Several local runners will be Tallahassee bound qualifying for States.
The Charlotte Lady Tarpons, the Port Charlotte Pirates’ Isabella Coogan and John Perez made the most of the FHSAA Class 3A, Region 3 cross-country meet at The Farm in Punta Gorda, and will continue with their season this Saturday.
The Lady Tarpons finished fifth overall, with Coogan placing fourth individually and Perez eighth, in what was a deep and competitive field.
The Port Charlotte girls team finished ninth, but Sophomore Haley Welgan did establish a Personal Record Saturday morning.
“It’s been a pleasure to have her (Coogan) our our team this season,” said Stefany Sanchez, Port Charlotte girls cross-country coach. “I wish we could have had her sooner. I’ve had two seniors as well as Bella, that I’ve seen through since they were Freshmen, Amy Quinones and Jocelyn Ramos. It’s been beautiful to watch them develop into the runners that they’ve become.”
The Charlotte Lady Tarpons, much like Coogan as an individual, have been a model of consistency all year, and Saturday was no exception. Their performance Saturday punched their ticket to Tallahassee.
“The main thing I wanted to improve upon was getting off to a smooth start,” said Chris Robishaw, Charlotte girls cross-country coach. “We knew we were going to have to get out fast. I thought we were very smart. We knew the angle we were going to have to take.”
And for the fifth time this year, a different Lady Tarpon runner led the way, this time it was Aleecia Collins.
“We walked the course yesterday,” said Collins, who finished 21st overall and PRd. “I had a chance to notice where all the dips were and stuff, so I knew the areas to avoid. I wanted to do it for all the seniors and for the rest of the team because we really wanted to go to States.”
The Venice girls team made the most of their opportunity placing 10th, with an unrivaled competitive spirit.
“We did what we had done at every single meet this year,” said Brenda Clark, Venice girls cross-country coach. “We weren’t going to quit. We had PRs today. They stepped up. They set their goals and we bonded together as a team. They ran a great race today.”
The depth of the region made Saturday’s competition one of the most challenging meets of the year, said Ray Chumbley, Port Charlotte boys cross-country coach.
“We tried to give ourselves the best chance to do well here today,”said Chumbley. “I feel like we ran some very good times today. There were great efforts from all of our athletes. I think we did everything we could to run our very best race today, and that’s all we could ask for.”
The Venice Indians boys cross-country team has a youthful roster brimming with talent, finishing 11th, and found the experience to be beneficial, serving as a foundation for the future.
“We’re all coming back next year, we’re coming back stronger,” said Jason Potter, Venice Indians boys cross-country coach. “I think the kids really enjoyed themselves this year. We’re going to really buckle down and see what we can accomplish next year.”
4. Isabella Coogan, Port Charlotte, 18:57.3
21. Aleecia Collins, Charlotte, 20.29.3
27. Mackenzie Flowers, Charlotte, 20:46.7
30. Hannah Piacitelli, Charlotte, 20:55.2
31. Victoria Simeone, Charlotte, 20:55.3
34. Alexa Roughton, Charlotte, 20:55.9
40. Hannah Luff, Venice, 21:09.6
41. Faith Winkler, Charlotte, 21:09.8
46. Anne Myburg, Venice, 21:17.7
47. Jennifer Lukowski, Venice, 21:20.1
8. John Perez, Port Charlotte, 16:33.9
22. Joseph Bishop, Port Charlotte, 17:08.1
37. Alberto Teijelo, Venice, 17.22.3
60. Benjamin Sweiderk, Venice, 17:22.3
67. Michael Casella, Venice, 18:03.0
102. Kauhner Mault, Port Charlotte, 18:56.5
103. Calvin Sweiderk, Venice, 18:58.8