Photo Album by Craig Janson (over 500 photos)
In this day and age where many coaches plan their schedules around the same meets year after year, Orange City University HS coach Lisa Eggert decided to take a chance and schedule something new. The second year coach boldly decided to host her schools very first cross country meet, and with the support system she has in place with her parents and athletic director she can proudly say it went off without a hitch. It’s a rare occasion to see an athletic director at cross country meets, and even rarer to see one directing traffic at 6:00 AM. While area football players have been hit with a deluge of lightning delays as of recently, it was only appropriate that the cross country runners enjoyed their own brief delay this morning while the fog that blanketed the area burnt off under the blistering heat of the Florida sun. When the fog cleared it was a sea of orange that flooded this unique course that requires the harrier’s to run only one lap to complete their morning task. Spruce Creek runners took full command of the situation from the time the gun went off at 8:15 AM, and didn’t stop until the final runner crossed the line in the JV races some three hours later.
Spruce Creek runner Jocelyn Adona proved that she is well on the road to recovery while leading her team to a dominating victory with 19 points, and an average time of 21:14.80. Adona, a senior who has aspirations of running at the collegiate level next year got out quickly on her way to a course record of 20:44.00. When ask what she thought of the course afterward Adona responded “it was definitely a challenge because none of us other than the home team runners knew where to go”. For Christen Daniels of the host school, her day was nearly perfect as she held off Kaitlyn Kelly of Spruce Creek for 2nd place in a time of 20:53.00(PR), beating her previous mark of 21:14 by 21 seconds. Fourth place went to emerging junior Alycia Loriz of Spruce Creek, who was making her varsity debut after winning the JV division last week at the Deland Invitational. When ask how the two divisions compared she was pretty blunt that “they start out a lot faster, and harder to pass”. Rounding out the top 10 were Spruce Creek’s Tori Ehrhardt 21:35(5th), Courtney Belgrade 21:42(6th), Faith Strasser 22:11(8th). Sanford Seminole placed two freshmen Alexa Chun 21:46, and Alexandra Rodriguez 22:52 in 7th and 10th respectively.
Deland’s Kenneth Pineiro got out quickly as he tried to even the score with Michael Fabian, and Kyler Kathman of Spruce Creek. Last week Pineiro had more than his fill of the Creek runners on his home course at the Deland Invitational where he finished 11th with a time of 17:07 to Kathman’s 16:51 and Fabian’s 16:56. The second time around proved to be much more rewarding as the sophomore evened the score winning with a very respectable time of 16:59, with Fabian and Kathman finishing in 17:12, and 17:13. While Pineiro enjoyed the satisfaction of setting the new course record, it was the Creek boys that had the final say with a dominating performance that included having their top 5 runners all finish in the top 8 spots in route to a score of 22 points over their nearest competition University HS who scored 81. Spruce Creek posted a solid average time of 17:37:00 on the new course that was a total unknown to all but the University HS runners. Kyler Kathman of Spruce Creek summed it up saying ”The times don’t really justify what everybody did out here today because think it was harder than Tennessee, with the soft sand, hills and new sod up there on the hill”. The top 10 included Jacob Cole 17:40 (4th), Andrew Carpenter 17:43(5th), James Blasco 17:52 (6th), CJ Westfall 18:03 (7th), Brandon Marris 18:17 (8th), Tyler Kameh 18:27 (9th) and Craig Jaramillo 18:39 (10th).
With a temperature and humidity that was rising exponentially as the sun rose higher in the sky the girls JV race was a sea of orange and white as Spruce Creek took full control of the race from the start to finish. Spruce Creek Senior Alex Bramlage led her team to the perfect score of “15”, over second place Deland (50) points. Bramlage took off at the gun and never looked back as she cruised to a victory in 23:18 over second place teammate Stevie Leone 23:58. The Creek duo was not alone at the front as they were followed by seven more ladies in identical uniforms. Rounding out the top ten, all from Spruce Creek: Catherine LaStarza 24:02, Leah Glassburn 24:13, Anna Kelly 24:29, Rachel Walker 24:29.95, Abeer Eltemtamy 25:49, Doaa Eltemtamy 26:27, Kailyn Hart 26:34 and University HS runner Jasmine Candelario 10th in 27:21.
Sophomore Garek Church of Spruce Creek is definitely not what you would consider to be the prototype of a distance runner, but then again who’s complaining. Last year at this time he was just a freshman who was trying to get into the action of high school football, but with no freshman sports in Volusia County a change was needed to satisfy this young man’s desire to compete. This past spring Garek was in fact on the track running, BUT not anything that resembled a distance event. Garek was a member of Spruce Creek’s 4x110HH team that qualified to run at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, and that brought about more changes to his work regime. After being coherced into taking part Spruce Creek’s summer runs this lanky young man is now clawing at the door to run for the Hawks varsity, and if today is any indication of what’s in store I would say he’s getting really close. Garek went out at the gun with fellow hurdler Anthony Greggo, but quickly put a minute of real estate between himself and Greggo in route to his first ever cross country victory with an impressive time of 18:34! Once again Spruce Creek placed 8 runners in the top ten, with 18 points, and an average of 19:52 I would venture to say that they might have made some waves in the varsity race if given the chance. The top ten were completed by Patrick Cororcan of University HS in 20:02, Skyler Reese 20:06, Tyler Simmons 20:15, Bradley Koberg 20:50, Luke Proctor 20:51, Madison Santos 20:51.44, Austin Peacock 20:59 all of Spruce Creek and Kyle Lanes of Seabreeze in 20:59.67.
While today only brought 7 area coaches to this fine facility, I can honestly say that this meet will definitely grow in the future. Once again my hat’s off to Coach Eggert and her fine supporting cast on providing a fantastic venue, and well run inaugural event!