CHARLOTTE, N.C. – St. Johns Country Day School freshman cross country runner Matthew Stratton, fresh off a medal-winning eighth place finish in Class 1A a week ago, took a sloppy, wet third place …
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – St. Johns Country Day School freshman cross country runner Matthew Stratton, fresh off a medal-winning eighth place finish in Class 1A a week ago, took a sloppy, wet third place overall in the Foot Locker South Regional Freshman boys cross country championships held Sat., Nov. 23 in Charlotte, NC.
In the Foot Locker South Regional Junior boys race, won in 15 minutes, 59 seconds, Oakleaf High junior Dylan Nelson finished 13th in 16:33. Fleming Island High’s Will Livesay finished 80th in 17:35.
In the seeded boys race, won in 15:04, Orange Park High senior John Bear was 120th in 16:38 with Ridgeview High’s Joel Nesi 186th in 17:06.
Only the top 10 runners from the elite racethe four seeded regional races are invited to the national championship race to put the best 40 runners nationwide in one location for the grand finale.
Stratton ran a 16 minute, 44 second split to finish just two seconds away from second place and 22 seconds from the freshman title.
At the FHSAA Class 1A race, Stratton topped all Clay County runners with a 16:19.95 time with Spartan teammate Benjamin Kailes, the district champion and region runnerup, finishing 12th in 16:38.69.
The freshman race was won by Joshua Edwards of Morgantown, WV, with a time of 16:22 with Kaden Keller of Knoxville, TN, second in 16:42.
Also in the top 10 were runners from North Carolina, Virginia, Tampa, Kentucky and, in ninth place, Jesse Benavides, a freshman at Creekside High who was 35th in Class 3A with a 16:44.95 time. The 10th place time was 17:03.
Ironically, finishing 11th as one of two alternates from each region, was Providence freshman Steven Kartwright in 17:08. Kartwright finished ahead of Stratton in the district and region races before Stratton outdueled Kartwright at the state meet.
In the midwest region championship race in Kenosha, WI, the winning time in the combined frosh/soph race was freshman Isaiah Steury of Indiana, who ran a 17:01 with the 10th place time at 17:45.
West and North regionals splits were not available.