It only took a little more than 100 yards before Destin’s Sophie Kellogg pulled away for a first place finish in the first middle school cross country meet of the season at home Wednesday afternoon.
Despite the grueling heat and humidity, Kellogg finished with a mark of 13:08 in the two-mile event.
Destin Marlin Sara Crews placed second overall at 14:31 and Emily Kellogg took fourth at 14:39. MJ Toth finished ninth at 15:03.
The Lady Marlins placed first as a team with 26 points, while Liza Jackson came in second with 54 points, St. Mary’s third with 77 points and Baker took fourth with 92 points.
As for the boy’s competition, the Marlins fought hard and came in second with 46 points.
Destin’s Cason Larocque won the boys’ meet with an impressive time of 12:22.
Destin's Andrey and Alex Luke were not far behind, placing fourth and eighth, respectively, with times of 13:29 and 13:54. Teammates Dominic Witt, Nelson Burke, Daniil Baturyn, and Alex Ruiz placed 16th, 17th, 19th, and 20th overall.
The Liza Jackson boys ran as a pack and were considerably tighter, taking six out of the top 10 places overall.
Liza Jackson as a team took first with 23 points, while Destin finished second at 46, followed by St. Mary’s at 94 and Baker at 135.
“We have a lot of talent this year which is exciting,” said Destin Coach Tina Barron. “This being a first meet for many of our athletes, we are proud of their performance.
“We definitely have work to do,” she added, noting such things as closing gaps, running closer and tighter. “But we are pleased with how well our runners handled the extreme heat and course conditions.”
Up next for Destin is a 4:30 p.m. meet on Sept. 19 at Meigs Middle School in Shalimar. Schools participating are Destin, Freeport and Meigs.