Built for Speed - Panhandle Champs

Jana Stolting, October 24, 2009

The Panhandle Championship certainly delivered on its promise to be both fast and exciting. In fact, it is quite possible that this year’s race was the fastest ever on the girls’ side, and close to it among the boys.

In the girls’ race, Chiles narrowly edged out Fort Walton Beach (by 7 points) to take the overall win. They were led by Lily Williams, who finished in third place with a time of 18:08.06. Teammates, Carly Thomas (fourth in 18:21.40) and Kendall Andrews (sixth in 19:03.59) provided solid support for the Timberwolves’ charge. The ladies of Maclay finished a respectable third place overall. They were led by freshman, Stefanie Kurgatt’s record breaking 17:47.62 victory. Teammate, Jana Stolting also came in under the old course record in second place, with a time of 17:53.27. Fellow Marauder, Kristin Sweeney came through in 19:14.33, which was good enough for tenth place. Local teams, Leon, Florida High, and Lincoln finished sixth, eleventh, and fourteenth respectively.

The boys’ race was dominated by Maclay’s Patrick Swain, who bested his nearest competitor by sixteen seconds, finishing in 15:50.20. Teammates, Austin Stevens (twenty-fifth in 16:45.05), Jacob Coates (forty-fifth in 17:33.83), and Travis Covert (forty-eighth in 17:38.29) helped the Marauders take fifth overall. Chiles edged Maclay out to take the fourth place spot. They were led by Taylor Buzzard’s eighth place finish in a time of 16:20.40. Teammates Sam Sutton (twelfth in 16:24.81) and Branden Lingerfelt (eighteenth in 16:35.17) also finished inside the top twenty. Local teams, Godby, Florida High, Lincoln, and Leon all finished in the top twenty, with Godby in tenth, Lincoln in eleventh, Florida High in fourteenth, and Leon in sixteenth.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I must say I was sad to be waving goodbye to my final Panhandle Championship. Fortunately, however, the most important meets still lie ahead. This coming Friday (yes, Halloween), Maclay will host the always-entertaining (and muddy) City Championship Meet. Whether you run, volunteer, or just come out and watch, it promises to be a great way to start off your night of mayhem, and full of tricks and treats for everyone!