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Wildcats run well in first race

POSTED: August 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.

The Wildcat cross country team from Apalachee High School made a statement last season by advancing to the state race for the first time in program history, and they look poised to repeat after Saturday’s Saucony Cross Country Kickoff in Savannah.

Senior Jeremy Dyal (16, 17:35.74) finished first for the Wildcats, just two spots and three seconds behind Winder-Barrow’s Timmy Villameter (14, 17:32.71). 

Behind Dyal was a veritable pack of Wildcats as the next three finished within five places of each other. Chandler Campbell (39, 18:39.68) was the second finisher for Apalachee, followed very closely by Fabian Martinez (41, 18:42.16) and Merit Fontinel (43, 18:48.00). Within nine seconds, Apalachee finished three runners in the top 50 for an excellent display of pacing and team running.

Two Wildcat underclassmen fought to be the fifth finisher, but sophomore Robert Bowers (66, 19:20.17) edged junior Gabrial Maurer-Pollak (67, 19:20.79) for that coveted fifth spot. Then again, both finished within a second of each other, again highlighting Apalachee’s commitment to team running and close pacing.

Sophomore Juan Morales (89, 19:52.72) was the second alternate with his finish, leading up teammates Jackson Wadsworth (152, 21:28.12) and Preston Marlowe (186, 22:40.69) to round out the Apalachee participants.

Apalachee finished one spot outside the top five with 198 points and an average team finish of 18:37. Pace Academy, a private school in Atlanta, narrowly defeated Apalachee with 192 points for fifth place. Their team finish time, though, was actually three seconds slower than Apalachee’s. 

Marietta and Etowah won the men’s division by a wide margin with 32 points and 52 points respectively, followed by Mountain View in third place with 111 points and Winder-Barrow in fourth with 163 points.

Apalachee bested Wayne County’s 209 points in seventh place and the Savannah Arts Academy’s 216-point eighth place finish.

The Lady Wildcats, another year older and another year quicker, finished 17th overall with 490 points.

Their first finisher junior Analaee Bradach (72, 25:08.53), who led teammate and fellow junior Christi Tobiasz (86, 25:40.18) by less than a minute. 

Samantha Linatok (98, 25:59.41) finished third for Apalachee, just shortly ahead of teammate Madelyn Highfill (106, 26:20.12).

The final scoring runner for Apalachee was Abbey Arnold (178, 31:57.29). As with the men, Apalachee’s first alternate female runner finished directly behind the final scorer since Natalie Salamancha (179, 32:03.07) finished just about five seconds after her teammate.

Second alternate scorer Julia Graham (191, 34:51.19) rounded out Apalachee’s day in Savannah.

Apalachee finished just behind Glynn Academy, whose 428 points were good enough for 16th place, and just ahead of Beaufort. Beaufort brought in 500 points and an average team finish time of 27:04, three seconds slower than Apalachee’s average finish of 27:01. 



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