The girls’ varsity cross-country team placed among the top four at the district meet at Cocoa High School on Saturday to qualify for this weekend’s regional competition. In addition, senior Jacob Smithe placed in the top 13 overall to qualify as an individual, the only member of the boys’ team to do so.
In a change in venue from the usual location of Chain of Lakes in Titusville, this year’s regional meet will cause the team to travel approximately three hours to Holiday, Fla.
“I’m really excited the whole team is going. It’s so far away. It’s kind of like a trip,” girls’ varsity coach Andy Dutra said.
Despite the tough conditions, including hills, mud and sand, several runners posted personal records in the district meet. For the first time, varsity runner Lauren Dietl, a senior, broke the 23-minute barrier attaining a time of 22:58. Seniors Maegan Muir and Sarah Day, junior Lexi Krehbiel and freshmen Hannah Keats, Liliana Lebeau and Isabel Rosales were among the rest of the varsity team qualifying for regionals.
“I just really wanted to get into the 22s because it was my last year,” Dietl said. “It also could have been my last race, so I wanted to make it count.”