Montini Wins XC State, Jones Wins Silver

Nov. 9, 2019 — This morning, the Oak Hall boys and girls cross country teams ran the last race of the season, at the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) State Championship meet in Tallahassee. Junior Austin Montini won the gold for the Eagles, with a time of 15:33.63. “We’ve seen our team train so hard over the summer, and the last couple of months in general, and it’s so great to see all that hard work pay off here today,” he said. Montini shaved off a little more than 30 seconds from his sixth place finish last season. With the help of runners Caden Montini, Asher Dobrin, Ryland Kane, Jake Ciocca, Benjamin Gallogly, and Charles DePlato, the team earned second place out of 32 schools. “It was a really great race and everything just kind of came together for us,” Austin noted.

On the Lady Eagles side, sophomore Lauren Jones won second place with a time of 18:44.59. After placing third at last year’s state championship meet, Jones was in awe of the end result this season. “Everything that we’ve worked for has finally paid off and it finally shows,” she said joyfully. Sydney Miller, Gabby Aulisio, Ally Means, Harrison Grooms, Eliana Eisner, and Madison Gaston worked as a team to earn first place overall, beating out Circle Christian by 35 points.

“I’m overwhelmed with emotions of pride, excitement, joy,” said Head Coach Edwin McTureous. Last season, the Lady Eagles earned second place as a team, losing to Class 1A rival Circle Christian. This year, however, was a different story. “Regardless if it was a [personal record] or not, where they finished in comparison with certain kids we had to beat, that was what the most impressive thing was today,” McTureous stated.

Photos courtesy of Buffy McTureous and Shailey Klein