STARKE — Suwannee High’s cross country teams both placed two runners in the top 10 overall and both teams finished in the top three at the Bradford Invitational on Saturday.
The SHS boys team finished second with Hunter Land placing fifth and Jorge Soto finishing seventh. Land timed 20:30 and Soto ran 21:03 in the 5K meet.
Also scoring for Suwannee were Jack Fry, finishing 13th; Herman Gunter, 15th; Timothy Joliceur, 17th; Jonah Wegner, 20th: and Jacob Littleton, 21st. There were 99 participants in the boys’ meet.
It was a challenging course for the runners with a ditch that runners had to jump over twice, which was planned, and many mud puddles that were not planned.
Coach Brian Bullock said runner Jonah Wegner finished the last mile of the race without a shoe.
“He lost it while trying to run through one of the mud pits on the course, but that didn’t stop him from running his personal best time and helping us get second,” Bullock said, adding that Wegner’s efforts showed the character of the team and that they were eager to prove something.
Paul Gunter, the only Suwannee middle school runner, won first place with a 13:06 time against 10 other runners in the middle school 3K race.
The Suwannee girls placed third in the meet with two runners placed in the top 10.
The top three finishers for the Bulldogs were Nellie Lamb at 25:52, Passion Leggett at 26:42 and 27:07 for Maria Ramirez.
Suwannee coach Amy Yarick said the team is improving as individuals and as a team.
“Last year at this same invitational, our average time was 29:34,” Yarick said. “This year our average time was 27:14.”
The Bulldogs took third out of eight teams, with 83 girls competing, in the 5K race.
The SHS girls also faced those same challenging conditions.
“A few runners lost their shoes during the race and had to stop to put them back on or continue running without them,” Yarick said.
Both SHS teams will run again Sept. 21 at the Alligator Lake Invitational at Alligator Lake Park in Lake City.