Destin Marlin cross country teams place second
In their first event of the year, the Destin Middle School cross country teams placed second in a tri-meet with Davidson and Pryor Middle Schools on Wednesday at Regatta Bay in Destin.
The Destin Marlin girls took second with 36 points, behind Pryor who came in first with 23 points. Davidson finished up with 77.
"I was impressed with some of the competitiveness they showed, trying to win those individual battles against the people that were running around their time," said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens.
"I'm looking forward to this team the next couple of seasons, because the majority of our runners that are in the top five are in the fifth and sixth grade," he added, noting they do have a couple of strong seventh graders as well. "But we're going to be a really strong team in the next couple of years if they stick together."
And one of those Destin fifth graders already leaving a mark on the field was 10-year-old Avery Cowles, who was the first to cross the finish line in Wednesday's meet with a time of 13:56 in the two-mile event.
For the most part, Cowles was out in front the entire race. At one point she was a good 30 yards ahead of her opponents.
However, toward the end of the race, the Pryor girls started to close in.
"There were two people behind me and the one girl sped up really, really fast, so I had to run faster," Cowles said, noting she looked back and one of the girls was about six feet behind her.
"I ran as fast as I could at the very end. I didn't want that girl to pass me," she said.
Pryor's Trinity Carroll, Brooklyn Killingsworth and Bailee Killingsworth finished second, third and fourth overall, while Destin's Kendra Buehner came in fifth overall.
Other Destin girls that finished in the top 10 were Lily Scalise, ninth, and Kaeden Stilla, 10th.
As for the boys competition, the Davidson Panthers team placed first with a score of 28, while Destin came in second with 45 points and Pryor at 52.
The top five runners in for the Destin Marlins were Eli Scharf, fourth overall; Ethan Chance, fifth; James Campbell, 11th; William Cowles, 12th; and Jacob Larsen, 13th.
"With hurricanes and training restrictions due to COVID, I'm proud of the effort they put in today regardless of the finish," Stevens said.
The three schools will meet again at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in Crestview at Davidson Middle School.