Matanzas junior Zach Spooner broke 16 minutes for the first time and won the District 2-3A cross country meet Oct. 30 at Ponte Vedra High School.
Spooner won the boys' 5K with a time of 15 minutes, 58 seconds to better his personal record by 29 seconds. He won the first-place medal by four seconds over runner-up James Snipes of Ridgeview.
"I think Zach has only scratched the surface of what he's capable of," said Matanzas coach Tim Kane. "Last year, he ran in the 18s. From track season until now, he's just become a different runner."
"I think Zach has only scratched the surface of what he's capable of."
TIM KANE, Matanzas cross country coach
Spooner led the Matanzas boys to a third-place finish. The Matanzas girls finished fifth. Both teams advanced to regionals Nov. 6 in Panama City.
Flagler Palm Coast's Jada Williams finished second in the girls' race at the District 1-4A meet at the New World Sports Complex in Jacksonville.
Williams' time of 18:46.8 was about 31 seconds faster than her time at last year's state championships where she medaled with a 10th-place finish.
The FPC girls finished sixth, while the boys finished seventh to advance to regionals Nov. 6 at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
At the Ponte Vedra meet, 16 of the 19 Matanzas runners broke their personal-record times.
"The whole team ran well," Kane said. "The temperature was in the 50s, and it was time to fly."
Other scorers for the Matanzas boys were Jaden Smith (12th, 17:19), Andrew Hatten (20th, 17:40), Hunter Smith (21st, 17:41) and Nick Hyatt (25th, 17:45).
Mariah Mills led the Matanzas girls with a 20th-place finish (20:37). Other scorers included Nina Rodriquez (24th, 20:47), Sierra Howard (34th, 21:40), Lauren Marshall (41st, 22:01) and Maria Phillips (46th, 22:29).
Sean Gilliam led the FPC boys with a time of 17:19.2 to finish 35th in Jacksonville. Other scorers for the Bulldog boys were Barak Olago (48th, 17:33.1), Justin Gilliam (56th, 17:45.5), Jack Gilvary (66th, 18:09.3) and Braedyn Wormeck (74th, 18:20.3).
Also scoring for the FPC girls were Cassidy De Young (24th, 20:22.6), Savannah O'Grady (30th, 20:42), Genesis Epstein (35th, 20:53.6) and Annabelle Moore (54th, 21:37.7).