices were moved to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday each week to make for better running conditions. This allows the team to run in conditions similar to that on race day.

“Like every season, injuries and sickness are always a problem,” sophomore Kate Medla said. “Rest is usually the answer to that. If you have to miss a race early in the season, it’s better than missing it later.”

Although conditions have been rough, both teams continue to get results. The district championship was the most successful race of the season. The girls had five personal and season bests, and the boys achieved the same. The results of the practice time change did not show up in the first couple of meets, but by the end of the season, everyone is at their best.

“Peaking and performing at the correct time of the season is the goal every year. Thus-far, we have kept our goal intact as the teams have produced their best results of the year at the Seminole Athletic Conference meet and district meet,” head coach Jay Getty said. “The goal stays the same as we look to qualify for the FHSAA State Finals.”

While the boys and girls teams compete separately, they think of themselves as one team. They practice together, go to the same meets and help each other achieve the same goal. There is a certain level of chemistry between these runners and the seniors on the team do everything they can to keep it that way. They push everyone to get better and act as role models for the rest of the team.

“The seniors are fantastic leaders and they keep everyone on task,” Medla said. “We have a lot of fun at practice, but we always work hard, and they do a really good job of making sure everyone does that.”

There have been a few individuals who have stood out to help both teams succeed all season. Worrell had a PR of 18:51 and Sydney Stoneback had a 19:51 PR to help the girls team move on to states. The boys team had five, under 18 minute runners to help them get to regionals. Junior Garrett O’Malley had a PR of 16:19, sophomore Adam Mastrobouno had a PR of 17:17. Everyone has run hard all year to get through playoffs.

“We are still working on accomplishing our goal,” Worrell said.

With all the success these teams have had this season, there have been many highlights that recap the season as a whole.

“Districts was the best race of the year, a lot of people had a personal record, a lot of people preserved to move us on to regionals,” Medla said. “We all did a really good job.”

Championships are on everyone’s minds but they team is satisfied with placing so they are able to move on. In school history; the girls have won four district titles and three conference championships, while the boys have won one district title. Even though they do not win every year, both the teams have had runners in states multiple times.

“The conference race was the best of the season,” senior Kobe Delgado said. “We all ran really well and we qualified for regionals.”

The girls team has qualified for the state championship along with O’Malley from the boy’s team. The FHSAA state finals will take place on Monday, Nov. 7 at Florida State University. The runners have accomplished their goal of making it to states and all that is left to do is run.

“We have had a pretty solid season, we just need to look at running our best times and we could possibly make it on through states,” Delgado said.