FACA Early Season XC State Rankings *Updated*

It was a tough week as Hurricane Irma blasted Florida which prevented some of our pollsters from being able to put together their FACA Early Season XC State Rankings, but for those that were lucky enough to have power throughout the ordeal, here are their rankings for 1A Girls, 3A Girls, 4A Girls, and 3A Boys. In two more weeks we'll be back with the Mid-Season rankings and hopefully back to normal around the state!


1A Girls Early Season Rankings

by Sue O'Malley-Father Lopez Catholic High School somalley@fatherlopez.org

Team Rankings:

Commentary: This is probably a first for Class 1A Rankings. A school that has never had a cross country team enters the 2017 season as the prohibitive favorites to win the Class 1A State Title. Citrus Park Christian from Tampa brings together some top level talent that has transferred in from 3 different area schools along with an influx of talent from a Middle School Club Team that includes the #1, 3, and 4 runners from last year's 4A State Championship team, the #1 runner from two other area high schools, and one of last year's top middle school runners. Look for Oak Hall and Circle Christian, last year's State Champs and runners-up to give chase later on when it counts. The two most improved squad from last season's rankings of 9th is St. Joseph Academy and Lakeland Christian (17th last season). You can never count out: Maclay, Providence and First Academy.

Rank. (Previous Rank) School = Comments

1. (1) Citrus Park Christian = First year program loaded with transfer talent. Has an average of 19:18.2 average, Won the Babe Zacharias Twilight Meet and the Lecanto Invitational

2. (3) Circle Christian = 2016 State Runner-up returning Top 4 21:20.5 average, Won the Fleet Feet Meet

3. (11) St. Joseph Academy = 9th at 2017 State and a dark horse for sure. 21:55 average, Won the UNF Invitational. Strong finish at Bales and Trails

4. (6) Maclay School = Lost their Top 3 from last year's 3rd place team but showing their winning style. 22:09.6 average Won Maclay Travel Soccer Invitational and 4th at Big Bend XC Invitational.

5. (10) Lakeland Christian = A good strong pack looking to improving upon 17th place    State Finish.  21:54.4 average Top 1A school at the Jim Ryun Meet.

6. (4) Providence = A healthy Audrey Woods helping team to a 22:17.4 average. Took 2nd place at the Ridgeview Bob Hans Invitational

7. (2) Oak Hall = Defending State Champions returning 5 of their Top 7 22:38 average 3rd at the Ridgeview Bob Hans Invitational. Don't count this team out ever!

8. (NR) Bishop Snyder=Much improved team under a new coach. 23:02.4 average Top 1A school at Spikes and Spurs.

9. (NR) St. John Paul II= 23:02.4 average  Brandi Antonio leads a group of 4 seniors in their top 5.

10. (5) First Academy = A perennial Top 5 team with a strong returning top 3. This team always is competitive and gets stronger throughout the season. 22:56.6 average

11. (15) Holy Trinity = New coaches looking to build upon last year's 5th place State finish.23:02.5. Keeping team consistent and healthy will be key for this team.

12. (NR) King's Academy= 22:57.1 average, Keep your eye on this team in the next few years. Mia Rodriguez leads a group of two 8th graders and two 6th graders in their top 5.

13. (13) Tampa Bay Heat = A program on the rise with one of the State's best up front. 23:10.6 10th place at the very competitive Lecanto Invitational.

14. (7) Father Lopez = 23:14.2   Returns an improved Top 4 with some talented new additions. Must be consistent and stay healthy and keep their coach sane!

15. (NR) St. Stephen's Episcopal = 23:10.6 average 10th place at Lecanto Invitational

Other teams to watch out for:

Out of Door Academy, Canterbury School in Ft. Meyers, Jupiter Christian and Westminster

Individual Rankings:

Commentary: Citrus Park Christian team from George Steinbrenner HS, (Jacqueline Abanses, Lydia Friedman and Brooke Santiesteban) take the top three spots in the first rankings. Citrus Park has 5 girls in the top 15!  But in the mix and definitely can't count out Grace Blair, the most highly decorated XC and track runner from Oak Hall and a pair of top 10 Class 1A State Meet medalists from Circle Christian (Sinkenesh Parker and Brooke McEwen).King's Academy 8th grader Mia Rodriguez, Westminster Academy's Jasmine Hincapie and Audrey Woods from Providence.

Rank. (Previous Rank) Name, Grade -- School = Comments

1. (10) Jacqueline Abanses, 9 -- Citrus Park Runs a PR of 18:26 at Babe Zacharias Twilight. 2nd fastest time in the state for all classes.

2. (2) Lydia Friedman, 10 -- Citrus Park = 18:45 PR / 7th at 2016 4A State Meet / 11:18 PR 3200  Runs a 19:02 at Babes Zacharias Twilight

3. (4) Brooke Santiesteban, 12 -- Citrus Park = 19:18 PR / 24th at 4A State XC Meet Starts season off with a 19:15 at Babe Zacharias Twilight.

4. (14) Josie Garba, 11 -- Tampa Prep = 21st at State XC Meet in 20:07 / 11:49 PR in 3200. Very strong start to the season with a 19:27

5. (1) Grace Blair, 12 - Oak Hall = 18:22 PR and Defending XC, 800, 1600, & 3200 State Champion. Starts the season off with a 19:34

6. (5) Sinkenesh Parker, 9 -- Circle Christian = 19:18 PR / 3rd at 1A State XC Meet / 11:22 PR for 3200. Starts season with a 19:40.5 very close to where she left off at the state meet.

7. (NR) Jensen Mayer, 10 -- Citrus Park = 19:47 at Babe Zacharias Twilight

8. (NR) -- Kemper Reback.,11 -Jupiter Christian= 20:00.9 at Wickham Park Jamboree

9. (NR)-Linda Mayer, 8-Citurs Park=20:01 at Babe Zacharias Twilight

10. (NR) Mia Rodriquez,8 -- King's Academy= 20:03.1 at the Park Vista Cobra XC Invitational

11. (3) Jasmine Hincapie, 10 -- Westminster Academy = 19:11 PR / 3rd at State 3200 in 11:16. Starts season with a 20:10.0 at Fleet Feet.

12. (11) Sydnee Calder, 8 -- Boca Raton Christian = 10th at 2016 State XC Meet in 19:40 Starts season with a 20:16.5 at Park Vista Cobra XC Invitational

13. (NR) Moriah Friedman ,8 --Citrus Park Christian = 20:18 at Babe Zacharias Twilight

Must run in the family! Moriah is Lydia's sister who is ranked 2nd.

14. (NR) Grace D'Angelo, 12-Citurs Park Christian=20:35 at babe Zacharias Twilight

15. (NR) Audrey Woods, 11-- Providence= 20:37.5 at Bales and Trails

Other individuals to watch out for:

Kennedy Lewis, Makenzie Johnson and Sarah Bayes all from Lakeland Christian

Helena Willsau (St. Joseph Academy) and Emma McLaughlin (Tampa Bay HEAT)

3A Girls Early Season Rankings

by Steve Farnsworth, Lecanto HS, farnsworthfarm@yahoo.com                

Team Rankings:

Commentary:  The rankings are now based solely on 2017 times and performances since August 26th, as there were numerous anomalous and unrepeated times from fast and/or short courses in the jamborees and preseason meets that would skew the rankings.  This poll lists the top six teams in each region, plus the next best team as a wild card.  Teams that are top-25, but were bumped out by being in a tough region are listed under honorable mention. Team averages are given for reference only and are not the only basis for rankings, and do not follow them completely -- course conditions, head to head competition, and team depth is also considered.  Times from known fast courses have had time added to them, while known slow courses had time deducted. 

Rank. (Previous Rank) Team, Region, Team Average. Comments

1. (T1) Niceville, 1,  19:50 (+15).  The Eagles easily won the Pace Patriot Invite, but may not have shown their full squad yet.

2. (T1) Chiles, 1,  20:20.  The Timberwolves won the Big Bend Invite, but may not be at full strength yet.  They will need a stronger No. 5 runner to beat Niceville.

3. (5) Creekside, 1,  20:22.  The Knights were second at Bale-n-Trail behind Bolles, and have gotten a big lift from incoming freshmen.

4. (6) Osceola (Seminole), 3,  21:04.  The Warriors won the Jim Ryun Invite and were second at Running w/Bulls behind 4A powerhouse George Jenkins.

5. (3) Ponte Vedra, 1,  21.06.  The Sharks looked sluggish taking fourth at Spurs and Spikes and Bale-n-Trail.

6. (4) Ft. Myers, 3,  21:23.  The Green Wave won Lemon Bay, but dropped to third in the DDD Invite.

7. (11) Ft. Walton Beach, 1,  21:46 (+15).  The Vikings edged Gulf Breeze for second at Pace Patriot.

8. (16) Gulf Breeze, 1,  21:38 (+15).  A large 1-5 split could hurt the Dolphins in bigger meets. 

9. (19) Viera, 4,  21:58.  The Hawks are now top dog in Region 4 as Merritt Island slumps.

10. (13) Leon, 1,  21:54.  The Lions were second behind Chiles at the Big Bend Invite.

11. (NR) Robinson, 3,  22:11.  The Knights have a strong team, but are not as good as a very fast Al Lopez Park course made them look.

12. (17) Ocala Vanguard, 2,  22:16.  The Knights placed seventh at the Bale-n-Trail meet.

13. (20) Sunlake, 2,  22:14.  The Seahawks were fifth at the Running with the Bulls meet.

14. (15) Estero, 3,  23:03 (-40).  The Wildcats took fourth behind Ft. Myers at their own meet.

15. (23) Cape Coral, 3,  23:10 (-40).  The Seahawks ran well in the slop at the DDD Invite, taking fifth.

Other teams to watch out for:

16. (10) Charlotte, 3,  23:26 (-40).  The Tarpons struggled with the water at the DDD Invite, finishing sixth.

17. (24) South Fork, 4,  22:40.  The Bulldogs put up some good times in taking thirteenth at Bale-n-Trail.

18. (18) Matanzas, 2,  22:46.  The Pirates were second at the Holy Trinity XC Classic.

19. (NR) Harmony, 2,  22:32(+20).  The Longhorns won the George Whitmire Classic with new runners.

20. (14) Land O'Lakes, 2,  23:06.  The Gators will need to develop better 3-5 runners to stay in Region 2 race.

21. (21) Ocala Forest, 2,  23:09.  The Wildcats topped a weak field in the Warrior 5K Classic.

22. (NR) Miami Northwestern, 4,  23:11.  The Bulls have enough talent to be a factor in the Region 4 race.

23. (NR) West Shore, 4,  23:55.  The Wildcats were seventh at Fleet Feet and fifth at Holy Trinity.

24. (NR) Dwyer, 4,  23:37 (+30).  The Panthers took eleventh at Park Vista on the fast Spanish River course.

25. (22) Mater Academy, 4,  24:03.  The Lions will have a hard time staying in the Region 4 race without Valerie Lastra.

26. (NR) Bartram Trail, 1, 22:00.   The Bears were a surprising fifth at the Bale-n-Trail meet and are very much in the hunt for a Region 1 berth.

27. (NR) Lincoln, 1,  22:04.  The Trojans' chances of getting out of Region 1 aren't good unless Alyson Churchill returns.

28. (8) Naples, 3,  22:48.  The Eagles struggled at the DDD Invite, but are still in the Region 3 race.

Individual Rankings:

Commentary: The last three weeks' times and the course adjustments are being used in the same way as in the team rankings.  Three-week season bests are listed, but are not the sole factor in rankings - head to head competition, and consistency in times is also considered.  Athletes that have not run in 2017 have been eliminated from the rankings.

Rank, (Previous Rank) Name, Grade, Team, 3 Week SB / Comments

1. (8) Natalie Abernathy, 11, Land O'Lakes, 18:58. With the top two returning runners (Alyson Churchill and Valerie Lastra) apparently not running this season, the race for the top spot is wide open.  Abernathy claims it this poll with a big win on a sloppy Running with the Bulls course.

2. (3) Ana Wallace, 12, Chiles, 19:01. Won the Big Bend Invite at Apalachee Regional Park.

3. (4) Claire Openshaw, 10, Creekside, 18:47 (+20). Claimed Spurs and Spikes title on a typically fast course.

4. (6) Emily Culley, 11, Chiles, 19:20. Finished second at the Big Bend Invite.

5. (NR) Lillian Holtery, 9, Niceville, 19:09 (+15). Middle school star wins Pace Patriot Invite in HS debut.

6. (NR) Isabella Coogan, 11, Charlotte, 19:29. Is back running again and won the Lemon Bay Invite.

7. (17) Taylor Stone, 9, Osceola (Seminole), 19:40. Placed third at Jim Ryun, fourth at Running w/Bulls.

8. (14) Alayna Goll, 12, Estero, 20:36 (-40). Won DDD Invite on a wet, tough course.

9. (NR) Hannah Spooneybarger, 11, Gulf Breeze, 19:41 (+15). Took second at the Pace Patriot Invite.

10. (18) Vanessa Bolen, 11, Harmony, 19:39 (+20). Won George Whitmire Classic on a fast course.

11. (5) Hannah Schneidewind, 12, Niceville, 19:46 (+15). Was third at the Pace Patriot Invite.

12. (NR) Ella Swigler, 12, Mosley, 19:50 (+15). Has run very strong in 2017, winning Bay Invite and finishing fourth at Big Bend Invite.

13. (NR) Blake Petrick, 9, Creekside, 19:51 (+20). Freshman has run very well for the Knights and placed eighth at Spurs and Spikes.

14. (11) Claire Coger, 12, Niceville, 19:57 (+15). Took fourth place at the Pace Patriot Invite.

15. (22) Parker Valby, 10, East Lake, 20:32 (-20). Went out hard but faded to seventh at Jim Ryun Invite.

Other individuals to watch out for:

16. (NR) Jayden Horne, 10, Niceville, 19:58 (+15). Finished fifth at the Pace Patriot Invite.

17. (NR) Lauren Jorgensen, 9, Gulf Breeze, 20:00 (+15). Freshman is boosting the Dolphins' post season chances with a sixth-place finish at Pace Patriot.

18. (12) Chelsea Oliver, 12, Riverdale, 20:56 (-40).  hird at DDD Invite after a sluggish opener at Lemon Bay.

19. (NR) Erica Fisher, 11, Pace, 20:04 (+15). Tennessee transfer took sixth at Pace Patriot and can run faster.

20. (10) Fiona Kurland, 12, Ft. Myers, 20:20. Took second at Lemon Bay Invite on a wet course. 

21. (NR) Caroline Mackenzie, 11, Ft. Myers, 20.21. Finished right behind Kurland at Lemon Bay.

22. (NR) Hannah Jacobbe, 9, Creekside, 20:21. Another freshman that is giving the Knights a big boost.

23. (7) Claire Moritz, 12, Ponte Vedra, 20:30. Did not run well in her only race so far at Bale-n-Trail.

24. (NR) Isabel Oliveto, 12, Mitchell, 20:30. Placed fifth at Running with the Bulls.

25. (15) Jillian Dempsey, 10, Naples, 21:13 (-40). Fifth at DDD Invite after slow opener at Lemon Bay.  

26. (20) Erin Eubanks, 11, Niceville, 20:18 (+15). Finished eighth at Pace Patriot.

27. (NR) Lydia Reimer, 12, Ponte Vedra, 20:33. Placed tenth at Bale-n-Trail.

28. (24) Caitlyn Wilkey, 10, Chiles, 20:34. Finished fifth at Big Bend Invite

4A Girls Early Season Rankings

by Paul Opitz, Sarasota Riverview HS, paul.opitz65@gmail.com                

Team Rankings:

Rank. (Previous Rank) School = Comments

1. (2) Winter Park = 1st Spikes and Spurs, won Winter Springs invite not at full strength

2. (1) Newsome = won Lecanto

3. (6) George Jenkins = won the run for the Bulls in the mud and puddles at Wiregrass Ranch. Dale told me during track his girls would be good, I guess he was correct

4. (10) Winter Springs = found another fast freshman in Miss Doyle, should a real powerhouse when Elayna Bahr returns

5. (8) HB Plant = 2nd at Babe Zaharias Invite on faster Al Lopez course

6. (9) Lake Minneola = 5th Winter Springs Invite 21:09 avg

7. (12) Spruce Creek = 5th Spikes and Spurs. Won Mohney Memorial

8. (4) OLOL = 2nd at the youth fair, 3rd at the Twilight Lights Kickoff

9. (7) Ferguson = 4th at the Twilight Kickoff run

10. (3) Steinbrenner = 2nd at Whispering Pines Invite

11. (11) Wharton

12. (13) Lakewood Ranch

13. (14) Lake Mary

14. (NR) Hagerty

15. (5) Lake Brantley

16. (15) St Thomas = when will they race?

Individual Rankings:

Rank. (Previous Rank) Name, Grade -- School = Comments

1. (1) Bailey Hertenstein, 12 - Newsome = won Lecanto 18:24, does she ever get second?

2. (4) Alyssa Hendrix, 10 - Riverview = won Jim Ryun 18:47, one of the toughest courses in the state

3. (2) Rafella Gibbons, 12 - Winter Park = 2nd @ Spikes n Spurs 18:48

4. (NR) Mackenkzie Czurak, 10 - Winter Springs = won winter springs invite 18:29, 2nd at Jim Ryun invite

5. (5) Alexander Del Re, 10 - Jupiter = won Park Vista Invite 18:33

6. (14) Isabella Bartczak, 12 - Dr Phillips = won Embry Riddle invite 19:29, 3rd at Spikes and Spurs 18:53

7. (NR) Camryn Cooney, 12 - Spruce Creek = won Mohney Memorial in 18:45

8. (12) Anna Senter, 10 - George Jenkins = 2nd at Wiregrass mud invite 18:58

9. (11) Alica Ruiz, 09 - George Jenkins = 3rd at run for the bulls 19:02, awesome course, well marked

10. (3) Rylee Pustlink, 10 - Spanish River = 2nd at  Park Vista 19:01

11. (16) Mya Bodrato, 09 - Lake Mary = 4th at Spikes 19:13, Warrior camp champion

12. (10) Natlie Bress - Melbourne = won 3 races, undefeated so far, has a nice sound to it

13. (13) Juliana Lazzari, 12 - Palm Harbor Univ. = led by outstanding coaching of Mr. Daryl Southard. Go  Gators

14. (NR) Susie Doyle, 09 - Winter Springs = 4th Winter Springs Invite 19:32

15. (15) Cadi Rowe, 11 - Lake Minneola = 5th Winter Springs Invite 19:36

Other individuals to watch out for:

(8) Ashley Klingenberg, 10 - Lake Brantley

(NR) Chole Hyde, 11 - Lake Brantley

(9) Bridget Alex, 12 - St Thomas

(6) Elayna Bahr, 10 - Winter Springs

(NR) Jennifer Coddington, 11 - Winter Park


3A Boys Early Season Rankings

by Kerry Mowlam, Ponte Vedra High School, kmowlam@yahoo.com                   

Team Rankings:

Commentary: Well seems some of the athletes had a great summer of training and early season results reflects as such. Hurricane Irma put a dampener on last weekend races, and they was some early season match-ups that was going to sort some things out. Have to wait and see now.  

Rank. (Previous Rank) School - Comments

1. Belen Jesuit (1) -- They had an easy time of it for their one race so far this season. Have them retaining the top spot, but for how long? Will see how they fare against the top rivals in upcoming meet.

2. Chiles -- (2) Two easy races with no challengers, but that didn't stop them from performing and holding that 2nd spot. With runners 4-7 within 20 secs, maybe the thing they need for 5th spot competition.

3. Ocala Vanguard HS (18) -- What do you get with 2 transfers, a returning sub 16, and 15.35 freshman making back to full strength as a senior. Well you get Ocala Vanguard. Actually ranked no.1 by points at current time (and likely by next ranking) and looked very very (and 2 very on purpose) strong at Spurs and then Bale.

4. Niceville (3) -- Started season with nice team victory. Seeing their team getting stronger as season progresses. Notorious for their early slower times and then ramping up perfectly for late season.

5. Creekside (7) -- Already making their way up the chart. They have young team waiting to keep the legacy going and making other teams take notice.

6. Robinson HS (9) -- Good mixture of some new runners, great returners and some kids stepping up. Can they maintain this ranking with the perennial performers. Will see but hope they are here to stay.

7. Bartram Trail (10) -- Tight 55 sec pack between 1-5 runners. Would I expect anything else out of this consistent team.

8. New Smyrna Beach (11) -- Another strong team that keeps on producing top runners. The 4th 5th runners are 2 mins behind the top 3. Will need to close that gap to break into top 5 teams.

9. Estero -- (6) Excellent 3rd place team effort at Jim Ryun Invitational holds them in the top 10. Their 2-5 tight pack runners will have them top contender all year.

10. Gulf Coast (4) -- They start each season slowly and build well. Still have them dropping a few places just for the fact, haven't seen their 3rd and 5th runner from last year race yet. You watch this come bite me in the touché and jump all way back up next time

11. Naples (5) -- So how can I drop them in the rankings after only 1 meet. Good question. They are holding steady as results implied over previous years. Just had some other teams start the season flying. Naples is a team that will make me eat my rankings and end up top 5.

12. Merritt Island (8) -- Another team that starts low in the rankings at beginning of season based on early races. I think they do that just to mess up with my report…..  Main squad returning and will move back into top 10.

13. Fort Myers (15) -- Wining Lemon Bay to start the season should put a little giddy up in their step to show everyone they are pending top 10 team waiting to bust in.

14. Fort Walton Beach (12) -- I wasn't wrong when I said before they are good pack running team with top 6 runners within 10 seconds. Really should be ranked higher but want to see their next few races to see how high they go.

15. Ponte Vedra (16) -- Started strong at Bale and had good results. Depth maybe the key as the 3-9 runners are within 28 secs.

Other teams to watch out for:

16. Estero (NR) -- Great 3rd place as Jim Ryun has them in the top 20 for this ranking. Their top runner is 60 secs ahead of the rest. Need the 2-5 runners to get closer to keep the impact going.

17. Osceola (Seminole) (20) -- maintaining their ranking with some solid performances from whole squad. With 4th place at Wiregrass, will see how they keep that momentum going

18. Viera (NR) -- nice move into the top 20 with 3 good early season races. They have showed early season form and can they continue this.

19. Seabreeze HS (17) -- Maybe another team to be ranked it higher but some strong showings by other team and dropped in 3 places. Good team effort at Bale and DeLand

20. Choctawhatchee (13) -- This is a team that has 3 returners under 17.25 but biding their time. Need to see their 4th and 5th runner perform before can get real assessment of their potential.

Any of these teams can/will be top 20 by next rankings:

Gulf Breeze, Stanton Prep, Harmony, Land O Lakes, Lincoln, Leon, Nease.

Individual Rankings:

Commentary: What a crazy start to the season

Rank. (Previous Rank) Name, Grade -- School = Comments

1. Michael Phillips 12 (1) -- Chiles -- Holds this until he gets beaten by another 3A competitor

2. Joey Fitzpatrick 12 (NR) -- Ocala Vanguard -- How can you deny 15.31 and 15.40 to start the season

3. Joshua Collins 12 (2) -- Belen Jesuit -- Nice casual win to start the season.

4. Diego Lavieri-Sosa 12 (4) - Ocala Vanguard -- why not start season with 15.57

5. Aidan O'Gorman 11 (3) - New Smyrna Beach -- Consistent start with 3 races all in 16.20 range

6. Matthew Newland 12 -- (6) Chiles -- Two 2nd places to start season

7. Payne Myer 11 (5) - New Smyrna Beach -- Building off last season and getting stronger

8. Sam Skiles 12 (8) -- Stanton Prep -- One race, one good result

9. Alejandro Michel 12 (NR) -- Freedom -- With a 3rd and 1st to begin, gets him in top 10

10. Logan Horning 12 (NR) - New Smyrna Beach -- Senior transfer from out State making statement

11. Nicholas Kamen 11 (9) -- Gulf Coast -- nice win at DDD

12. Ethan Geiger 10 (NR) -- Robinson -- 3 podiums to start race season

13. Matthew Ortiz 12 (10) -- Creekside -- holds his place with strong start

14. Paul Reyna 12 (NR) - Ocala Vanguard -- Starts the season 35 secs faster than last year PR

15. Justin Greene 12 (NR) - Ocala Vanguard -- nice transfer and another piece of the OV team


- Please remember that all of these rankings are done by volunteer coaches and are meant to increase the overall enjoyment of the sport for athletes, coaches, parents, and fans. They are just for fun and should not have a lot of weight put on them. But if you have issues (such as a missed athlete or team), please email the individual pollster for your classification & gender.

- Please direct any major concerns to Site Administrator / FACA Rankings Representative: Ryan Raposo @ ryanraposo@gmail.com