Girls Varsity Team at the Start Line Prior to the Race (from L to R) Veronica Peterson, Hanna Warren, Madi McCormack, J’Mariana Douglas, Taylor Walker, Lina Maldonado, Karlie Saintlot, Rhyen Foley, Adriana Mustin, Neely Lugo.
Article by Coach Mollett, East Ridge High School
  Photos contributed by Mr. Jeff Warren and Mrs. Quiana Peterson.

September 16, 2023, Port Orange, Florida

The East Ridge High School girls cross country team competed in the Savanna and David Mohney Memorial Invitational, hosted by Spruce Creek High School.  The event started with a memorial walk around the track to honor the lives of Savanna and David Mohney. Savanna and her younger brother, David, were tragically murdered by their father in October of 2014. At the time, Savanna was a fourteen-year-old freshman on the brink of finishing her first season of high school cross country at Spruce Creek. Lauren Mohney, Savanna’s younger sister, who was nine at the time of the incident, was also shot by their father, but survived, and was present at today’s memorial invitational for her brother and sister. Athletes, coaches, parents, and spectators joined together in a thirteen minute memorial walk around Spruce Creek High’s track for Savanna and David.

Rhyen Foley, Veronica Peterson, and Hanna Warren lead the Knights’ charge at Spruce Creek!

Girls from more than 14 different schools throughout Central Florida participated in this morning’s meet.  The girls’ varsity race followed the boys varsity race, and went off at approximately 8:00 AM. The course started on one of the practice athletic fields and took the runners around the softball and baseball complex. From there, the path progressed into a wooded area along the perimeter of the campus. The runners made three large loops around the perimeter and then finished on another practice athletic field adjacent to the softball and baseball complex. The course measured approximately 200M longer than a 5K. The morning sky had thick clouds that teased the possibility of rain, but the weather cooperated and made for some favorable conditions for the runners.

Rhyen Foley and Veronica Peterson approaching the finish line at Spruce Creek.

East Ridge’s super sophomores struck again! Veronica Peterson and Rhyen Foley led the Knights as they put themselves amidst the top runners at the race. Running in close proximity to each other the entire race, Rhyen kept herself slightly ahead of Veronica, setting the pace for the duo. These two compete with each other each day at practice. Pushing each other in hill workouts, track workouts, and even long runs during endurance workouts.

Veronica Peterson and Rhyen Foley in the finish chute at Spruce Creek.

The internal competition from daily practices can sometimes transfer over to the meets, and that’s exactly what happened this morning at Spruce Creek! Trailing behind Rhyen close to the three-mile marker, Veronica began to size up the distance between herself and her teammate. The quick mathematics that Veronica did in her head resulted in her just flat out going for her teammate, as she began her final sprint to the finish line. As Veronica came up on her teammate, Rhyen would also start her acceleration to the end. Veronica’s move put her across the finish line in a swift time of 20:25 and in fourth place overall, out of a field of 81 varsity runners! Following her teammate in, Rhyen finished in 20:30, taking fifth place overall – both helping to bring the best out of each other and the best out of their other teammates!

Hanna Warren approaches the finish line at Spruce Creek.

The third Knight to finish was junior Hanna Warren.  Hanna finished in eighth place with a finish time of 20:58 – medaling for the fourth time this season!

Freshman Taylor Walker surges past her opponent, as she approaches the finish line at Spruce Creek!

Freshman Taylor Walker was the fourth scorer for the varsity team this morning.  She placed seventeenth overall and came across the line in a time of 22:12. Taylor’s finish included a lengthy stride that brought her past an opponent from Edgewood in the final stretch. Taylor’s kick resulted in her holding off her opponent by two seconds!

Adriana Mustin, Taylor Walker, Neely Lugo, and Lina Maldonado charge on at Spruce Creek!

The fifth runner and final scorer for the Knights was sophomore Adriana Mustin.  Adriana placed 22nd overall and posted a time of 22:51. The sixth finisher for the Knights was junior Madi McCormack, who placed 26th overall and in a time of 23:20 – her new season best performance! The seventh finisher for East Ridge was junior Neely Lugo, who placed 29th overall and finished in a time of 23:40. The eighth finisher for the Knights was junior Lina Maldonado, who placed 54th overall and in a time of 25:27. The ninth finisher for the Knights was junior J’Mariana Douglas, who placed 77th overall and finished in a time of 28:51. The tenth finisher for the Knights was senior Karlie Saintlot, who placed 80th overall and finished in a time of 30:37.

Rhyen Foley with her fifth place medal after the varsity race.

The Knights took the honors at Spruce Creek by placing their five scorers in the top twenty-two positions! East Ridge, once again, was able to fend off district rivals this week, as they defeated Spruce Creek High School, Seminole High School out of Sanford, University High School out of Orange City, and Deland High School.  The overall winner for the girls varsity race was Mackenzie Roy from Spruce Creek High School. Mackenzie finished the race in a swift time of 19:34.

The varsity girls team with their first place team trophy!

The East Ridge Knights also had five participants in the girls junior varsity race this morning.  Freshman Lexi Whitehead was the individual runner up out of a field of 52 junior varsity runners and finished in a time of 26:06 – a new season/career personal best by more than two minutes! Senior Sarah Tingler, the second finisher for the Knights, placed fifteenth overall, and finished in a time of 29:46. The third runner in was sophomore Alyssa Schacht who placed sixteenth overall, and finished in a time of 29:55 – a new season/career personal best by over a minute! Junior Lola Gallissot, a French exchange student, was the fourth finisher for the Knights. She placed 38th overall and finished in a time of 33:46 in her debut race as a Knight! Junior Isabella Stuemke was the fifth finisher for East Ridge. Isabella placed 44th overall and finished in a time of 34:46. 

ERHS Girls Junior Varsity Team at the start line at Spruce Creek (from L to R): Sarah Tingler, Isabella Stuemke, Lexi Whitehead, Lola Gallissot, and Alyssa Schacht

The girls cross country team will participate in the West Orange Invitational on Saturday, September 23 at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida.

For full varsity results from the Savanna and David Mohney Memorial Invitational visit:

For full junior varsity results from the Savanna and David Mohney Memorial Invitational visit:

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