The Ponte Vedra High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams made the short journey to University of Northern Florida on Memorial Day weekend to participate in the annual UNF Invitational. The meet has become one of the larger cross country meets in Jacksonville, with over 20 high school teams competing.
The Boys Team was led by junior Perry Bechtle, who once again raced smartly to work his way through the field in the hot and humid conditions. David Angelo, Mark Davey, Palmer Mowlam and Justin Knight rounded out the scoring for the team by finishing 2-5 respectively.
The remaining boys varsity runners were patient and finished strong to show that they are on path for another successful season. Freshman CJ Garcia was called up to the “big league: and got to race his first varsity meet to finish as eighth PV runner. He made an impression and showed that he is leading the way for exceptional group of underclassman. PV placed sixth as a team after a heavy and hard training week. Their continual improvement will be fun to watch.
What do you do when many of the State top ranked teams come to compete? PV ladies pushed the pace, had the second fastest team time in school history and finished second overall.
The team had two finishers in the top 10: Claire Moritz (just two seconds outside the school record) and Abby Reimer showed they are top contenders in any race they enter, finishing sixth and tenth overall. Lydia Reimer, Sarah Reimer and Madison Santore looked strong all race and impressed the coaches with their effort. Ana Raymaker, Caroline Bing and Riley Mayer are all having great start to the season and continue to impress. This team has shown already this season that they are a force to be reckoned with and many teams are taking notice.
The JV event was interesting to say the least, as they decided to run both boys and girls at the same time. This placed 400 runners on a tight course—making it fun for both runners and spectators alike. With 40 PV runners on the course, it was great to see them all compete at a high level.
In the ladies JV event, Sydney Stavros followed up last week’s excellent freshman debut with an impressive fourth place overall. Finishing fast right behind her was Isabella Pulzone with Fabienne Voegeli and Elizabeth Fox all finishing in the top 10 overall. Logan Gillespie was the fifth PV runner and their results placed them second overall as a team.
The JV Boys had another stellar performance with outstanding effort by Alex Lazzara. While the heat was downfall for many a runner, Alex went from 28th place at mile two to be in fourth by the finish. Harrison Crowley, Brandon Cotto, Cole Lauer, Jackson Noye and Davis Lazzara all ran well to help bring home another second place team finish for the day.
This week, the entire team travels to Ocala where they will once again toe the start line with several of the state’s top teams.