One of the peculiarities of competing in the sport of cross country is the variance in the course layout and topography. Such was the case when the FHSAA Class A, District 7 meet was held October 20 at GT Bray Park in Bradenton, Florida, a course that featured mostly grass and sand from start to finish.
Despite being run on a surface that was described by Farragut freshman Phil Henderson as “heavy,” the BlueJackets turned in an impressive fifth-place finish as a team. The 158 points as a team were good enough for Farragut to advance to the Class A region tournament, which will be held October 28 at Holloway Park in Lakeland.
“It wasn’t as tough a course as some of the other ones we’ve run just because it didn’t have as many hills but it was different due to the heavy nature of running on grass and sand for a majority of the race,” said Phil Henderson ‘20, who was Farragut’s fastest runner at 20th place with a time of 19:27.87. “I definitely learned a lot from this race, though, mainly that I have to train more on grass and sand.”
The BlueJackets feature a roster filled with underclassmen as seen in the top six finishers for Farragut.
After Phil, Stephen Mikell, a sophomore, finished in 32nd place with a time of 20:06.58. Jose Lynch, a junior, crossed the finish line a little over two seconds later.
Alex Oi, another sophomore, placed 39th with a time of 20:42.33, which was a little over 30 seconds ahead of freshman Erik Sokolowski, who placed in the top 50 at 48th. Ashton Raymer, another freshman, finished 66th with a time of 22:35.79.
Jason Chen ‘18 rounded out the scoring for the BlueJackets in 86th place with a time of 24:12.44.
“The boys ran their best race this year as a team,” BlueJackets coach Reva Moeller said. “Time wasn’t the important factor due to the way the course was. It came down to the way we placed and everyone did their job. The most exciting part is we get to race again. What a great effort from everyone. We look forward to regions.”