Grace Blair is definitely comfortable at the Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, FL. Blair was able to cap a wonderful career off with a back to back 1A State Individual Champion as she ran away from the field to win by 35 seconds and won in a time of 18:15.80. Blair led from the gun and cruised to the win to get competition started on Saturday morning.
Blair was able to repeat as champion, but it was Circle Christian who upset Citrus Park Christian, which let them walk away as team champions. Circle Christian was led by Freshman Sinkenesh Parker who finished runner-up, running a 18:50.83 and fourth place finisher Brooke McEwen who raced to a 19:05.07. Citrus Park Christian took the runner-up trophy home as they finished just two points away from taking down Circle Christian. They were led by Lydia Friedman and Jacqueline Abanses who finished third and fifth respectively.
On the boy's side, it was a much tighter race than most would have expected, but it was the highly-touted Trevor Foley who emerged as the 1A Boys State Champion. The senior from Citrus Park Christian was neck and neck with Sean Snyder, the Senior from St. Joseph Academy, for 2.5 miles, until the Oklahoma commit turned on the jets and left Snyder in the dust as Snyder finished third.
Foley finished with a time of 15:47.25, which he insisted was an average time, but he was more than satisfied on finally winning the elusive state championship. "After having some injuries, and choking in some races, this win means a lot to me and is very satisfying."
Ryan Szklany, the senior from Highland Christian, raced past Snyder in the last 200 meters to take home the runner-up spot in 2A. He came up with a big ten second PB to cap off his senior campaign, after finishing fourth at the 2016 XC Finals.
For the team competition, it was the team who turned some eyes last year, that came away with the team title, as they were led by 2016 1A Boys Individual State Champion, Gabriel Curtis. The Bulldogs of Mount Dora Christian came into Tallahassee with some swagger this year and were able to run away with the 1A Team Championship.
Gabriel Curtis finished fourth (16:22.83) and Jackson Pruim (16:26.73) finished fifth to lead their team to a 65-point win over Providence School. The Stallions were led by two eighth graders Will Brady (17:04.01) and Steven Cartwright (17:17.19).