Friday, October 3, 2008

Championship Runners

Boys Break at the Start Girls prep for the start.

Disclaimer: All names, finish times, and finish places have not yet been double-checked. I will do that as soon as the official results become available. What you read below is my own observations and human recollections. Enjoy. Be patient. I will update, edit, correct over the weekend. - LJRA

The City Cross Country Championship Meet, hmmm... Well, it had its ups and its downs. Records were set. The boys top four finishers were all mixed up. Schools were classified by enrollment into Divisions 1A ("small" schools) and 2A ("big" schools). Coaches fretted and fumed and paced. Some runners were ecstatic; some disappointed; some elated; some inconsolable. Runners cried; runners jumped for joy. In the end, runners - well, they ran.

Last week CeCe Williams (Deerlake) became the only girl in Leon County Cross Country history to break the 12 minute mark. This week she became the only girl to do it twice (and in the same season, and in consecutive weeks I might add). She absolutely burned up the course with her 11:45-ish 2 miler. Rachel Givens (Raa) smoked in for second at 12:02 (I think). Raa finished with all five of their scoring girls in the top ten this week: Rachel Givens, Camille Baker, Jessica Beyer, Ursula McPherson-Vitkus, and Brady Kidd.

2008 Middle School Top Ten Girls
1st - CeCe Williams, 2nd - Rachel Givens, 3rd - Camille Baker, 4th - Jessica Beyer
6th - Ursula McPherson-Vitkus, 9th - Lia Lombardi, 10th - Brady Kidd

But,wait, let me tell you about the top ten shake up in the boys division! As the pace vehicle (a bit like a souped up golf cart) came around the final turn in to the finish sprint, it was not Will Henderson in the lead by yards and yards as the previous three weeks. It was Cameron Wong! Yes, my friends: The Amazin' Blazin' Asian was cruisin' in on his "oriental power" for a first place finish. Will's teammate from Raa made the turn towards home all by himself. There was nothing in front or behind him but clear real estate and the finish clock. Cameron brought home the 1st place finish for Raa for the first time this season - and for the 4th consecutive week for Raa. Will soon came around the bend followed closely not by Scott Fortier of Swift Creek but rather by HIS Swift Creek team mate Trevor Touchton. Scott was not far behind Trevor and did clinch the fourth place finish for Swift Creek. It is a blur of finishers from then until Colin. But, I have pictures to add later that will undoubtedly aid in clearing the fog. The top scoring runners from Raa included Cameron, Will, Colin, Cameron Ohlin, Grayson Ruhl, and Wil Luca (I am not sure if Grayson or Wil finished first, sorry). Hallelujah! The Raa boys pulled a City Division 1A Cross Country Championship out of their running shoes by two points over Swift Creek.

2008 Top Ten Middle School Boys
1st - Cameron Wong, 2nd - Will Henderson, 3rd - Trevor Touchton
4th - Scott Fortier, 9th - Colin Abbey

Colin did run well, just not as well as he (or his coaches or his mother) would have liked. He was only 3 seconds off his best time from last week (12:42 yesterday) and finished 15th overall out of 200+ boys. Which, unfortunately, was not the top ten finish he had originally hoped for, and thus he was very cranky, sad, disappointed in himself, you name it. I reminded him more than once that it was "just one run" and that this is a "team effort" and the Team won - granted only by two points - and he was somewhat more satisfied with that answer.

Colin nearing the 1 mile mark

Later, as the awards ceremonies began, it was announced that the schools had been classified into 1A ("small" schools) and 2A ("big" schools) divisions. Six of the runners who had finished ahead of Colin were members of 1A schools, thus moving him into the 9th spot for the 2A division. He was happy then to be "reclassified" as 9th, although he still remains disappointed with his personal performance.

Every person has their own "carrot on the stick." With Colin it is usually something he can show off: an ATAC parka; aero bars for the road bike; Fastskin racing suits. All Colin really wanted out of this entire cross country thing is the "hoodie" that the coaches order for the kids if they win the City Championships. Now he can have one, and he is very pleased with that.

2008 Raa Boys Cross Country Team
City Champions

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