HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY

Blue Wave’s Janson wins Bobcat Classic


P.K. Yonge’s Joseph Janson, center, won the Bobcat Classic with a time of 16:25.80 on Saturday at Santa Fe College.

Elizabeth Hamilton/Correpsondent/FILE
Published: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.

Heading into the 13th Bobcat Classic on Saturday morning, P.K. Yonge's Joseph Janson knew he was not going to push for a personal record on the hilly terrain at Santa Fe College.

Instead, the state’s third-ranked cross-country athlete tried to match recent history.

A year after finishing second to former P.K. Yonge runner Garrett Westlake at the meet, Janson pulled away from the main field of 136 for a comfortable, 27-second lead in the boys 5K and crossed the line with a final time of 16:25.80.

“That’s why I wanted to win, just because Garrett was on there, and I wanted to be on right after him,” Janson said. “That’s really what I wanted, the name on the plaque.”

With two of their top-5 runners hampered by injuries, the Blue Wave finished fifth overall out of 18 teams behind fourth-place Eastside, third-place Gainesville, runner-up George M. Steinbrenner High and champion Buchholz.

Janson, who ran a career-best time of 15:57.37 two weeks ago, pointed to next Saturday’s Pre-State Invitational at Florida State University as a date he’s circled to improve on the area’s top 5K mark.

“He doesn’t take anything too seriously, but he knows what he’s out there to do,” Blue Wave coach Beth Godwin said. “He has a good time while he’s doing it and he makes sure he gets the job done. Does he always get what he aims to do? No, but he knows it’s progressive.”

Buchholz, the meet’s host, won with all five of its scoring runners finishing in the top-10 overall for a low score of 28, followed by Steinbrenner’s 78-point total.

Led by senior Andrew Monteau’s third-place run of 17:12.40, the Bobcats also placed junior Karsten Pease, son of UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease, in fourth just more than four seconds later. John and Adam Dougherty finished sixth and seventh, respectively, while fellow junior Tommy Howell sealed the team win in eighth place.

Third-place Gainesville saw sophomore Blake Lowery finish with a runner-up result in 16:53.10, and senior Andrew Ward close out the top-10 with his run of 17:53.80.

“On this course that we’re hosting at districts and regionals, to get 22 seconds between one and five is pretty impressive,” Buchholz coach Ron Norris said. “Their performance time-wise, they might not be happy, but we’ve been working extremely hard.”

Norris was also pleased with his girls team, which finished second overall in its 5K with 72 points behind meet-champion Spruce Creek’s 66 points. Eastside edged Gainesville for third-place with 92 points, while Columbia settled into fifth overall with 120 points.

In a start-to-finish breakaway, Bobcats junior Sarah Edens cruised to the individual victory with her time of 20:13.50, followed 16.5 seconds later by sophomore teammate Isabella Whelan.

“It’s been back-and-forth,” Norris said. “One wins one weekend and one wins the next weekend, so they’ve been able to work together and train together. They kind of switch off too in practice … but it’s been good that they’ve got each other.”

Chiefland eighth-grader Jolie Anderson finished in third with her run of 20:46.50 and was trailed by Gainesville sophomore Carter Page’s run of 20:49.70. Maggie Rice of Newberry crossed the line in sixth place with her time of 21:11.80, and Columbia’s Ashley Jones finished 10th individually in 21:57.20.

For complete results, visit halfmiletiming.com.

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