After many miles of training during the summer, the Ponte Vedra High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams traveled to Ridgeview High School Aug. 27 for the Bob Hans Invitational. The team competed against 16 other teams from across the state.
The summer conditioning and preparation resulted in an impressive overall finish for the Girls Varsity team, led by Head Coach Amy Schottel. Junior Claire Moritz started the season where she left off last year, with a first place victory. She was followed by the contingent of Lydia Reimer, Anna Raymaker, Sarah Snyder and newcomer Elizabeth Betchle, all of whom finished in the top 10. Sarah Reimer, Riley Mayer, Madison Santore and freshman Olivia Bowers, meanwhile, all finished in the top 25.
The boys’ team, led by Head Coach Kerry Mowlam, started the season strong with a third place team finish and a 6th place finish for senior Perry Betchle. He was quickly followed by fellow senior Mark Davey, with new team runners Caleb Davidson and Parker Romero getting their first taste of cross country racing. Ryan Quintal, Jackson Noye and Quinn Mowlam rounded out the varsity team.
Both the girls’ and boy’s junior varsity teams, with nearly 90 runners on the two teams, took home first place trophies. In the girls’ JV race, the Lady Sharks were led by Avery Knehans, who finished second. She was followed by junior Fabienne Voegeli in fourth place and Kaylen McMullin, in her first ever cross country race, in fifth. All told, Ponte Vedra took 11 of the top 22 spots.
Not to be outdone, the boys’ JV team took the top five spots. Justin Knight came away with the overall victory, with freshman Cameron Heinz coming in a close second. Riley Dimberg, Harrison Crowley and Davis Lazzara took the next three positions, with 29 PV runners completing the race.
Next week, the Sharks travel to Bartram Trail to compete against more than 42 teams from Florida and Georgia for the Bale ‘n’ Trail.