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The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Boys cross country takes first at districts

The+Boys+and+girls+team+pose+for+a+group+photo+after+districts.+Johnathon+Leon+%28middle%29+holds+a+trophy+and+a+first+place+medal.+
photo by Holly Smyers
The Boys and girls team pose for a group photo after districts. Johnathon Leon (middle) holds a trophy and a first place medal.

Far ahead of everyone else, senior Johnathon Leon easily led the district race, allowing his team to win districts and move on to the regional championships. This race was hosted by Hagerty on Nov. 5, where the girls team also qualified for regionals, placing seventh. 

Leon earned a time of 14:56, which was not only a personal record, but the best time ever run on the course. He was followed by senior Gabriel Abbate in second place (15:37), and junior Jacob Leon in fifth (16:20). The boys team’s average time (16:02) was almost a full minute shorter than the second-place team.

The girls team also made it to regionals by just making the top eight, led by senior Alena Pezzoli in 12th (19:52), with junior Ava Howell (21:22) and senior Kailyn David (21:39) making 34th and 39th respectively. 

Based on previous times, the girls team had been expected to place ninth, possibly not qualifying for regionals.

“I’m not about to say that we never feel stressed and we never feel down. But when we do, I feel fully confident that seven girls are going to surround me and start praying over me and [give] me the confidence that I need in order to succeed. We sent each other like 1000 texts last night: just words of encouragement.”

— Senior Alena Pezzoli

“We were very stressed. The fact that we got seventh was really exciting because I know this whole team gave their all, and I’m pretty proud of them,” Pezzoli said.

Both teams’ success can be attributed to their hard work and camaraderie. The teams have group texts that they blow up before and after the race with well wishes and congratulations. Even former members of the team show up to meets to cheer for their friends.

“I’m not about to say that we never feel stressed and we never feel down. But when we do, I feel fully confident that seven girls are going to surround me and start praying over me and [give] me the confidence that I need in order to succeed. We sent each other like 1000 texts last night: just words of encouragement,” Pezzoli said.

Even Leon, the district champion, benefited from all the support.

“[My family and friends] all support me throughout the race. They’re all everywhere throughout the course cheering me on and helping me get to this time,” Leon said. 

With ideal weather conditions and the finish line ahead, Leon pushed himself to beat his personal best by almost 40 seconds. 

“I knew I wasn’t going to have competition today, but I knew that I could push myself by myself, and do the best of my ability,” Leon said. 

The team is optimistic about the next step: regionals on Nov. 11 at Matanzas High, with the boys and girls teams both hoping to place. 

“As long as we’re healthy and competitive, good things can happen,” head coach Jay Getty said.

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Holly Smyers
Holly Smyers, Staff Reporter
Holly is a sophomore at Hagerty High School, and this is her first year on staff. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading and ice skating.
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