The 2020 high-school cross-country season opened last weekend with five teams from West Volusia traveling to New Smyrna Beach Sept. 19 for the Coach Joe McKinney Classic 5K.
The top girl runner from the west side of the county was DeLand High’s sophomore Sydney Neira, who finished ninth overall, with a clocking of 21:48.30. The top boy runner was Orange City University High’s sophomore Royce Eggert, who finished third with a clocking of 18:01.70.
The only other West Volusia runners in the top 10 were DeLand High’s sophomore James Gannon in sixth place at 18:45.60 and junior Ethan Myrick in 10th place at 18:59.30.
The boys’ champion was Father Lopez’s Seth Augustynowski, a senior, who ran the 5K course in 17:50.70, while the girls’ champion was Spruce Creek High’s sophomore Olivia Niewald, who ran an elite time of 19:94.10.
The DeLand boys took second in the meet with 27 points, behind champion New Smyrna Beach with 50 points.
Directly behind DeLand was Father Lopez with 78 points. They were followed by Orange City University, 98; Seabreeze, 119; Spruce Creek, 144; Pine Ridge, 214; Atlantic, 230; Deltona, 250; and Mainland, 256.
The Spruce Creek girls picked up the team win with 36 points, followed by New Smyrna Beach with 42.
Father Lopez was third with 93, while DeLand had 100 points, University had 117 and Seabreeze had 126. Other teams competed but did not have full team scores.
Behind the efforts of Gannon and Myrick for the DeLand boys, Caleb Roberts was 17th, Arthur Francisco was 21st and Ian York was 23rd.
The Lady Bulldogs who followed Neira to the finish line scoring points were Jenna Baumann, Madi Mandell, Karli Walker and Alexandra Trenhom.
For the Titans of University, Justin Martinez placed 14th behind Eggert, while collecting team points were Benjamin Bradley, Corey Johnson and Tyler Sintscha.
Leading the Lady Titans was sophomore Jazmine Vargas in 15th place at 23:09.50, who was followed by Caroline Sholar, Olivia Litwiniec, Morgan Northey and Alyssa Bell.
Pine Ridge in Deltona had one girl compete, Asia-Marie Olude, who ran the course in 36:25.80.
The top boy runner for the Panthers was senior Joshua Alexander in 11th place, with a time of 19:05.00. Scoring the other Panther points were William Steinebach, Hunter Kemp, Keelan Enns and Julio Blanco.
The Lady Wolves of Deltona High only had two runners, Diana Pineda in 46th at 26:10.90 and Emma Noel.
The boys were led by Freddy Tejeda in 56th place at 22:00.90, while Lincoln Davis, Josiah Tejeda, Kevin Kerns and Matthew Jackson scored points.
Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts competed in the meet with seventh-grader Lana Magoc leading the way for the girls in 17tth place and a time of 23:14.00, while the boys were led by another seventh-grader, Ethan Zagers at 22:59.60 in 78th place.
Also running for the girls were Naomi Tibbetts, Uma Kraskin and Veronica Meyer, while Devin Buster, Connor York and Brooks Correll-Hughes were the other Ivy Hawn runners.
DeLand High School will host its annual DeLand Invitational Cross-Country Meet on Friday, Oct. 2, with a 5 p.m. start for the girls’ race, and 5:45 p.m. being the scheduled start for the boys.
The meet will take place at the Sperling Sports Complex. Only 16 teams will be permitted to compete.