After 16 districts narrowed down the competition pool for regional week, the final 16 teams have been decided for the FHSAA 2A Cross Country State Championship competition pool.
With the competition pool decided, here is what went down last week across the state for each region in class 2A ahead of the state meet on Friday.
Photo by Cedric Gillette
Former Leon HS and Florida State star and current voice of Apalachee Regional Park Herb Wills said it best when he wrote, "In cross-country, FHSAA 2A Region 1 still belongs to Bolles." The Bolles ladies finished out their regional effort this past weekend with a 1-7 sweep with nearly the entire squad going sub 20-minutes. With an 18:42 team average, perfect score, and 54 second 1-5 split, these ladies are ready to add another state title to their name and rewrite history books this season.
Jillian Candelino led the Lady Bulldogs with an 18:24 performance, with Maxine Montoya (18:30), Maddie Popp (18:34), Ella Mickler (18:24), Layne Rivera (19:19), Leila Bata (19:52), and Hadley Ropp (20:00) following right behind. Joining Bolles at the state championship this weekend will be South Walton HS, Bishop Kenny HS, and Epsicopal School of Jacksonville.
The boys race also featured a strong Bolles performance with senior Cole Rutkowski securing the individual win with the only sub 16-minute performance, running a time of 15:57 over Caden Kwiatkowski of Fernandina Beach, who finished second with a time of 16:10. 2A Region 1 featured a strong group of guys sub 17-minutes -- taking a 17:18 to ultimately qualify as an individual out of this region.
Led by Rutkowski, the Bolles boys won the meet in a dominating fashion with 28 points as they prepare to challenge Satellite this coming weekend for a state title. Bishop Kenny followed for second with 82 points. South Walton HS, Pedro Menendez High School, Kwiatkowski, Luis Gutierrez, Steven Durr, and Matthew Ortiz are among the other qualifying teams and individuals who will line up this weekend at Apalachee Regional Park.
Photo by MVA Cross Country/Track and Field on Twitter
The Satellite boys are ready to defend their 2A state title. Gabe Montague led the Scorpions to a 19-point, 16:15 team win over Bishop Moore's 99 points. It was a close finish between Satellite senior Joe Wester, Trinity Prep junior Nick Carpenter, and Satellite junior Justin Wilson -- all finishing within milliseconds of one another going 16:09.46, 16:09.47, and 16:09.69.
The Trinity Prep and Citrus HS boys will join Satellite and Bishop Moore as the two more of the qualified teams for the state meet this weekend, along with Simon DeVoss, Ian Kalra, Emerson Miller, and Colton Cardwell who will compete as individual qualifiers.
The girls race featured a dominating race from Montverde Academy junior Lily Henne. Henne ran a time of 19:08 to beat out the rest of the field by nearly 25 seconds. Mackenzie Scordato of Citrus HS took second place with a time of 19:33, with Kendyl Cardwell of Montverde and Noelle Vu of Mount Dora finishing third and fourth with their 19:40 and 19:49 performances.
Montverde Academy captured the 2A Region 2 win with a strong 53 points and 20:23 team average. Satellite High School followed behind with 66 points. Citrus HS and Lake Highland Prep along with Vu, Paige Jaszczak, Paige McCaul, and Riley Jaszczak will join Montverde and Satellite at the line this weekend at Apalachee Regional Park.
Just one week after Berkeley Prep eighth graders dominated the FLYRA Middle School State Championship, Liam Jordan and Storm Weber with the leadership of Ethan Lipham, Kirin Karver, and Luke Doyle were able to bring home another consecutive regional title.
Lipham led the boys with his individual win of 16:31 over Calvary Christian Clearwater senior Jonathan Eide's 16:39. The Berkeley Prep team won the meet with a staggering 19 points ahead of McKeel Academy's 96. Tampa Prep, Lemon Bay, Eide, John Carbone, Zachary Florendo, and Cooper Banks will join Berkeley and McKeel this upcoming weekend as they toe the line for the 2A state final.
Carlyn Bobo of Lake Placid took the 2A Region 3 girls title with just a three second gap over Cristal Gomez's 19:50. Hailey Howard of Calvary Christian took third with her 20:13 performance with Emma Nales-Torchio of McKeel Academy taking fourth with a 20:20 performance to lead her team to a regional victory.
McKeel Academy took the regional team title with 68 points over Bishop Verot's 81. One point separated Calvary Christian Clearwater and Berkeley Prep to qualify both of them to the state final. Madeline Rodriguez, and Mandy Lam qualified as individuals and will line up at Apalachee Regional Park on Friday.
2A Region 4 featured a dominating win by Dartmouth commit and reigning 2A state runner-up Eleanor Tymorek. Tymorek added another regional title to her running resume with an 18:20 performance. St. Brendan sophomore Emma Hencock ran a solo 19:10 for second and Gulliver Prep put two juniors third and fourth with Kyra Gardner and Nina Starvaggi going 19:51 and 19:54.
This region also featured two youngsters -- Freshman Bella Del Busto of Calvary Christian Academy and eighth grader Alessandra Di Mise of Gulliver Prep go sub 20-minutes with their 19:45 and 19:56 runs.
No surprise with three sub 20-minute finishes, Gulliver was the strong District champion with 52 points, 1:44 1-5 split, and a 20:25 team average. Calvary Christian Academy and Carrollton School of the Sacred Hart finished second and third with their 99 and 102 point finishes and team averages sub 21:15.
Fourth place came down to a tie breaker for the girls race with The King's Academy taking the final qualifying spot in an upset against St. Brendan. Madison Munroe and Brooke Scott in addition to Tymorek and Hencock that also qualified themselves for the state meet this weekend.
Saint Andrew's duo Matthew Mule and Ian Noble are ready to mix it up with the Northern Florida schools this coming weekend at the state meet. Mule, a University of Florida commit, captured the regional title with a time of 15:29 and will look to compete for a top 5 spot this weekend individually. Noble took second with a strong 16:03 run, out kicking King's Academy sophomore Colton Lawson. Lawson, his fellow teammates Christopher Hobbs and Dash Edwards swept third through fourth place with their 16:11, 16:28, and 16:52 runs.
In the end it was a close battle between Saint Andrews and The King's Academy for the team title with Saint Andrews edging out King's Academy with 43 points to their 47. FAU Henderson, Mater Lakes Academy, Alexandre Dray, and Gabriel Bendix were among the remaining teams and individuals to punch their ticket to the big dance this Friday.