Dominance on the course: Bolles teams, Rheinhardt Harrison shine at state XC meet

Nease star wins 3rd straight; Bolles teams, Ponte Vedra girls, St. John’s CD’s Stratton also win

Members of the Bolles cross country teams on Friday morning after both winning the Class 2A state championship in Tallahassee. (Tony Ryan, Bolles, Bolles)

It was about as good as it gets on Friday morning for area cross country teams.

The Bolles cross country programs made history.

The Ponte Vedra girls did the same.

St. Johns Country Day’s Matthew Stratton was golden.

And Nease’s Rheinhardt Harrison wrapped up the most spectacular career in area cross country history.

What a morning for area athletes.

Harrison won his third consecutive individual state championship, clocking a 15 minutes, 3.6-second time at Tallahassee’s Apalachee Regional Park. His three state titles tie for the most by a single runner in state history, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 2009. Harrison, the two-time All-News4Jax cross country athlete of the year, signed with Oregon earlier this week.

The Bulldogs girls cross country team defended its state championship, winning the Class 2A meet in dominant fashion once again with another superb performance from Jillian Candelino. The junior ran a 17:53.2, 29 seconds in front of runner-up Madison Carr of Astronaut to win the state title.

The title was the 13th in program history, moving into first place in all-time titles and breaking a tie with Tampa Plant. Bolles had 56 points, coasting in front of runner-up St. Brendan (161). Bishop Kenny was third (222).

The boys team won the Class 2A team title as well, with runner Aidan Ryan finishing as the individual state runner-up in 15:35.02.

It was just the second time that the Bolles boys and girls won cross country state championships in the same season. Those teams won titles in 2018.

That wasn’t all.

Stratton, a University of Florida signee, clocked a 15:40.2 to win the Class 1A individual state title. He’d been close before, taking state runner-up honors in 2019.

The Ponte Vedra girls won their first team state championship, bringing home the Class 3A crown with 110 points, coming in in front of Kissimmee Osceola (125). It capped a sterling year for the Sharks, who also won the Katie Caples Invitational at Bishop Kenny. Sofia Bushkell was fifth overall in 18:34.9. St. Augustine’s Reilly Barber was 11th in 18:56.6. Ponte Vedra’s Ellie Moritz (19:71.1) took 15th and Fletcher’s Tessa Messa was 16th in 19:24.

The Creekside boys finished state runner-up in Class 4A, tying Viera with 104 points but losing a tiebreaker to finish second. Mac Williams’ 16:08.6 was good for 17th place for the Knights. Bartram Trail finished third as a team in 4A, with Branden McDonald taking 14th individually in 16:02.1.

Class 4A

Girls

Local team results: 11. Mandarin, 334; 12. Creekside, 346; 14. Bartram Trail, 370; 21. Nease, 552.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 6. Jada Williams (Flagler Palm Coast), 19:00; 13. Annie Loehle (Mandarin), 19:31; 41. Reece Dropps (Bartram Trail), 20:22.1; 49. Lindsay Gonzales (Mandarin), 20:29.4; 54. Reese Henley (Bartram Trail), 20:33.5; 57. Elena Coles (Creekside), 20:34.9; 58. Audrey Singletary (Nease), 20:35.4; 73. Brooke Vlaun (Creekside), 20:47.7.

Boys

Local team results: 1. Creekside, 104 (runner-up via tiebreaker); 3. Bartram Trail, 143; 7. Nease, 247.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 1. Rheinhardt Harrison (Nease), 15:03.6; 14. Branden McDonald (Bartram Trail), 16:02.5; 17. Mac Williams (Creekside), 16:08.6; 21. Jack Zurn (Creekside), 16:21.7; 24. Jack Dravo (Creekside), 16:21.7; 28. Logan Sallas (Bartram Trail), 16:24.4; 29. Nolan Hemmen (Bartram Trail), 16:25.6; 30. Luke Kaelin (Creekside), 16:25.9; 33. Jesse Benavides (Creekside), 16:28.4; 36. Steven Cartwright (Nease), 16:31.2; 39. Jemesu Picone (Bartram Trail), 16:32.9; 59. Aaron Feldner (Bartram Trail), 16:54; 60. Braden Motycka (Bartram Trail), 16:54.8;

Class 3A

Girls

Local team results: 1. Ponte Vedra, 114; 6. St. Augustine, 233; 12. Fleming Island, 326; 29. Matanzas, 678.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 5. Sofia Bushkell (Ponte Vedra), 18:34.9; 11. Reilly Barber (St. Augustine), 18:56.6; 15. Ellie Moritz (Ponte Vedra), 19:17.1; 16. Tessa Messa (Fletcher, 19:24; 27. Rylan Holmquist (St. Augustine), 19:49; 29. Amelia Tackling (Ponte Vedra), 19:52.9; 33. Daisy Ross (Ponte Vedra), 20:01; 45. Lindy White (Ponte Vedra), 20:12.9; 49. Allie Knotts (Fleming Island), 20:13.7; 56. Lauren Voutour (St. Augustine), 20:17.4; 59. Viola Barquilla (Fletcher), 20:25.6; 63. Katelyn Thompson (Fleming Island), 20:31.4; 65. Katelyn Lawrence (St. Augustine), 20:31.7; 68. Ava Hendrix (Fleming Island), 20:35.6.

Boys

Local team results: 7. Ponte Vedra, 308; 8. Fleming Island, 312; 32. Matanzas, 773.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 11. Grant Doherty (Ponte Vedra), 16:17.9; 13. James Snipes (Ridgeview), 16:19.1; 21. Alex Bendig (Fleming Island), 16:29.2; 24. John Keester IV (Fleming Island), 16:33.7; 41. Ben Koppman (St. Augustine), 16:49.9; 45. Davis Brown (Ponte Vedra), 16:51.5; 55. Danny Sakowski (Fleming Island), 17:00.8.

Class 2A

Girls

Local team results: 1. Bolles, 56; 3. Bishop Kenny, 222; 18. Episcopal, 441; 20. Tocoi Creek, 460.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 1. Jillian Candelino (Bolles), 17:53.2; 8. Elizabeth McClure (Bolles), 18:54.0; 13. Hadley Ropp (Bolles), 19:17.4; 15. Ella Mickler (Bolles), 19:20.2; 26. Lucrezia Gowdy (Episcopal). 19:42.4; 29. Estella Bruneau (Bolles), 19:43.6; 38. Madison Pachan (Tocoi Creek), 20:02.5; 41. Mary Biagni (Kenny), 20:07.4; 42. Kathryn Saunders (Kenny), 20:07.8; 44. Alexis Holmes (Kenny), 20:10.2; 45. Isabella Hutchins (Kenny), 20:10.7; 46. Elizabeth Csikai (Bolles), 20:13; 62. Maddie Popp (Bolles), 20:31.5.

Boys

Local team results: 1. Bolles, 67; 5. Bishop Kenny, 211; 31. Episcopal, 699; 32. Suwannee, 837.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 2. Aidan Ryan (Bolles), 15:35.1; 12. William Brady (Bolles), 16:08.5; 15. Matthew McClure (Bolles), 16:13.5; 21. Daniel De Monte (Bolles), 16:28.9; 23. Matthew Thomas (Bolles), 16:33.2; 26. Alex Jubran (Kenny), 16:42.4; 35. Alejandro Vinas (Kenny), 16:57.8; 37. Colin Duhnoski (Bolles), 17:01.6; 51. Max Zahariadis (Kenny), 17:16.9; 57. Juan Pablo Castillo-Zima (Kenny), 17:26.9; 58. Drew Bass (Kenny), 17:27; 62. Andrew McGraw (Bolles), 17:30.1.

Class 1A

Girls

Local team results: 14. Providence, 425; 22. Bishop Snyder, 545; 24. University Christian, 599; 27. St. Joseph, 659.

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 9. Laci Watford (University Christian), 19:17.5; 25. Emily Wheldon (Bishop Snyder), 20:19; 45. Truth King (University Christian), 20:59.3; 51. Paige Brammer (St. Joseph), 21:08.5; 67. Katie Cunningham (Providence), 21:40.1; 71. Essie Melicharek (St. Johns CD), 21:51.9; 72. Ana Whitehouse (St. Joseph), 21:52.2; 73. Sarah Palmer (Providence), 21:52.7.

Boys

Local team results: 15. St. Johns Country Day, 448; 21. Bishop Snyder, 505; 22. Providence, 532; 23. St. Joseph, 536

Individual finishers (local runners who finished in top 75 shown): 1. Matthew Stratton (St. Johns CD), 15:40.2; 11. Graham Myers (St. Johns CD), 16:38; 12. Victor Farfan (St. Joseph), 16:39.9; 27. Donald Dempsey (Bishop Snyder), 17:13.3; 47. Caden Hoffer (Bishop Snyder), 17:40.4.


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.