The Eagles soared over the weekend, with the Marco Island Charter Middle School girls and boys cross teams showing they can compete with schools of any size.
Both teams won the Seahawk Invitational on Friday, racing against seven schools.
The girls team showed its resolve when Jen Carter was injured at the one-mile mark. Rosie Poling and Christy Thorstenson stepped up and led the team with first and second-place finishes respectively. Taylor Fetzer raced to fifth, Lexie Lundquist eighth, and Ashley Schneller, 13th, rounding out the winning top five from MICMS.
Savannah Rose and Morgan Burke are headed toward the front as they continue to improve. This meet was a preview of the Sunshine Athletic Conference Championship that will be contested in late October.
The boys raced to victory with Tanner Fulcher winning for the second straight meet. Peter Servente and Gage Wheeler also finished in the top 10. Newcomer Cody Demalavez continued his strong start to the season and Xavier Vecchio is beginning to round into shape. Cory Lee, Dalton Herrity and Tarkan Peksen could become top five runners as the season continues.
This was a super day for the boys after the team lost six of its top seven runners from a year ago.
On Saturday, the Eagles went up against all 10 county middle schools in the Pine Ridge Middle School Invitational. In this meet runners competed by grade levels.
These schools are anywhere from two to four times MICMS enrollment and always present a challenge.
Sixth-grader Rosie Poling got the Eagles rolling with a first place finish. She took the lead from the start and never trailed. She ran the 1.7-mile distance in 13:42. In the boys sixth-grade race Cody Demalavez recorded a coveted top 10 finish with a time of 14:14. Cody is really starting to race toward the front.
Savannah Rose finished 10th in the seventh-grade race. She is starting to exhibit her top seven team ability from one year ago.
In the eighth-grade boys race, the crowd was treated to an exciting battle between Tanner Fulcher and a host of runners from Manatee, Gulfview, Immokalee and Pine Ridge. Fulcher took the lead around the mile marker, but a Gulfview runner passed Fulcher with 100 meters to go. Not giving in, Fulcher fought back, running by his opponent at the finish line.
The capper to the day for the Eagles was the eighth-grade girls race. The race figured to be a showdown between Oakridge, Gulfview and MICMS and it lived up to its billing. At the beginning Jen Carter and Christy Thorstenson were in the top three runners with Carter ahead at the mile mark. The runner from Oakridge passed Carter and took command of the individual honors. With the team title on the line the Eagles stepped up big. With Carter leading the way to the line in second, the Eagles took the race with Thorstenson third, Taylor Fetzer sixth, Lexie Lundquist 17th, and Ashley Schneller 20th. The Eagles 48 points claimed first over Gulfview’s 63 points.
This is probably one of the biggest wins in the school’s athletic history. Remember, only one day before Jen Carter dropped out of the race and looked very doubtful for Saturday. She is one tenacious student-athlete. Another factor for MICMS is that on Friday evening, after the cross country race, five of the top runners played volleyball, helping the Eagles defeat First Baptist Academy. It was a fantastic weekend, but it just keeps getting more difficult.
Today, the teams travel to Gulfview for a rematch using the regular team format. This means Gulfview will have their outstanding seventh-grade runner in the field, but the Eagles will have Poling in the fold as well. On Saturday the Eagles host 10 schools at Mackle Park, with racing beginning at 8:30 a.m.