JACKSONVILLE – Fleming Island High senior Evan Fuller and freshman Emma Millson both ran without senior teammates Andrew Miller and Julie Franzoni, respectively, and both emerged as top finishers …
JACKSONVILLE – Fleming Island High senior Evan Fuller and freshman Emma Millson both ran without senior teammates Andrew Miller and Julie Franzoni, respectively, and both emerged as top finishers from Clay County at the prestigious Katie Caples Cross Country Invitational run the night of Sept. 23 at Bishop Kenny High.
With Miller on a college visit, Fuller, a state meet qualifier in cross country and track just like Miller, battled from 12th to seventh to an eventual 15th place finish in the ruggedly paced contest over mushy, wet grounds in the twilight sun at Bishop Kennyj.
Winner Paul Stafford of Lake Wales High School ran a quick 15:31 to take the overall title with Bolles junior Charles Hicks second at 15:32 and Trinity Prep senior Trent Turbyfill third at 15:51 as the top four, including Bishop Kenny senior Nathan Jubran at 15:54 all finished under 16 minutes. Stafford was 37th in Class 2A last year in 16:41 with Hicks was second. Turbyfill was 16th in 2A last year and Jubran was 10th in 2A. Trinity Prep is the defending 2A champion with Bolles runnerup. Bishop Kenny was fifth.
Fuller finished 15th at 16:52 as the Fleming Island boys team took ninth with 252 points behind Bolles, the team champion at 76 and Satellite High, second at 99 just ahead of Trinity Prep at 104. Gage West, a junior at Fleming Island, was 32nd in 17:24 as Fleming Island’s second finisher.
Orange Park High School’s boys team also ran in the elite division led by junior John Bear’s39th place and a 17th place team finish. Junior Steven Aris ran 18:43, a personal best, to take 80th as Orange Park’s second finisher.
Other runners in top 10 in region 1-4A where Fleming Island competes included Bryce Bell of Lyman, fifth in 16:01 and Kyler Hodges of Lyman, ninth in 16:28. Bell was fifth in Class 4A with Hodges 19th. Bell was second and Hodges was 13th in region 1-4A last year in 15:50. Miller and Fuller finished 14th and 16th, respectively, in 16:14 and 16:34, with both qualifying for the state meet. Fleming Island finished eighth at regions and failed to qualify for state.
In the girls elite race, Ponte Vedra High senior Claire Moritz, relative to Fleming Island High track coach Karen Moritz, won in 19:31 with the top 10 finishers featuring seven runners from Bolles. The top 24 runners finished under 21 minutes.
In the girls varsity race, Millson outkicked Middleburg freshman Emma Mussante to take 11th in 22:06 with Mussante just four seconds behind. Fleming Island finished fifth with Bolles earning just 27 points to win the team title.
Oakleaf had a top finisher with Kylie Overstreet, a freshman, taking 35th in 23:44 with St. Johns Country Day School seventh grader Juliet Moody tops for the Spartans at 41st in 24:01.
In the boys varsity, Oakleaf sophomore Dylan Nelson took third as top finisher in 17:38 with 17:16 the winner’s time. Ben Kailes of St. Johns Country Day School was sixth in 17:47 with teammate Matthew Stratton 10th in 18:26.
The next race is the Golden Eagles Invitational, which is hosted by Fleming Island High at Ronnie Van Zant Park in Lake Asbury on Sept. 30.
The first race is at 4 p.m.