First Place Team Photo Trinity Catholic Invitational

by Grant Mollett, M.ED
East Ridge High School

The East Ridge High School girls’ varsity cross country team traveled to Ocala to compete in the Trinity Catholic High School Invitational at Trinity Catholic High School. It had been two years since the team had competed at this particular event, and the team’s veteran runners hoped to show their personal improvement and their team improvement since 2016.  In 2016, the Knights had finished in the middle of the pack – seventh out of fifteen teams.  2018, however, would be a different story!

Cassidy and Reagan receiving individual awards at Trinity Catholic Invitational.

Girls from 9 different schools throughout Central Florida competed in the Trinity Catholic High School Invitational on Saturday morning. Junior Reagan Parks led the Knights as she swiftly moved along Trinity Catholic’s campus course. In 2016 Reagan posted a 24:41 on this course, but this time around she posted a 21:00 finish time – obliterating her previous time by more than three and a half minutes! Reagan finished in sixth place out of a field of 74 female runners and set a new season personal best by eleven seconds. Senior Cassidy Carroll was the second Knight to cross the finish line Saturday morning.  Placing tenth overall, Cassidy finished in a time of 21:49, which was an improvement of more than three minutes from her sophomore time at Trinity Catholic in 2016!

The third Knight to finish was senior Alexis Hill.  Alexis placed fourteenth overall and finished in a time of 22:20. Sophomore Mackenzie Hill was the fourth scorer for the varsity team.  Mackenzie placed 19thand came across the line in a time of 22:47. The fifth runner for the Knights was sophomore Olivia Peine.  She placed 25thand finished in a time of 23:22.  Sophomore Emy Wells was the sixth runner for East Ridge this morning.  Emy placed 30thand finished in a time of 23:43.  Senior Eliya Anderson was the seventh runner in for East Ridge, and she finished in a time of 23:52 – one second shy of her career personal best.  In 2016 Eliya finished the Trinity Catholic Invitational in 25:20 – an improvement in 2018 by nearly a minute and a half. Eliya followed her teammate in and placed 31stoverall.  The eighth runner to finish for the Knights was senior Haley Dykstra.  Haley set a new season personal best with a finish time of 29:40.

East Ridge’s performance was a total team effort in that when one teammate struggled, other teammates pushed to improve themselves and their team. This was most evident in the top ten finishes by Reagan Parks and Cassidy Carroll.  Their efforts gave East Ridge the victory, as the team took first place out of nine total teams. District rival Lake Minneola placed fourth overall. The overall winner for the girls’ varsity race was senior Cadi Rowe from Lake Minneola High School. Cadi finished the race in a brisk time of 18:38.

First Place Team Photo Trinity Catholic Invitational

Saturday’s race capped off the 2018 regular season for the girls cross country team.  Now the focus for the team is the district meet.  The girls will compete in the Class 4A District 3 meet on Friday, October 26 at West Orange High School at 7:45 AM.  The team has worked hard to give themselves an opportunity to qualify out of districts into the regional race.  Last year East Ridge finished fifth out of six complete teams at districts and had only one individual, Reagan Parks, qualify for the regional race.

For full results from the Trinity Catholic High School Invitational visit

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