Boys cross country goes to states


photo by Sarah Hinnant

The boys varsity cross country team place 15th at states. The team was led by Brayden Seymour and Jonathan Leon.

With a second place finish at championships already accomplished, the boys varsity cross country team ran their way to their seventh place finish at the 4A Region 1 Championship on Nov. 6. The team’s seventh place finish, in a 16 team field, qualifying them for their goal of reaching state finals. 

The team’s top runners, junior Brayden Seymour, with a time of 16:01, and sophomore Jonathan Leon, running a 16:16, led them to states. Along with racing against tough teams like Creekside High School, the boys battled tough weather conditions while running.
“The boys conquered the worst conditions I have ever experienced at a cross country meet,” coach Jay Getty said.

On Nov. 12, the team took the field at Apalachee Regional Park for the 4A FHSAA state finals. The team finished in 15th place and was led by Seymour, who had a time of 15:38 and finished in third place, while Leon finished in 16:00 for a twelfth place finish.

“My results at states help[ed] boost my confidence and help[ed] me understand that I am a lot more capable than I think I am,” Leon said. “I think these results put me in a great position for upcoming years seeing as I am only a sophomore.”

Seymour has led the team with multiple first place wins, along with breaking the school 5k record back in September at the Hagerty Invitational. He managed to overcome his nerves before the meet and was one of the top state runners.

“I feel very pleased about my performance,” Seymour said. “I exceeded my goals and ran a solid time on a true cross country course.”

The team’s challenging weekly practices helped play a leading role in the team’s success. Their final week of practice consisted of a 50-minute long run, a speed workout, and a recovery run followed by an ice bath and stretching. 

“The stretch run workouts focus on anaerobic threshold and allowing the body to recover quickly,” Getty said. 

The team ran their final race of the season with mostly underclassmen and few upperclassmen. The top athletes for the season were Seymour, Leon and sophomore Marek Orr, who will all be back for the upcoming years.

“We were very pleased with the development of the youth in the program to be able to step up to support our already established leaders,” Getty said. “With the team earning a bid to the state finals it adds clarity to our success.”

The boys cross country team sets up to start the Hagerty Invitational. The team placed first in the early season event, and continued to finish well all season. Photo by Sarah Hinnant
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