In very competitive races, the Marco Island Charter Middle School boys raced away to victory in the Collier County Middle School Cross Country Championships on Nov. 15 at Oakridge Middle School. It marked the boy’s first-ever county championship.
The girls, who have won the county championship, placed third. The Eagles’ Ryenn Hart won the race with a time of 11:45. Each team competed with seven runners, with the top five lowest scores counting for the team total. The Eagles tallied 66 points, edging Oakridge with 69.
The Eagles were led by Cipriano Martinez, Mickey Poling and Jimmy Watt. Martinez placed fourth in 10:35, Poling came in sixth in 10:40 and Watt, 12th in 11:04. Rounding out the Eagles top five were Kevin Barry, 20th in 11:26, and Essie Carson, 24th in 11:31. Michael Mertens placed 28th in 11:46 and Eli Sharp, 33rd in 11:56.
Nick Kamen, second in 9:59 and Christopher Reynolds, third in 10:32, led Oakridge to its second-place finish. Andrew Shepherd of North Naples Middle School won therace in 9:50.
For the girls, Oakridge Middle’s five runners finished in the top 15 for the championship, with a total score of 41. Camille Strackbein came in second in 11:48; Katrina Balon, fifth in 12:17; Hailey Gursoy, eighth in 12:28; Mo Palmer, 11th in 12:39; and Krista Sodeika, 15th in 12:58. Taylor Steiner came in 41st in 14:10 and Emily Abreu-Guerva, 46th in 14:30.
Second place went to Gulfview with a point total of 51. Faustin Medica, sixth; Saffi Mueller, ninth; and Kiera Schrack, 10th, led Gulfview. The Eagles Ellie Poling placed seventh overall in a time of 12:22. Dayna Dorestin was 16th in 13:00; Sarah Nemeth, 20th in 13:10; and Laura Poelstrap, 25th in 13:28, rounded out the Eagles top five. Teagan Havemier was 28th in 13:35.4, and Maranda Webb, 29th in 13:45.62, completed the Eagles’ times.
Leading up to the championship the boys also won the South title before the championship round. Hart also won in the girl’s competition. The boy’s team qualified for the state championship, with Martinez coming in seventh.