Welcome to Ross Country! Hernando High’s Stalcup advances to states (again)

 

 

 

 

Hernando High senior Ross Stalcup, the county’s defending Runner of the Year, placed eighth in regionals Saturday to earn his third Class 2A State Finals berth in Tallahassee. Photo by TONY CASTRO

REGIONAL BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Saving his best for

last, defending Runner

of the Year rips season’s best

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

Eleven male Hernando County cross country runners began Saturday with an opportunity to reach the promised land: next week’s FHSAA State Finals in Tallahassee.

But only one, Hernando High senior Ross Stalcup, advanced.

Stalcup, who has had an up and down season, perhaps saved his season during Saturday’s Class 2A, Region II Meet at the cool, windy and muddy Weeki Wachee Preserve.

Like the other 114 runners in the field, Stalcup, the defending Hernando County Runner of the Year, knew he needed to finish among the top 15 individuals to automatically qualify for states next week

Stalcup, who was the last individual to register – his coach David Wilson was a no show – will never forget his last race during the fifth Weeki Wachee Invitational. He didn’t finish.

This time, in his 33rd and final road race in Hernando County, Stalcup exploited the flat surface lined with pot holes and mud pits with a career-best 16:56.62 5K clocking.

The eighth-place finish had indeed locked up a berth for the 72nd edition of the FHSAA State Finals at Apalachee Regional Park.

Ross Stalcup               Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

This will be Stalcup’s third state appearance. He finished 149th as a freshman and 112th in “The Show” as a sophomore.

“This race was so nice,” beamed the joyous 17-year-old Stalcup. “It was a fast race. I knew I had to just stay from the mud. I kept fighting the whole way around.

“The race was competitive,” added Stalcup, a two-time All-County cross country selection. “After two miles, I was 15th. Along the back stretch, I kept picking guys off. The conditions included typical (Weeki Wachee) Preserve stuff.

ssessing the weather, “It could not have been any better,” he grinned. “My goal the whole time has been to make it to states. Toward the end, I just didn’t want to let anyone pass me. This (race) is wonderful; it’s the first time I’ve qualified as an individual; I really earned this.”

LHP rules

Lake Highland Prep, which lost to Winter Park-Trinity Prep, 34-67 last fall, turned the tables on the Saints, winning 63-103.

Orlando-Lake Highland Prep Highlanders

In the 15-team event, Nature Coast Technical finished ninth overall with 224 points.

Of NCT’s seven entries, three posted personal records including: sophomore Damian Scarborough and twin freshmen siblings Kadin and Adam Rahman.

Frank Tirado

Shark senior Frank Tirado was second Hernando County runner to the finish line, placing 28th overall in 17:39.26.

“I remember, I was 18th at two-mile marker and then everything kinda fell apart,” recalled 17-year-old Tirado “The course was super flooded due to all showers on Friday.

“If you tried to go around the mud puddles, you lost time. By the end, I just went through them. The weather was super cold,” explained Tirado. “The wind made it even colder.“

On whether he had any regrets in his last prep race, “I have no regrets. I had a solid race and I didn’t give up.”

Raghunandan brothers ousted

2018 WWHS BXC regional qualifiers Jaiden and Yeatesh Raghunandan. Photo by TONY CASTRO

Weeki Wachee was represented by senior Yeatesh Raghunandan and his sophomore sibling Jaiden.

Yeatesh finished 33rd overall in 17:48.99 while Jaiden turned in an 18:07.83 5K clocking.

Neither left with a personal record on their home course.

“The race was hard,” emphasized the 18-year-old Yeatesh. “It was so windy and there so many puddles. It was so hard to avoid the mud.

“It was hard knowing this was my last (cross country) race, but I thought I did well.”

It was windy and there was water and mud everywhere,” conceded Jaiden, 15. “To me, it was too windy for a PR. I’m not okay with how I finished. I’m lucky that I have two more years to make it up.”

Curtains come down for Kader

Rayaan Kader

The sensational rookie season for Springstead sophomore Rayaan Kader closed with ecstasy and agony.

Kader’s county-best 10th race didn’t end by adding his seventh top-10 finish.

Instead, he finished 18th overall = just three spots from qualifying for states – in the Class 3A, Region II Meet at Lecanto with a personal best 17:09.62.

Allen Keister

That’s the second-fastest time for any SHS runner in a 5K event not named Allen Keister.

Keister was tapped Hernando County’s Runner of the Year in 2015.

“The race went well for Rayaan,” detailed ninth-year SHS mentor Brandon Wright. “The chips didn’t quite fall his way. He competed hard and left with a PR on a difficult course.

“Deep down,” continued Wright. “He really wanted to go (to states). The kid is extremely coachable. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does in a full season of track. He’s the one that sets the example for the others.”

2018 Class 2A, Region II

Final Boys Team Results

Orlando-Lake Highland Prep Highlanders
 

PL.

 

TEAM

 

PTS

1.

Orlando-Lake Highland Prep

63

2.

Winter Park-Trinity Prep

103

3.

Orlando-Bishop Moore

132

4.

New Port Richey-Gulf

135

5.

Port Orange-Atlantic

140

6.

Gainesville-Eastside

173

7.

Tavares

193

8.

Inverness-Citrus

222

 

9.

 

Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical

 

242

10.

The Villages

265

11.

Pierson-Taylor County

272

12.

Keystone Heights

300

13.

Crystal River

301

14.

Alachua-Santa Fe

308

15.

Wesley Chapel-Cypress Creek

343

 

16/

 

Brooksville-Hernando

 

NTS

 

16.

 

Weeki Wachee

 

NTS

2018 Top 15 Boys Final Results

 

PL.

 

NAME

 

YR

 

SCHOOL

 

TIME

1.

Hensley, Jacob

12

Citrus

16:07.98

2.

Jessup, John

12

Gulf

16:13.94

3.

Wilhelm, Christopher

12

Trinity Prep

16:31.69

4.

Alejo, Jacob

12

Taylor County

16:36.42

5.

Phillips, Jai

11

Lake Highland Prep

16:43.88

6.

Guy, Alex

12

Keystone Heights

16:54.91

7,

Miller, Jack

10

Trinity Prep

16:55.96

 

8.

 

Stalcup, Ross

 

12

 

Hernando

 

16:56.62

9.

Prisby, Conrad

11

The Villages

16:57.26

10

Kenoyer, Ty

11

Lake Highland Prep

16:58.16

11.

Aldricj, Adam

12

Atlantic

16:59.58

12.

Wyatt, Austin

11

The Villages

17:00.87

13.

Sow, Emile

11

Rastside

17:03,88

14.

Rooplal, Darnell

10

Atlantic

17:04.94

15.

Menozzi, Vincent

12

Lake Highland Prep

17:09.22

15.

Flook, Samuel

12

Cypress Creek

17:55.01

NATURE COAST TECHNICAL (242) – 28. Frank Tirado 17:39.26, 51. Harrison Ryczek 18:22.58, 57. Ian Escamilla 18:28.74, 60. Bryce Montoya 18:34.88, 36. 81. Adam Rahman 19:17.32, 84. Kadin Rahman 19:22.03, 88. Damian Scarborough 19:29.46.

WEEKI WACHEE (NTS) – 33. Yeatesh Raghunandan 17:48.99, 42. Jaiden Raghunandan 18:07.83.

HERNANDO (NTS) – 8. Ross Stalcup 16:56.62.

2018 Class 3A, Region II

Final Boys Team Results

Land O’ Lakes-Sunlake Seahawks
 

PL.

 

TEAM

 

PTS

1.

Land O Lakes-Sunlake

64

2.

Ocala-Vanguard

100

3.

Land O Lakes

141

4.

Daytona Beach-Seabreeze

143

5.

Gainesville

145

6..

Lecanto

150

7.

Auburndale

180

8.

New Port Richey-Mitchell

204

9,

Palm Coast-Matanzas

206

10

Harmony

241

11.

New Smyrnaa Beach

256

12.

Belleview

282

13..

Leesburg

327

14.

Sebring

389

15.

Orlando-Pine Ridge

391

 

16.

 

Spring Hill-Springstead

 

NTS

2018 Top 15 Boys Final Results

 

PL.

 

NAME

 

YR

 

SCHOOL

 

TIME

1.

O’Gorman, Aisd2n

12

New Smyrna Beach

16:11.10

2.

Benitez, Lewis

11

Vanguard

16:23.44

3.

Troupe, Williams

12

Leesburg

16:26.30

4.

Tellis, Ladarius

10

Lake Region

16:34.56

5.

Burleson, Dominic

12

Sunlake

16:34.75

6.

Cooney, Griifin

10

New Smyrna Beach

16:39.37

7.

Brownrigg, Shane

12

Seabreeze

16:40.21

8.

Rodriguez, Giovanni

12

Vanguard

16:42,21

9.

Kennedy, Gavin

11

Sunlake

16:42.75

10.Salinas, Jennifer

Saucedo, Adolfo

12

Belleview

16:44.74

11.

Cain, Nicholas

11

Gainesville

16:45.76

12.

Burkett, James

12

Auburndale

16:47.05

13.

Croy, Alexander

12

South Lake

16:50.52

14.

Gilbert, Tyler

12

Mainland

16:50.86

15.

Scheid, Edward

11

Sunlake

16:54.08

SPRINGSTEAD (NTS) – 18. Rayaan Kader 17:09.52.