Pre-State - The Stoltz Report

Jana Stolting

This past weekend, area teams joined their rivals from every corner of the state to participate in the Pre-State meet in Dade City. The competition was fierce, a record was broken, and the Big Bend was represented very well.

Both the lady timber wolves of Chiles and the Lionesses of Leon ran in the elite race. Chiles was led by Lily Williams who ran a PR of 18:09 to take second place overall. Next for Gowan’s girls was Carly Thomas, who also ran 18:30 to take fifth. Kendall Andrews was their third finisher, running 19:09 for a twenty-second place finish. Chiles claimed second place overall, behind the Community School of Naples. Leon was led by Claire Stodghill (19:57), who finished in forty-fourth place. Overall, Leon was seventeenth.

The boys of Chiles and Leon also competed in the elite division. Matt Mizereck led the Lions’ charge with a first place finish and a new course record (15:17!). Teammate, Will Stanford, claimed fourth with a time of 15:29. Overall, the Lions took sixth. Chiles was led by Sam Sutton, who finished ninety-second with a time of 17:15. Overall, the Chiles boys took twenty-fourth. Whitney Strickland, of North Florida Christian, ran the race unattached and placed eleventh with a time of 15:51.

The boys and girls of Maclay ran in the small school races. Jana Stolting ran 18:14 for first place. Teammate, Shelby Salimone, ran 19:45 for eleventh place. Overall, the girls claimed fifth place. The boys were led with a first place finish from Patrick Swain (16:34). Next for the marauders came Austin Stevens with a 16:47, good for fifth place. Conor Sweeney finished third for the Maclay boys and eighth overall with a time of 16:59. These and other solid performances from Maclay allowed them to claim victory- first place in the small schools division.

All in all, the Tallahassee area was the proud parent of some of the fastest runners at the meet. This is no small feat, in a race that boasted seventy-six finishers whose times met the national elite standard! Local runners will not bask in their accomplishments for long, however, as next weekend is the real test: the Panhandle meet. Known for producing some of the closest battles and quickest times in the region, this year’s race will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting. With the amazing performances area runners have produced thus far, nothing but pure magic can result from bringing them all together for an all-out showdown.