By Grant Mollett, M.Ed. East Ridge High School
The East Ridge High School girls cross country team’s official practices began on Monday, July 29. The runners have several weeks of practice to get themselves ready for their first cross country meet of the 2019 season. Many of the runners have worked hard over the summer to get themselves ready for the challenges of daily afternoon practices and competitive meets, and the future looks bright for the Knights this season!
Last season the Knights advanced to the regional meet for the first time since 2013 by securing second place at the Class 4A District 3 Championships. As a team, East Ridge placed fifteenth out of sixteen teams at the Class 4A Region 1 Championships at Santa Fe College in Gainesville last season. Reagan Parks, who is the team’s sole returning senior, seeks to lead her team back to the regional meet and improve the team’s positioning, as well as her individual performances. The Knights have a talented class of juniors, which include two returning runners – Mackenzie Hill and Olivia Peine. Caitlyn Cavender, a junior transfer, will join the Knights this season to help push the team to their goal of returning to the regional meet this season. Heidy Castillo, who is new to cross country running, will also be a part of the Knights’ junior class this season. Sophomore Mansi Patel and freshmen Breanna Peine, Alexandra Dimitros, and Alanis Melgar will also be joining the Knights this season.
This season the East Ridge Knights will compete in Class 4A Region 1 District 2. The FHSAA reconfigured the district and regional assignments for the state series this season, which includes districts with a larger number of teams. District 2 has a total of seventeen teams. The other teams in the district will include Apopka, Deland, Evans, Flagler Palm Coast, Hagerty, Lake Brantley, Lake Howell, Lake Mary, Lyman, Ocoee, Oviedo, Seminole (Sanford), Spruce Creek, University (Orange City), Wekiva, and West Orange. Additionally, the FHSAA reconfigured the policies regarding regional advancement for teams and individuals. This season the top ten teams and the top thirty individuals at the district meet will advance to the regional championships.
The Knights will compete in their first meet of the season on Saturday, August 24 at 8:00 am at the Whispering Pines Invitational held at Whispering Pines Park in Inverness, Florida.
Below is the schedule of meets for the East Ridge Knights for the 2019 season:
|Sat, August 24, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (GIRLS)||Whispering Pines Invitational||Whispering Pines Park – Inverness|
|Sat, August 31, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (GIRLS)||Mount Dora Christian Invite||Mount Dora Christian Academy – Mount Dora|
|Sat, September 7, 2019||First Race: 7:20 AM (BOYS)||Astronaut Invitational||Chain of Lakes Park – Titusville|
|Sat, September 14, 2019||First Race: 7:30 AM (GIRLS)||Early Hawk Invitational||Lake Minneola HS – Minneola|
|Sat, September 21, 2019||First Race: 7:30 AM (GIRLS)||West Orange Invite||West Orange HS – Winter Garden|
|Sat, September 28, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (GIRLS)||Weeki Wachee Invite||Weeki Wachee Preserve – Weeki Wachee|
|Sat, October 5, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (BOYS)||Windermere Invite||Lake Louisa State Park – Clermont|
|Sat, October 12, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (GIRLS)||Celtic Invitational||Trinity Catholic School – Ocala|
|Sat, October 19, 2019||OPEN||OPEN||OPEN|
|Sat, October 26, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (GIRLS)||District Race||West Orange HS – Winter Garden|
|Sat, November 2, 2019||First Race: 8:00 AM (GIRLS)||Regional Race||Santa Fe Community College – Gainesville|
|Sat, November 9, 2019||TBD||State Race||Apalachee Regional Park – Tallahassee|
Continue to follow the Knights this season on the South Lake Tablet, as there will be weekly updates on East Ridge’s progress throughout the season.