Three weeks into the season, cross country has had its share of challenges.
Rainstorms, sickness and injury have plagued nearly every team, yet eight weeks remain until the State Cross Country Finals on Nov. 5 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
Here is a top 10 list for runners in the area.
1. Sydney Miller, Sr, Oak Hall
Miller currently has the 11th fastest time of 19 minutes, 20.70 seconds in the highly competitive 1A class and took third at the Bobcat Class.
2. Kate Drummond, Sr, Buchholz
Drummond suffered her first loss to an area runner in two seasons at the Bobcat Classic. She owns an area best of 18:55.0 and has finished first for the Bobcats in each of their three races.
3. Lucy Voss, Jr, Buchholz
Voss opened the season with a 19:05 at the Cecil Field Classic in Jacksonville but did not run the Bobcat Classic due to sickness.
4. Emma White, Jr, Buchholz
White’s season best is 19:08 and gives the Bobcats are very strong front three that looks to be back on top in class 4A. She has ran the last two weeks.
5. Eleanor Whisler, So, Buchholz
Whisler competed well against Drummond and Miller this past weekend, nearly overtaking the two at the Bobcat Classic with a best of 19:41.0.
6. Alivia Dragstedt, So, Oak Hall
Dragstedt posted a best of 20:46.0 at the Whispering Pines Invitational.
7. Valeria Beaver, 8th, Oak Hall
Beaver lost her right shoe just before the mile mark at the Bobcat Classic and still finished with a personal best of 20:50.90.
8. Mackenzie Klein, Jr, Oak Hall
Klein finished 13th in a time of 21:21.30 at the Bobcat Classic.
9. Paulina Cervantes, Fr, P.K. Yonge
Cervantes posted a 21:06.0 at the Whispering Pines Invitational. Her personal best of 20:01.70 came last year at the state cross country meet.
10. Lola Murfee, 8th, Oak Hall
Murfee opened with a 21:51.00 in her first meet this season and, at the Bobcat Classic, posted a time of 21:20.4.
1. Emerson Miller, Sr, Buchholz
Miller posted an area best of 15:34 at the Cecil Field Classic opener and is one of the best cross country runners the area has produced behind Buchholz’s Chris Godwin’s best of 15:10 in 2011 and P.K. Yonge’s Michael Anderson’s best of 15:12 in 2006. Miller has the fastest time in 4A and the fifth fastest in Florida.
2. Caden Montini, Sr, Oak Hall
Montini opened with a 16:17 at the Whispering Pines Invitational before illness struck. He finished second to Miller at the Bobcat Classic in 16:40.0.
3. Mason Kawaja, Sr, Buchholz
Kawaja ran a 15:52 at the Cecil Field Classic and has rebounded from recent sickness. At the Bobcat Classic, he finished third at 16:47.1.
4. Quinten Dragstedt, Jr, Oak Hall
Dragstedt is one minute ahead of where he was last year and finished fifth in a season-best time of 17:07.2 at the Bobcat Classic.
5. Samuel Freas, Fr, Buchholz
Freas, who was third in the Florida Middle School State Cross Country Championships as an eighth grader at Ft. Clarke, has a best of 17:02 and has been a team scorer for the Bobcats.
6. Evan Fleming, Jr, Buchholz
Fleming has become one of the top cross country runners in the area posting a personal best time of 17:07.00.
7. Joshua Adolphson, Sr, Buchholz
Adolphson posted a season best of 17:26 at the Cecil Field.
8. Tyler Griffin, Jr, Keystone Heights
At the Horse Park Invitational, Griffin finished 98th in a time of 17:55.60 to finish sixth best among area runners.
9. Riley Smith, Jr, Buchholz
Smith had a season best 17:52.9 at the Bobcat Classic.
10. Declan O’Dwyer, Jr, Eastside
O’Dwyer ran his best time at the Bobcat Classic at 18:08.90, down 7.10 seconds.