Kristen Sweeney, October 23, 2010
Early Saturday morning, most of the Tallahassee competitors meandered to Marianna for the Panhandle Cross Country Championships. First, the varsity boys raced. Patrick Swain dominated the race by twelve seconds with his personal record of 15:37, earning the first spot on the All Panhandle Team. He, along with the eleventh place finish of Austin Stevens (16:24) and Travis Covert's (16:39) nineteenth, helped Maclay receive fourth. Finishing fourth individually in a best time of 15:57, Taylor Buzzard of Chiles led his team to fifth overall. His teammate, Sam Sutton, also qualified for the All Panhandle Team in seventh place with a time of 16:13. With Jacob Slupecki (16:11) in sixth, Trevor Touchton (16:22) in tenth, and Alex Close (16:42) in twentieth, Lincoln brought home the third place trophy. Other area teams that competed include FSU High School in ninth place, Godby in fifteenth, North Florida Christian in nineteenth, and Rickards in twenty-second.
After the conclusion of the boys' competition, the girls toed the line. Establishing a new course record, Lily Williams of Chiles led the ladies with her 17:46. Her teammates Carly Thomas (18:01) and Jodie McGuff (19:05) also qualified for the All Panhandle Team. The final two scoring members of the winning Chiles squad were Kelly Bahn who came in fifteenth with a 19:45, and Stephanie Reynolds who finished in nineteenth with a 19:59. In second, Maclay's Stefanie Kurgatt ran the course in 17:59, and her teammate Kristin Sweeney (18:54) finished fifth. The Marauders placed sixth overall, and Leon followed them in seventh. FSU High School earned tenth, Lincoln placed twelfth, and John Paul II finished twenty-first. As is seen in the results, the Panhandle Cross Country Championships offered a quick course with gorgeous weather and lots of personal records. Only two weeks away from the post-season fun, the runners of Tallahassee continue to improve.