The Pirate cross country teams raced at the New World Fall Spectacular at Cecil Field on Saturday. The Fernandina Beach High School boys team placed eighth out of 19 teams with 204 points, just 11 points behind Bolles and 60 points ahead of rival Bishop Kenny, which finished ninth.
There were 179 harriers in the varsity race. Steven Durr placed sixth with a time of 16:18. Caden Kwiatkowski had a personal record 16:25 to take ninth. Tom Gray (18:45) placed 85th. Also running for the Pirates were Henry Colwell (18:55), Will Coria (18:59), Logan Tribou (20:17) and Jonathan Ligeikis (25:14 in the junior varsity race).
“It’s hard to believe but the trio of Durr, Kwiatkowski and Gray are now our senior leaders and are doing just that,” FBHS Coach Bill Beaumont said. “These three continue to lead the way for Pirate cross country.
“Steven and Caden are each other’s most valuable training partner, and their 5K times have been just about identical in our regular season meets. These two are most certainly going to be our anchors as we try to make our third straight trip to the state meet in Tallahassee in November as a team. Their work ethics at practice are showing our younger runners what it takes to consistently reach our team goals, and those begin and end with our annual trip to Tallahassee.
“We have been pleased and pleasantly surprised by the progress of our newest Pirate, Henry Colwell. Henry is our freshman phenom this year who is making tremendous progress every week and has cut his 5K time down tremendously since the beginning of the year. We are going to need those times of our middle-pack guys to hover around that 18-minute average, and with 17 days to go before districts, we like our odds of doing that. The practice efforts of Henry, Will, Logan and Adam Wilking — who had a little injury this week so didn’t run — tell us on a daily basis that these guys get it and are doing what it’s going to take for us to reach our team goals.
“Our district and regional race will be right back at the New World course, which is great with us.”
Lauren Quinn (22:14), Camryn Olson (29:16) and Emma Kate Beard (29:24) represented the FBHS girls cross country team on Saturday.
“We have been blessed with our fabulous freshman newcomer, Lauren Quinn,” Coach Mark Durr said. “Lauren just might be the hardest working athlete that we have had in the program in a long time. There is no workout that Lauren doesn’t just crush, and most importantly, she loves doing it. It’s so much fun to see a young person working so hard at something she is so passionate about and, at the same time, she has the best attitude. Lauren is extremely coachable and is going to do great things for and with Lady Pirate cross country in the next four years.”
The Lady Pirates were without senior Katie Rogers, who was taking on the ACT on Saturday.
“Our team is led by a four-year varsity captain, Katie Rogers. Katie is our rock and is showing the younger girls that a leader is what a leader does, and for Katie it is come to practice everyday with a great attitude and ready to go to work.
“We have all had our COVID-19 adversities to deal with this season, as the protocols have limited some of the team building activities that we enjoy. However, these girls have shown that what’s important is being and working together for the common goals of getting faster for the team.
“Emma Kate Beard is the epitome of this team spirit, and we have been blessed with the blending of the personalities and work habits of she and our captain, Katie.
“We have had some injuries that have cut our squad down, but we are hoping to get back another super freshman, Aislinn Bell, for our district push. Aislinn, Lauren and our other awesome freshman, Cammie Olson, have us looking ahead to the future of Lady Pirate cross country.
“Our district has been cut down in numbers a great deal because of COVID-19 protocols. However, this gives us an even better opportunity to get the job done at districts on Oct. 27 and move on to the regional meet Nov. 7.”