OHS cross country team advances to regionals

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee High School boys and girls cross country teams have qualified to compete in regionals on Nov. 2 at South Fork High School.

The Okeechobee teams had their district expanded this year, which meant not only more competitors but tougher competition. In the newly reshuffled district, the top 30 individuals and the top 10 teams from boys and girls qualify to go on to regionals.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/OHS Cross Country
Members from the Okeechobee High School cross country girls team pose after a competition.

The girls team had three runners finish as top 30 individuals, Jacqueline Jaimes, Lauren Sills and Lindsey Saucedo. All three finished with personal records. Overall the girls team finished sixth.

The boys team finished ninth overall. The boys finally made some progress in closing the gap some between their top runner, Wyatt Friend, and the rest of the pack. Both Alexander Maxwell and Devin Whiteside improved their personal records by over two minutes each, moving themselves closer to the top of the team.

“It is very exciting to see how things have come together for both teams this season,” said assistant coach Tracy Sills. “We remain small in numbers, but we are big in spirit. The team is like a family, the kids get along like siblings. And then we have a large following of parents, friends, and other supporters that show up to the meets wearing their Brahman cross country shirts to cheer on the kids. It is truly amazing.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/OHS Cross Country
Two Okeechobee High School cross country runners give one final effort near the finish line.

Mrs. Sills reports that the team is winding down with their training and trying to keep the kids healthy headed into regionals.

“We have a very competitive region so I don’t know what our chances are to make it to state,” continued Mrs. Sills. “But I can tell you that if our kids continue to push hard and run with heart like they did on Saturday, then anything is possible.”

Okeechobee travels to South Fork on Nov. 2 for a chance to move on to the state championship. Girls start running at 8 a.m. and boys start at 8:30 a.m.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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