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Bolles girls dominate cross country region, surge into state meet

Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images
Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images (2019 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was a stellar morning in regional cross country action, with area runners dominating the field and punching tickets to next week’s state meet.

Two area boys and two area girls won individual championships Friday at the New World Sports Complex, while the Bolles girls were sensational in Region 1-2A.

As in perfect.

For the second straight postseason meet, the Bolles girls swept the top seven positions. The Bulldogs girls had runners finish in the Nos. 1-7 spots, sweeping the region. They pulled off the same feat at the District 4-2A meet last week.

The Class 1A and 2A state meets are next Friday in Tallahassee.

Bolles' Jillian Candelino won the girls 1-2A individual championship in 18 minutes, 24.70 second and Bulldogs runner Cole Rutkowski claimed the boys 1-2A crown in 15:57.60.

Candelino, Maxine Montoya, Maddie Popp, Ella Mickler, Layne Rivera, Leila Bata and Hadley Ropp went 1-7, respectively, crushing the field in 1-2A.

Montoya ran an 18:30.30 to finish behind Candelino. Popp (18:34.50), Mickler (18:42.50) and Rivera (19:19.20) rounded out the top five. Bata (19:52.50) and Ropp (20:00) were the other two Bolles finishers.

Joining Bolles at state were Bishop Kenny and Episcopal.

Kathryn Saunders of Bishop Kenny was ninth overall in 20:12.90. Clay High runners Ulyana Damme (20:46.50) and Savannah Hill (20:57.20) also qualified for state as individuals.

Rutkowski turned in a 15:57.60 to win the boys side. Fernandina Beach’s Caden Kwiatkowski (16:10.70) took region runner-up. Bolles' Matthew McClure (16:15.60) was fourth, Kenny’s Michael Teal was fifth (16:21.20) and Fernandina Beach’s Steven Durr was seventh (16:27.10). Bolles rounded out the top 10, with Colin Duhnoski (16:44.20), Aidin Hasan (16:45.80) and William Camp (16:56.80) finishing eighth through 10th, respectively.

Kwiatkowski and Durr of the Pirates qualified for state as individuals.

In addition to Bolles, Bishop Kenny took meet runner-up honors and Menendez took fourth in the region. The top four teams in each region advance to state.

The area had two region champs in Region 1-1A.

University Christian’s Laci Watford won her meet by one minute, turning in an 18:39.60 to coast to a victory. St. Johns Country Day’s Matthew Stratton won the boys race in 15:53.

In Region 1-1A, St. Johns Country Day and St. Joseph qualified their boys teams for the state meet. The Providence girls also punched their ticket to state with a fourth-place finish. Lindy White led the Stallions with a sixth-place overall effort, notching a 20:24.30. Teammate Gretchen Morgan was 10th in 20:43.40.

St. Joseph’s' Victor Faran was sixth in 17:07.30.

Individual qualifiers in 1-1A were Bishop Snyder’s Donald Dempsey on the boys side (11th overall in 17:42.70) and Emily Wheldon from Snyder (12th overall in 21:04.60) on the girls side.

Region 1-2A


Team (top four teams advance to state)

1. Bolles (15), 2. South Walton (65), 3. Bishop Kenny (75), 4. Episcopal (117). Other local teams: 7. West Nassau (218), 10. Fernandina Beach (276), 12. Raines (304).


1. Jillian Candelino, Bolles, 18:24.70; 2. Maxine Montoya, Bolles, 18:30.30; 3. Maddie Popp, Bolles, 18:34.50; 4. Ella Mickler, Bolles, 18:42.50; 5. Layne Rivera, Bolles, 19:19.20; 6. Leila Bata, Bolles, 19:52.50; 7. Hadley Ropp, Bolles, 20:00; 8. Ava Flaherty, South Walton, 20:10.40; 9. Kathryn Saunders, Bishop Kenny, 20:12.90; 10. Patasha Bryan, South Walton, 20:15.40.


Team (top four teams advance to state)

1. Bolles (28), 2. Bishop Kenny (82), 3. South Walton (114), 4. Menendez (120). Other local teams: 5. Fernandina Beach (122), 7. White (181), 8. Suwannee (212), 10. Baldwin (266).


1. Cole Rutkowski, Bolles, 15:57.60; 2. Caden Kwiatkowski, Fernandina Beach, 16:10.70; 3. Luis Gutierrez, West Florida, 16:14; 4. Matthew McClure, Bolles, 16:15.60; 5. Michael Teal, Bishop Kenny, 16:21.20; 6. Steven Durr, Fernandina Beach, 16:27.10; 7. James Simkins, Pensacola, 16:40; 8. Colin Duhnoski, Bolles, 16:44.20; 9. Aidin Hasan, Bolles, 16:45.80; 10. William Camp, Bolles, 16:56.80.

Region 1-1A


Team (top four teams advance to state)

1. Maclay (49), 2. Pensacola Christian (66), 3. Community Christian (92), 4. Providence (98). Other local teams: 6. St. Johns Country Day (163), 7. St. Joseph (191), 8. Bishop Snyder (206).


1. Laci Watford, University Christian, 18:39.60; 2. Kaylin Olivarez, Baker, 19:39.60; 3. Gracie Koeppel, Maclay, 19:48.40; 4. RaeAnne Tutton, Pensacola Christian, 20:07.20; 5. Jaimee Tutton, Pensacola Christian, 20:07.40; 6. Lindy White, Providence, 20:24.30; 7. Morgan Wilson, Community Christian, 20:33.40; 8. Reagan Smith, Pensacola Christian, 20:35.40; 9. Lillian Koeppel, Maclay, 20:42.80; 10. Gretchen Morgan, Providence, 20:43.40.


Team (top four teams advance to state)

1. Maclay (36); 2. Pensacola Christian (44); 3. St. Johns Country Day (114); 4. St. Joseph (136). Other local teams: 5. Bishop Snyder (146); 6. Providence (164).


1. Matthew Stratton, St. Johns Country Day, 15:53; 2. Jackson Yarbrough, Maclay, 16:07.50; 3. Leo Rutledge, Maclay, 16:36.50; 4. Jonathan Tutton, Pensacola Christian, 16:42.90; 5. Clayton Knox, Maclay, 16:57.70; 6. Victor Farfan, St. Joseph, 17:07.30; 7. Andrew Birx, Pensacola Christian, 17:11.90; 8. Carter Rothel, Maclay, 17:24.80; 9. Eugene Hall, Paxton, 17:40.50; 10. Logan Dunaway, 17:41.60.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.