Team photo after the race at Whispering Pines

Submitted by Grant Mollett, M.Ed., East Ridge High School

Inverness, Florida (August 25) – The East Ridge High School girls cross country team opened the 2018 season today, as they competed in the Whispering Pines Invitational at Whispering Pines Park in Inverness. The morning was characterized by overcast, but humid conditions.  The temperature sat consistently in the mid-70s, and the cloud coverage remained throughout the duration of the morning’s races.  The terrain was a mix of grass, asphalt, and compact dirt trail. The vast majority of the course was the compact dirt trail, and it had a lot of narrow turns and small inclines. Whispering Pines made for a great location for such a challenging cross-country course.

Girls from 19 different schools throughout Central Florida participated in this morning’s meet.  The gun sounded at 8:00 am sharp, and the girls were off and running.  East Ridge’s first runner through the finish line was senior Alexis Hill.  Alexis opened up her final season as a Knight with a time that surpassed her previous season’s opening meet by well over a minute, as she finished this morning’s race in 21:30. Alexis placed seventh in the field of 100 female runners.  Junior Reagan Parks came through the finish chute second for the Knights.  Reagan, who was last season’s team Co-MVP and the team’s only regional qualifier, put up a time of 21:48 and placed ninth overall.

The third Knight to finish was sophomore Mackenzie Hill.  Mackenzie finished in 30thplace and posted a time of 24:21.  Senior Cassidy Carroll, whose season was cut short due to injury last year, was the fourth scorer for the varsity team this morning. She placed 34thand came across the line in a time of 24:44.  The fifth runner for the Knights was sophomore Emmy Wells.  She placed 44thand posted a time of 25:40 in her debut as an East Ridge runner to round out the Knights’ scoring positions for the race. Sophomore Olivia Peine and Senior Eliya Anderson were the sixth and seventh finishing positions for the Knights. Olivia placed 45thoverall in a time of 25:41 in her debut race as a Knight. Eliya placed 51stoverall in a time of 26:24.

As a team, the East Ridge girls placed fifth out of twelve schools that fielded complete teams.  Lake Minneola High School, one of East Ridge’s district rivals, also participated at Whispering Pines.  They claimed first place at the meet by placing four of their runners in the top five.  The overall winner for the girls’ varsity race was Rebecca Clark from Villages Charter. She finished the race in a swift time of 18:44.

The girls cross country team will travel to Mount Dora on Saturday, September 1 to participate in the Mount Dora Christian Invitational.

L-R Top 10 finishers at Whispering Pines (Alexis Hill finished seventh and Reagan Parks finished ninth).

For full results from the Whispering Pines Invitational visit

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