Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka runners competed at the Blountstown Home Meet on Thursday, September 28.
In girls action, Port St. Joe finished fifth among the nine teams, with two seventh graders leading the way for the Sharks.
Ava Petersen came in eighth with a time of 24:45, followed by Kate Patrick (11th) in 25:19.
RJ Gerlach (28:31), Farrah Spring (28:32), and Katie Trochessett (28:32.5) arrived in a dead heat to complete the Shark scoring.
Libby White just missed the top five St. Joe runners with a 29:03.
Wewa, with only Cameron Easter (34:29) and Allie Archibald (35:31) racing, did not qualify for a team
In similar fashion, Port St. Joe boys failed to achieve a team score due to having only four runners.
Dylan Davis (25:46), Jackson Touchston (25:46.5), Nathan Lipford (25:47), and Dane Fosshage (29:12) were the Shark runners.
In fairness, Shark coach Keion McNair considered this meet as a practice, and had his charges run three miles prior to the start of the race.
Wewa had a total of 12 boys participate in the race, finishing seventh as a team.
Aiden Evans came in sixth place overall with a time of 18:26, followed by David Rich (21st) with a 20:12.
Jaxon Sweat (26:03), Spencer Tucker (26:04), and Conner Roberts (26:36) rounded out the rest of Wewa’s top five runners.
Camden Winden (27:19), Ryan Coxwell (27:27), Eli Evans (27:43), Jared Archibald (28:27), Travis Archibald (28:49), Bryce Ethridge (29:13), and Calvin Carpender (29:53) also ran for the Gators.
Both local teams also ran Saturday, October 1, at the Rutherford Ram Run, held in Springfield at the Callaway Recreation Complex.
Port St. Joe girls finished in fifth place behind first place winner Wakulla, while the Shark boys came in ninth behind the winning runners from Chiles High.
Since the runners did not have to run additional distances before the race, times were considerably better than at Wednesday’s race.
Gerlach paced the girls with a time of 23:09, while Petersen and Trochessett were not far behind at 24:26 and 24:51, respectively.
Patrick (25:41) and White (26:26) completed the Shark scoring on the day, with Hannah DaCosta (26:44), Spring (29:15), Arlena Gleichner (31:47), and Rebekuh Dunn (38:48) also competing.
Davis finished first among the Shark boys with a 19:42, with teammate Lipford close behind in 19:46.
Touchston (22:16), Russel Dunn (22:24), and Fosshage (29:27) were the other St. Joe runners at the event.
Wewa boys finished the race in eighth place, one place ahead of St. Joe, with Rich (18:42) and Evans (18:43) coming in as the top two Gator runners.
Carpender (24:42), Winden (24:44), and Roberts (25:26) rounded out the Gator top five, with Coxwell (26:58) close behind.
The race also featured a JV event, and Tucker (25:07), Sweat (25:49), Davy Gray (25:53), and Travis Archibald (30:03) competed in it.
Once again, Archibald (35:51) and Easter (35:53) were the only two Wewa girls running.