Lady Sandcrabs run pass their region for title, seek Top 10 finish at states
The Seabreeze girls cross country team earned first place at the 3A-Region 2 Meet on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Florida Horse Park in Ocala.
“We worked hard on the track in the weeks leading up to regions,” coach Deborah Diaz said. “Speed workouts were key, as was going over strategy, looking at the other teams’ times and knowing who we needed to pass on the course. The girls knew what it would take to come from behind to win. I believe the girls were mentally prepared, and, in the end, that what it takes. We had four personal records and three season best. I told them this had to be their best race of the season, and it was. I am very proud of them.”
The region title was the first in the program’s history. Kianna Bonnet finished fourth overall with a season’s best 19:06, which earned her a national silver standard by Mile Split. Elizabeth Murray, ninth, Lea Gray, 11th; Nina Browder, 24th; Ashley Beers, 35th; Moriya Patsch, 42nd; Sarah Myers, 51st.
The Lady Crabs will try for the state title Saturday, Nov. 7, in Tallahassee, for the third consecutive year.
“We're ranked 11th, but we’re looking forward to placing in the Top 10,” Diaz said.
Green Wave grabs first region title, seek state championship
It has been a season of first place for the Father Lopez boys cross country team. Ever since the beginning of the season, when the Green Wave picked up its No. 1 ranking, Lopez proved itself each week. Not yet finished, the boys won their Region 3-1A championship with 67 beating second place Pine School by 51 points.
“The way were different was more commitment during the summer, more mileage, started tempo work earlier, Saturday morning runs and once the season started, we ran two mornings a week at 5:45 for extra mileage,” coach Sue O’Malley said. “These seniors on this team are very special to me. I took over the boys program as head coach four years ago, and knew I had something special. The fact that they accepted and respected a female coach in a mal-dominate coaching position made a big difference. They have worked together as a team and not as individuals.”
The Green Wave, too, is headed to Tallahassee for a third straight year, with hopes of capturing the program’s first state championship.
“We are going to try and do what God has planned for us on Saturday,” O’Malley added. “There is a 27-point swing either way. On paper based on times, MaClay is better, but based on average, we are the better team. Our team ran better than Maclay did at their region meet. These young men want it and are going to go for it all. Our theme for this season has been, ‘Some teams just dream. Other teams talk about their dreams. Our team is living the dream.”
The boys will also be accompanied by the Lady Green Wave, who finished fifth at regionals.
6th Matthew Roof, sixth; Nick Theriualt, 11th; Tanner Rosolino, 17th; Chase Massi, 18th; Noah van der Burgt, 20th; Noah Willis, 33rd; Nick Ohlwein.