Prep cross country preview: Oak Hall looks to repeat


Eagles eighth-grader Grace Blair was The Sun's Runner of the Year last season after leading state champion Oak Hall with a sixth-place individual finish at the Class 1A state meet.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.

After back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Class 1A state meet in 2011 and 2012, Oak Hall finally broke through last year to capture its first state title in girls cross country.

Now the goal is to repeat.

The Eagles return everyone from that championship team, but longtime coach Edwin McTureous knows the task of winning their second straight state title will be even more difficult.

“Our goal is to repeat, but right now (Melbourne) Holy Trinity is on top,” said McTureous, who is in his 16th year. “They have three new girls from last year. They are loaded. This past weekend they ran as a team faster than we did at state last year. Providence is also very strong. We will see both of them this weekend at the Katie Caples (Invitational).”

Oak Hall, which recently won the Ridgeview Bob Hans Invitational, is led by The Sun's four-time Runner of the Year in senior Brittney Olinger, last year's Runner of the Year in eighth-grader Grace Blair and two-time first-team all-area runner in freshman Lauren Perry. Blair and Perry finished sixth and eighth, respectively, at state a year ago.

Add freshman Talia Carlson, junior Katie Ringdahl, seventh-grader Lindsay Rosenberg and freshman newcomer Nadiria Evans, and the Eagles are pretty loaded themselves.

“We enjoyed last season,” McTureous said. ”The girls worked harder this summer getting all their workouts in. We are excited to have that opportunity to win another championship again, but we are not talking about postseason anymore. Right now we are focused week to week, taking it race by race. When we get to state, that is when we will talk about it.”

Saturday's Katie Caples Invitational at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny High has a field of 50-plus schools competing, including Holy Trinity and Providence, along with 2A state champion Jacksonville Bolles. Other local schools entered are Eastside, Fort White, Gainesville and St. Francis.

Several other schools — Buchholz, P.K. Yonge and Santa Fe — will compete Saturday at the Lecanto Panther Invitational in Citrus County.

Oak Hall will have a good idea of its 1A competition after this weekend and next weekend at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational on the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

“This meet will provide a good measuring stick of where we are at as a team,” McTureous said. “It is a challenge to beat Trinity and Providence, but if I ever was going to have a group that could do it, it would be this one. We could run two minutes faster as a team than we did at state.

“You never want to take a state championship for granted. Just because you have everyone back doesn't mean you are going to win it. You have to work just as hard. We are going in with the mindset that this is an opportunity. This is something we can do.”

CLASS 4A

Buchholz Bobcats

District: 1-4A (Flagler Palm Coast, Jacksonville Atlantic Coast, Jacksonville First Coast boys only, Jacksonville Mandarin, Jacksonville Sandalwood, Neptune Beach Fletcher, Orange Park Fleming Island)

Next meet: Saturday at Lecanto Panther Invitational

Coach: Ron Norris (13th year)

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: District runner-up; 7th at regionals

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Isabella Whelan, So., 19:29 (4th at districts); Olivia Sanchez, Sr., 20:46; Sarah Edens, So., 20:37; Sarah Bennett, Sr., 21:48

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: District runner-up; 7th at regionals

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Drew Monteau, Sr., 17:14; Karsten Pease,Jr., 16:38 (7th at districts); John Dougherty, Jr., 16:07 (3rd at districts); Adam Dougherty, Jr., 16:38 (8th at districts)

CLASS 3A

Columbia Tigers

District: 3-3A (Jacksonville Ed White, Jacksonville Englewood, Jacksonville Lee, Jacksonville Stanton, Jacksonville Terry Parker, Tallahassee Chiles, Tallahassee Leon, Tallahassee Lincoln)

Next meet: UF Mountain Dew Invitational, Sept. 14

Coach: Brooke Solowski

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: 3rd at districts (2-3A), 10th at regionals

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Ashley Jones, Jr., 21:01 (11th at districts); Sydni Jones, So., 21:37

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: 7th at districts (2-3A)

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Chris Sellers, Jr., 20:37; Zach Peterson, Sr., 19:55; Noah Henderson, Jr., 19:12

Gainesville Hurricanes

District: 5-3A (Daytona Beach Mainland, Daytona Beach Seabreeze, Deltona Pine Ridge, Lake Weir, New Smyrna Beach, Ocala Vanguard, Palm Coast Matanzas)

Next meet: Saturday at Katie Caples Invitational at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny High

Coach: Rod McNealy

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: 3rd at districts (4-3A)

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Carter Page, So., 20:23 (5th at districts); Aylena Carlson, Jr., 21:21; Devon Myers, Sr., 22:35; Delaney Sagul, Sr., 23:30

Boys

2012 accomplishments: 4th at districts (4-3A)

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Blake Lowery, So., 17:13 (3rd at districts); Semen Zhdanov, So., 17:32; Andrew Ward, Sr., 17:47; Clay Coleman-Davis, So., 18:45

CLASS 2A

Eastside Rams

District: 5-2A (Bradford, Fort White, Interlachen, Keystone Heights, Newberry, Palatka, Santa Fe, Suwannee girls only)

Next meet: Saturday at Katie Caples Invitational at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny High

Coach: Steve Cuneo

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: 8th at state, District champions (4-2A), 4th at regionals

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Lucinda Peng, Sr., 20:44 (9th at districts); Christine Pu, Sr., 20:46 (2nd at districts); Vanessa McAdams, So., 20:49 (3rd at districts); Ria Someshwar, So., 20:57

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: District champions (4-2A), 6th at regionals, 22nd at state

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Hunter Hintenlang, So., 18;21 (6th at districts); Robert Booker, Jr., 18:35; Thomas Poirier, Jr., 18:44; Matthew Ruppert, Sr., 18:52

Fort White Indians

District: 5-2A

Next meet: Saturday at Katie Caples Invitational at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny High

Coach: Kimberly Jackson

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: 4th at districts (4-2A)

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Sheridan Plasencia, 8th grade, 24:54; Katrina Patillo, 8th grade, 28:31; Isabelle Hair, 8th grade, 32:24

Boys

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Jeremi Thompson, 8th grade, 23:43; Joshua Compton, Jr., 26;44

Newberry Panthers

District: 5-2A (Bradford, Eastside, Fort White, Interlachen, Keystone Heights, Palatka, Santa Fe, Suwannee girls only)

Next meet: UF Mountain Dew Invitational, Sept. 14

Girls

Coach: KC Rice (3rd year)

2012 team accomplishments: 6th at districts (4-2A)

Top returning runners (class, PR): Shelby Chatfield, Sr., 22:46; Maggie Rice, So., 22:56; Hannah Hurlston, Sr., 26:13; Tabitha Hurlston, So., 29:01

Boys

Coach: Wendy Chatfield (3rd year)

2012 team accomplishments: 5th at districts (4-2A)

Top returning runners (class, PR): Caleb McKinley, So., 19:35; Zach Purvis, So., 20:35; Taylor Gray, So., 23:19

Santa Fe Raiders

District: 5-2A

Next meet: Lecanto Panther Invitational

Coach: Tommie Turner

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: 3rd at districts (4-2A), 12th at regionals

Top returning runners (class, PR): Nicole Golden, Sr., 23:46; Maltre Michel-trapaga, Sr., 24:10; Rachel Dickhaut, So., 24:32; Leah Irwin, Sr., 24:36

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: 4th at districts

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Todd White, Jr., 18:26; Troy Gentry, Sr., 18:33; Andrew Geelhoed, Jr., 18:34; Wyatt Griner, So., 18:59 (10th at districts)

Suwannee Bulldogs

Girls

District: 5-2A

Next meet: Sept. 10 at Bradford

Coach: Eric Rodriguez

2012 team accomplishments: Runner-up at districts (4-2A)

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Katie Stalvey, Jr., 22:42; Megan Ellis, Jr., 25:20; Meredith Lord, So., 26:30; Nattalya Mendez, Sr., 28:15

CLASS 1A

Oak Hall Eagles

District: 5-1A (Bronson girls only, Cedar Key, Ocala Meadowbrook, P.K. Yonge, Lecanto Seven Rivers Christian, St. Francis, Ocala St. John Lutheran

Next meet: Saturday at Katie Caples Invitational at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny High

Coach: Edwin McTureous (16th season)

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: State champions (school's first), regional and district champions

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Lauren Perry, Fr., 18:47 (8th at state); Brittney Olinger, Sr., 18:50 (14th at state); Grace Blair, 8th grade, 18:58 (6th at state); Talia Carlson, Fr., 19:55 (23rd at state)

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: 2nd at districts; 9th at regionals

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Austin Perry, Jr., 17:31 (3rd at districts); Zack Beauchamp, Sr., 17:53 (7th at districts); Zach Logeson, Sr., 18:45 (9th at districts); Camilo Urdaneta, Jr., 18:53

P.K. Yonge Blue Wave

District: 5-1A

Next meet: Saturday at Lecanto Panther Invitational

Coach: Beth Godwin (2nd season)

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: District runner-up

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Emily Westlake, Sr., 20:21; Laksmi Arroyo, 8th grade, 21:24; Caroline Perry, So., 22:13; Savannah Branch, So., 23:11

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: 6th at state; district champions, runner-up at regionals

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Joseph Janson, Sr., 16:29; Nicolas Pelegrina, So., 17:47; Gabriel Pelegrina, So., 17:55; Brett Gerhardt, Jr., 18:15

St. Francis Wolves

District: 5-1A

Next meet: Saturday at Katie Caples Invitational at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny High

Coach: Thomy Bolduc

Girls

2012 team accomplishments: 7th at districts (4-1A)

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Alex Oman, Sr., 23:04; Erin Carroll, Sr., 25:26; Tiffany Jacobs, Sr., 26:10; Anna Grantham, Sr., 27:45

Boys

2012 team accomplishments: 3rd at districts

Top returning runners (class, 2012 PR): Alejando Sarabia, Jr., 19:58; Joe Sansalone, Jr., 20:09; Jack Charnas, Jr., 20:44; Sean Devlin, So., 20:50

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