by Grant Mollett, M.Ed., East Ridge High School
Mount Dora (September 1) They are notoriously known as “Agony” and “Heart Break” – the two massive hills found on the cross country course at Mount Dora. The course has two large loops, so the runners get acquainted with “Agony” and “Heart Break” two times! The terrain makes this course one of the most challenging courses in central Florida. “Agony” and “Heart Break” weigh on the minds of runners, and what will absolutely be a physical test can also turn into a mental test.
East Ridge High School’s girls cross country team proved to be up for the physical and mental tests of “Agony” and “Heart Break,” as they competed in the 44th Annual Mount Dora Christian Cross Country Invitational this morning. Eleventh months ago the two hills had gotten the better of the Knights, but this season, things shaped up a bit differently!
Girls from ten different schools competed in this morning’s event. Junior Reagan Parks overcame the physicality and the mentality of the hills, as she crossed the finish line first for the Knights. Reagan placed 7th in a field of 75 female runners and finished in a time of 22:40 – approximately two minutes better than her performance at Mount Dora last season. The second Knight to finish was senior Alexis Hill. Alexis placed 10th overall in a finish time of 22:58.
The third Knight to finish was sophomore Mackenzie Hill. Mackenzie placed 11th overall. She finished the morning’s race in a time of 23:49 – approximately a minute faster than her performance at Mount Dora last season. Rounding out the Knights’ scoring positions were senior Cassidy Carroll and sophomore Emerson Wells. Cassidy placed 17th overall and posted a time of 25:12, and Emerson placed 18th overall and posted a time of 25:15. The sixth and seventh runners for the girls’ varsity team was sophomore Olivia Peine and senior Eliya Anderson. Olivia placed 20th in a time of 25:55, and Eliya placed 28th in a time of 26:39. Senior Haley Dykstra finished eighth for the Knights. She placed 67th with a time of 36:41.
As a team, the East Ridge girls came in second out of ten scoring teams. For full results from the Mount Dora Christian 44th Annual Cross Country Invitational visit http://fl.milesplit.com/meets/322793/results/601308/raw#.W4rTzOhKg2w. The girls’ team will travel to compete in the Astronaut Invitational at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Florida next Saturday, September 8.