Fifth straight appearance for girls cross country
Paced by season-best times from its top two finishers, the Port St. Joe High School girls cross country team qualified last week for its fifth consecutive appearance in the Florida Class 1A state championships.
At the Nov. 10 regionals at the New World Sports Complex in Jacksonville, hosted by Flagler Palm Coast High School, freshman Molly Partin sliced an impressive 1:36 off her district time to post a season-best 22:07 finish, 27th overall, to lead the team to its seventh place finish.
Sophomore Katie Trochessett was just 14 seconds behind her teammate, as she ran a 22:21.20 time, finishing 30th with a season-best time that was 1:12 better than she had run at districts.
Eighth grader Kate Patrick ran a 23:45.30 race, finishing 50th, a minute better than she had run at districts. About a half-minute behind her was senior Hannah DaCosta, whose 24:19.50 time was 1:20 better than her performance at districts and placed her 60th.
Two seconds behind her, in 62nd place, was senior Arlena Gleichner, who ran a 24:21.60, one second faster and one place ahead of eighth grader Libby White, who ran a 24:22.50 to finish 63rd. Sophomore Farrah Spring ran a 29:57.10 race to finish 105th.
“The girls did what they needed to do to get another opportunity to advance to the state meet,” said coach Keion McNair. “I’m extremely proud of the girls; they have been working hard for this opportunity. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be their coach.”
The six teams that finished ahead of the Lady Tiger Sharks were all private schools, with Pensacola Christian Academy the regional winner, Maclay School the runner-up and Providence School in third place.
St. Johns Country Day School, Harvest Community School and Christ’s Church Academy ran fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Port St. Joe’s finish was just ahead of Freeport, also a public high school, with Milton Central and Tallahassee Community Christian School rounding out the top 10.
The boys team, under the direction of coach T.C. Brewer, finished 16th at regionals, led by a 19:42.70 time for seventh grader Jude Fosshage, good for 64th place.
He ran 50 seconds faster than sophomore Nathan Lipford, whose 20:32.30 time earned him 78th place.
A minute behind him was freshman Preston Beckwith, whose 21:34.30 run put him at 90th overall, and six seconds ahead of seventh grader Chase Ford, whose 21:42.10 put him 93rd.
Freshman Dane Fosshage ran a 24:40.90 and freshman Rhys Bennefield a 25:16.10, to finish 111th and 112th respectively.
The state championships are Friday, Nov. 17 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
Admission is $13 per day with advance purchase and $16 the day of the event. All tickets are available via GoFan with no onsite ticket sales taking place. The $2 cost of parking is included in each ticket of admission.