Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka runners got the 2022 cross country season going at Saturday’s Dolphin Dash 5K Invitational in Panama City, held at the Bay Dunes Golf Course and hosted by Mosley High School.
In boys action, runners from Fort Walton Beach claimed top honors, with Wewa finishing eighth and Port St. Joe 10th out of the 12 teams.
The top five Gator runners were Kaden Brooks (21:16), followed closely by David Rich (21:23), then Brayden Kemp (23:09), Calvin Carpender (27:20), and Davy Gray (27:28). Spencer Tucker and Conner Roberts missed out of the scoring by finishing only a few seconds behind Gray.
Nathan Roberts crossed the line first for the Tiger Sharks in a time of 21:49, followed by teammates Dylan Davis (23:54), Jackson Touchston (26:09), Britt White (30:38), and Dane Fosshage (33:19).
After coaching only the girls team for years, St. Joe’s Keion McNair now coaches both teams, and said “It’s more work for sure, but I’m happy for it.”
North Bay Haven sped to first place in the girls race, while Port St. Joe came in seventh place of the 11 teams. Since Wewa had only two girls running, they did not have a team score.
RJ Gerlach led the Tiger Sharks with a time of 24:43. Hannah DaCosta and Arlena Gleichner finished next in a virtual tie with times of 27:13.10 and 27:13.80, respectively.
Farrah Spring’s 29:51 and Celie White’s 30:52 completed St. Joe’s scoring times. Madelyn Shoaf and Beth Dunn finished as the sixth and seventh Tiger Shark runners.
Wewa’s Allie Archibald ran the race in 29:52, and Cameron Easter finished with a 34:06 as the only Gator participants.
The next chance for runners to get a personal best time will come on Saturday, September 17, at the Thomas University Invitational in Tallahassee.