Cross country teams run away with title

Tina Harbuck
Destin's Cason Larocque was second overall and first in for the Destin Marlins in the middle school cross country meet in Freeport Tuesday evening. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

Hurricane Michael might have interrupted their training but it didn’t slow them down.

The Destin Middle School cross country teams cleaned up at the Okaloosa County Cross Country Championships held at Freeport High School Tuesday afternoon.

The Destin Marlin girls won the 1A Division Championship, while the boys finished as runners-up to Liza Jackson. Both squads qualified for state and will represent Destin Middle School at the Florida Youth Running Association Middle School State Cross Country Championship meet in Lakeland on Oct. 27.

“Overall, we have had an excellent season,” said Destin Coach Tina Barron. “We have a lot of young, talented athletes as well as seasoned runners, and their work ethic and diligence paid off yesterday.

“The weather was unforgiving, we recently experienced a break in training due to Hurricane Michael, but despite the interruptions and uncontrollable variables, our athletes pushed themselves to qualify for state," she added. “I am incredibly proud of the efforts made by all of our team members, and look forward to state.”

At the county championships Tuesday and placing for the girls’ varsity were Sophie Kellogg (12:55 and second overall), Emily Kellogg (13:38) and Chloe Lambrou (14:58).

Medaling for the Destin boys’ varsity team was Cason Larocque (11:55 and second overall), Andrey Lukin (12:47) and Alex Lukin (13:17).

Finishing in the top 10 for the Junior Varsity girls' event were Destin’s Mariana Gunter, 10th; Olivia Beard, ninth, and Navy Ballard, fifth.

Destin boys finishing in the top 10 for Junior Varsity were Braxton Beard, seventh; Andrew Atkins, sixth; and Connor Rising, fourth.