Florence Track Club has three state champions
DARLINGTON – The day was quite cold and breezy, but it was a perfect day for the USATF Jr. Olympic State Cross Country Championships, a meet which is at the pinnacle of the cross country season. Florence athletes came with hopes high for that day, and they did not leave disappointed.
Twenty-four athletes from the Florence Track Club, a club sponsored through the City of Florence Parks and Recreation division, competed to win a spot at the USATF Jr. Olympic Cross Country Regional Championships – going after the top 45 spots in the region or finishing with the top seven teams.
Three Florence athletes came away with State Champion medals: Kaylanna Burroughs (9-10 age division) with a 3K time of 12:26; her brother, Kaleb Burroughs (9-10 age division) with a 3K time of 11:07; and Darian Cole (17-18 age division) with a 5K time of 20:40.
The 11-12 girls team qualified for the regionals for the 3K coming in fourth. They were comprised of Caelin Sloan (14:14), Shaleigh Lacy (15:11), Sarah Beth Bailey (15:26), Morgan Banner (15:39), Sudheeksha Nettam (17:25), and Abby Severance (17:49)
Other individuals who qualified (not within a team) were in the 8 and under sub-bantam girls group with Ellison Banner running a 2K in 10:02, placing fourth in the state; Ava Tyner with a time of 13:44; and Jocelyn Ayala with a time of 17:56.
In the 9-10 girls group were Alexis Howle with a 3K time of 12:54, placing third in the state and Brittany Sloan with a time of 15:04.
In the 9-10 boys group was Ben Tyner with a 3K time of 13:29.
In the 11-12 boys group were Julian Duncan with a 3K time of 11:59, placing sixth in the state, and Kendrick Reynolds with a time of 14:50.
In the 13-14 youth girls were Aria Sloan running a 4K in 21:23 and Brooke Bluman with a time of 26:29.
In the 15-16 year old intermediate boys division, Winston Stewart ran his 5K in 22:32.
In the 17-18 year old young men division, Osei Stewart placed fourth in the state with a 5K time of 23:42.
“Congratulations to all and a special acknowledgement to our state champions. I understand we had a tremendous showing and we are proud of all our athletes” commented Darlene Buchanan, director of the City of Florence Parks and Recreation division.
The USATF Jr. Olympic Regional Championships were held Nov. 18 in Fayetteville, GA. The top five teams and top 30 athletes in this higher level of competition move on to the Nationals in Tallahassee, Fla on Dec. 9.