Cross-country | Season Preview

Rivals from Pine Crest, Miami Jackson take varied paths to success as runners

 

Pine Crest’s Julia Montgomery, who concentrates on cross-country, has a worthy pursuer in Miami Jackson’s Daesha Rogers, whose focus is track.

Season outlook

KEY DATES

Sept. 6: Ferguson Invitational; Martin County Under the Lights Invitational; Sept. 19: Pine Crest Invitational; Sept. 21: Spanish River Invitational; Sep. 27-28: flrunners.com Invitational 14 (Titusville); Oct. 4: Junior Orange Bowl Invitational (Ferguson); Cardinal Gibbons Invitational; Oct. 11-12: Disney Classic (Disney Sports Complex); FSU Invitational; Oct. 12: Westminster Academy Invitational; Oct. 18: BCAA Championships (Markham Park); Oct. 21-26: Districts; Oct. 31-Nov. 2: Regionals; Nov. 9: FHSAA state finals Apalachee Regional Park (Tallahassee); Nov. 23: FACA Senior All-Star Meet (Winter Park); Nov. 30: Foot Locker South Regional; Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional; Dec. 7: Nike Cross Nationals; Dec. 14: Foot Locker Nationals.

TOP 10 BOYS’ TEAMS

 1. St. Thomas Aquinas

 2. Pines Charter

 3. Pine Crest

 4. Douglas

 5. Coral Springs

6. Westminster Academy

 7. Cardinal Gibbons

 8. Taravella

 9. Flanagan

10. Calvary Christian

TOP 15 BOYS’ RUNNERS

1. Anthony Deleva, Coral Glades, Sr. 15:48; 2. Alexander Haugen, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr. 16:03; 3. Matthew Butler, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr. 16:07; 4. Jack Klumpp, North Broward Prep, Sr. 16:10; 5. Carlos Penaranda, Pines Charter, Jr. 16:13; 6. Antony Cruz, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr. 16:17; 7. Joel Lacy, South Plantation, So. 16:23; 8. Gabriel Darosa, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr. 16:38; 9. Bryce Statham, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jr, 16:43; 10. Brandon Bejarano, Westminster Academy, Sr. 16:51; 11. Jonathan Buytenhuys, Douglas, Jr. 16:54; 12. John Decker, Pine Crest, Sr. 17:04; 13. Daniel Penaranda, Pines Charter, Jr. 17:04; 14. Casey McCracken, Westminster Academy, Jr. 17:05; 15. Andrew Iglesias, Pines Charter, Sr. 18:23.

OTHER BOYS TO WATCH

American Heritage: Dean Michopoulos, Parker Solis, Victor Kurako; Archbishop McCarthy: Jeremy Farrell, Marco Santana, Jimmy Hunter; Boyd Anderson: Brian Jones, Javon Patterson, Sebaston Barrett; Calvary Christian: Jordan Campbell, Patrick Sastre, Danny Ferro, Gabe Williams; Coral Springs Charter: Nicholas Slupecki, Nicolas Mena, Geoffrey Still; Cardinal Gibbons: James Sahagian, James Wich, Jake Roberts; Chaminade: Brandon Williams, Greg Edwards, Jakari Hunt; Coconut Creek: Brandon Dixon, Rod Silvestre, Gardy Hyacinthe; Cooper City: Nicolas Lopez, Shawn Green, Brad Ray; Coral Springs: Jonathan Gonzales, Djery Clement, Manuel Ardavin; Coral Springs Christian: Nicholas Slupecki, Nicolas Mena, Geoffrey Still, Jordan Roig; Cypress Bay: Kurt Waller, Nicolas Hernandez, Thomas Morin; Dillard: Michael Noltion, David Ware, Riginst Mascenat; Douglas: Jacob Oster, Jeffrey Hager, Billy Paulson; Flanagan: Trevon Boykins, David Harvey, Christian Beauchemin; Fort Lauderdale: Christian Cook, James Francois, James Gardner; Highlands Christian: Justin Ebenhack, Trace Johnson, Adrian Mathias; McArthur: Omar Oropeza, John Tingle, Jeremy Smith; Miramar: Caple Moore, Jabari Hill, Teandre Robinson; Monarch: Francisco Aaron Cooper, Elijah Baxtar, Kyle Smith; North Broward: Hunter Tushman, Max Shooster, Michael Murray, Noah Horowitz; Nova: Terrell Jackson, Keith Lee, Michael Trelles, Samuel Mackey; Pine Crest: John Decker, Troy Gonzalez, Joseph Cabral, Noah Srour, Ryan Welch; Pines Charter: Kristinn McNair, John Medina, Alejandro Adarve; Pompano Beach: Brett Pope, Tyler Byrd, Alfred Lin, Chandler Mahoney; Posnack: Aaron Braun, Isaac Mercado; South Florida HEAT: David Rivera, Noah Hibbert, Alex Genck, Micah Hibbert, Rex Allison; South Plantation: Cheney Hewlett, Sergeriero Rankin, Brian Padgett, Dequan Sierra,; Taravella: Marlon Ellis, Bryan Boggiano, Nick Baldwin, Jon Witte; West Broward: Marcos Gonzalez, Erik Sikler, Brian McClain, Evan Moogerfeld; Westminster Academy: Patrick Sastre, John Luke, Chase Allsworth, Daniel Wood; Western: Jorge Serrano, Robert Foy, Terence Cummings; University: Drew Stone.

TOP 10 GIRLS’ TEAMS

 1. * St. Thomas Aquinas

 2. Pine Crest

 3. North Broward

 4. Westminster Academy

5. Cypress Bay

 6. Douglas

 7. Coral Springs

 8. Cardinal Gibbons

 9. Flanagan

10. Archbishop McCarthy

* reigning state champion

TOP 15 GIRLS’ RUNNERS

*1. Julia Montgomery, Pine Crest, So., 17:52; 2. Alexa Cruz, St. Thomas Aquinas, So., 18:09; 3. Christina Kalis, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr., 18:27; 4. Katherine MacNeal, Cypress Bay, Sr., 18:38; 5. Meg Schloss, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jr., 18:47; 6. Marina Braynon-Moore, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr., 18:54; 7. Brianna Rischar, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jr., 18:57; 8. Jade Fungquee, Monarch, Sr., 19:31; 9. Lily Kloepfer, St. Thomas Aquinas, So., 19:42; 10. Katherine Jovanovic, Pine Crest, Fr., 19:54; 11. Mahlet Yared, Pine Crest, Jr., 20:13; 12. Taylor Phillips, Pine Crest, 7th, 20:24; 13. Sara Bowden, Archbishop McCarthy, Jr., 20:26; 14. Nicole Taggart, Calvary Christian, Fr., 20:34; 15. Marianne Aguilar, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr., 20:32.

* reigning state champion

OTHER GIRLS TO WATCH

American Heritage: Jovanna Sarduy, Yanisel Stuart; Boyd Anderson: Chyna-Joi Staton, Ashley Barnett, Destiny Byrd, Marie Pierre; Cardinal Gibbons: Victoria Vigarino, Catherine Haley, Stephanie Belina, Nicole Clark, Shanese Langsett; Calvary Christian: Sophie Sweeney, Cristina Shawver, Natalie Rojas, Kyra Steffer, Daniela Rojas; Coconut Creek: Janica Parkinson, Jordin Gomes; Cooper City: Christine Samuel, Bailey Lazo, Victoria Kreymerman, Jessica Hoffman; Coral Springs: Oderline Excellent, Emily Netburn, Dhina Clement, Kristine Treijs; Coral Springs Christian: Anna Tauzer, Holly Kuyper, Rayn Ramclam, Alexandra Ellard, Cypress Bay: Lauren Reynolds, Jacky Huchler, Shivani Dalal, Katherine Harris, Harmony Grace; Deerfield Beach: Shannon Snell, Bobbie Isalay, Gabby Ruiz, Danielle Carr; Dillard: Linsley Francois; Douglas: Stephanie Fado, Selena Lugo, Emma Jacobs, Megan Hutchinson, Gabriela Yibirin, Lauren Aronson; Everglades: Damari Williams, Keya Curtis, Clara Pena, Monique Masterson, Daniela Pena; Flanagan: Deja Bush, Brianna Ryan, Sinead White, Maria Fajardo; Fort Lauderdale: Nicole Bello, Makeda Elliott, Clare Jacques, Shantoria Poole; Monarch: Angela Luft, Brianna Noel, Destinee Gomez; North Broward: Katie Pinnell, Jenna Shortridge, Dana Hernandez, Hannah Sellers; Pine Crest: Danielle Sternthal, Ali Corominas, Julia Graner, Casey Cruzpino; Pines Charter: Kali Hazera, Mya Goodman, Brittney Bruns; Pompano Beach: Allison Ciani; Posnack: Gabrielle Sumkin, Carly Rosner; Sheridan Hills Christian: Aubrey Paulding, Grace Clements; South Florida HEAT: Abigail Serda, Allison Pond, Kemper Reback, Ryli Reback; South Plantation: Fasheba Funeus, Alexia Nairne, Jetaime Alexander, Ashley Moore; Taravella: Shanon Keen, Yasmin Davis, Rebecca Torres, Laura Weiner; West Broward: Jessica Tayon, Kaitlyn Hodgers, Catherine DelRio, Annelyse Juin; Western: Tierra Valdes, Kayleen Martin, Jaimee Cooper; Westminster Academy: Amanda Baker, Caitlyn Hamilton, Brooke Oman, Elizabeth Meadows, Nikki Angione.


flyon@MiamiHerald.com

Dig a little deeper into the hottest cross-country rivalry going and discover Pine Crest’s reigning Class 2A state champion sophomore Julia Montgomery and Miami Jackson freshman Daesha Rogers share “off-the-charts” competitive streaks but a polar opposite affinity for the sport.

Montgomery, for example, described her cross-country retreat to Camp Highlander this past summer as the “the time of her life” and makes light of her father’s propensity for scouting her competitors on flrunners.com .

“My dad loves talking about all the runners I’m going to see at the meet,” Montgomery said. “He will say that girl is so much faster, but I’m going to beat her. That it is going to be awesome. What he says to me eggs on how it will play out.”

Rogers, on the other hand, views cross-country as a necessary chore before track season despite two consecutive top-three finishes at states and entering this season as Montgomery’s biggest challenger.

“Winning a state cross-country championship would mean a lot,” Rogers said. “It would make me know that I am training well and all my hard work has paid off. But I am very anxious to get the season over with and start track.”

Not even Rogers’ bias toward track, where she is a multiple national champion and record-holder, can quell the preseason buzz over three head-to-head matchups with Montgomery.

Rogers and Montgomery will meet for the first time this season Oct. 12 at the Westminster Academy Invitational and then at the Region 4-2A meet Oct. 31 and a state finals rematch on Nov. 9.

“Any time you put two of the top runners in the state like Julia and Daesha together there is going to be a lot of excitement,” Pine Crest coach Paul Baur said. “People on our team and other teams want to see how they are going to push each other.”

This summer Rogers created a stir with her transfer from Plantation American Heritage, which she helped build into a track dynasty, to Miami Jackson.

Luckily, the move kept her in the Class 2A classification and resumed a rivalry that could swing either way the next three seasons.

Rogers will be looking to even the score this season after defeating Montgomery at the district and regionals meets and then watching Montgomery reel her in on the Apalachee course and surge to the state title in 18 minutes 20.93 seconds last November.

“We were running side-by-side after the wall, so I decided to just go for it,” Montgomery said. “After that I ran by myself to the finish line. I knew Daesha was behind me and she has an awesome kick, so I definitely had to watch my back.”

Unlike last season, when Montgomery was still establishing herself, she will have the proverbial target on her back as the defending state champion and having the top returning time (17:52).

To no surprise, Montgomery’s biggest challenge will come from Rogers, who unconventionally is trying to prove she doesn’t have to love cross-country to be the best at it.

“After competing against Daesha at states I should feel a lot more confident now, but I still respect her as a competitor,” Montgomery said. “I know she is not going to hold back. She is definitely a great athlete and a great competitor. I am going to look out for her.”

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