Flagler Palm Coast's boys placed seventh at the Region 1-4A cross country championships, which was good enough to qualify for the state meet.
“We kind of made it by the skin of our teeth,” FPC coach David Halliday said. “But we live to fight another day.”
The top eight teams and top four individuals who are not on a qualifying team advance from each region to the state championships on Friday, Nov. 17, in Tallahassee. The Bulldogs are in the toughest region in the state and needed personal-record times by Braedyn Wormeck, Evan Williams and Kamron Davis on Nov. 11 at the New World Sports Complex in Jacksonville to move on.
Wormeck placed ninth overall with the sixth-best time in school history at 15:46.9. His time ties Matt Cianciulli on FPC’s all-time list. Cianciulli was a multiple state champ and two-time Flagler-Volusia runner of the year in 1999-2000 who went on to run for Colorado State.
“Braedyn certainly moved into some elite company as far as local running is concerned,” Halliday said.
Senior Justin Gilliam was FPC’s second finisher in 16:33.1 for 46th place. Williams (16:53.1) was 60th, Davis (17:04.2) was 67th, Hayden Herndon (17:06.4) was 70th and Jack Gilvary (17:23.7) was 80th.
“Evan’s big PR probably saved our state bid,” Halliday said of Williams, a senior.
Riley Smith (14:57.3) of Gainesville Buchholz edged out Thomas Chitty (14:59.3) of Oviedo Hagerty to win the regional title. Buchholz won both the boys and girls team titles.
The FPC girls finished 10th. Arianna Slaughter paced her teammates with a PR time of 19:21.7 for 23rd place. But the individual qualifiers all finished among the top six, led by Spruce Creek’s Mackenzie (18:28.0) and Arianna Roy (18:31.0), who placed second and third behind region champ Alyson Johnson (17:54.5) of Creekside.
FPC’s Cassidy De Young was 42nd in 20:00.6. Bulldogs teammates Taylor Novak (20:26, 59th) and Madison Lagard (20:51.8, 72nd) ran PR times. Isabella Tarsitan was 83rd at 21:19.2.
Two local runners qualified for state at the Region 2-1A championships at Alligator Lake Park in Lake City. Senior Chris Murdock of First Baptist Christian Academy in Bunnell placed 13th overall with a time of 17:15.0. Junior Matt Gazzoli of Father Lopez was 15th at 17:17.0.
At the Region 2-3A championships in Kissimmee, Mainland junior Kiera Williams missed qualifying for state by 9.2 seconds. Williams placed 32nd at 22:40.0.