Chasing each other and the clock for Jensen Beach cross country seniors Nicholas Colbert and Justin Cannata have yielded great results in 2022.
Entering the South Fork Bulldog Classic, the duo already had two 1-2 race finishes with Colbert emerging victorious each time.
Cannata’s pace had him ahead of his friend midway through the race Saturday morning but Colbert found another gear to score his fourth straight race victory of the season as both set new personal best times with their third 1-2 finish of the season.
"I’m going to be honest, back in the forest I was dying, and (Justin) took first and when he passed me I was like, I can’t keep up with him," Colbert said. "I was like, let’s see what happens until the final stretch. I got in that dirt path and I was just like, I’ll give it a shot to try at coming back. Somehow by the grace of God, I kicked it in."
Colbert’s time of 16:07.3 chopped off almost 12 full seconds from his prior personal best coming on his first race of the year at the Centennial XC Invitational.
Cannata ran a big race, going 16:15, which was over 18 seconds ahead of his prior personal best time of 16:33.5 at the Palm Beach Central Invitational.
In a crowded race at the front of the field for most of the race, Cannata felt he needed to push the tempo to help himself and Colbert which propelled both of their excellent times in the end.
"I noticed we were slowing down a little bit and I could tell we both kind of needed a push," Cannata said. "I threw myself to the front of the pack and I kind of said, Nick can come with me and we kicked it in and left the pack in the dust. He passed me eventually and I just tried to hold onto him to the finish."
In the team standings for the boys, Sebastian River got the better of runner-up Vero Beach and third place King’s Academy.
Caleb Wilkinson set a school record running 16:53.2 to finish seventh overall and Noah McMann ran 17:36.1 to take 16th overall to lead the Sharks to victory.
Vero Beach’s Kenan Willard ran 16:41.9 to take sixth overall and Sage Morrow ran 17:22.4 to grab tenth overall.
In the girls race, Lincoln Park Academy sophomore Jacey Lane continued her impressive season running a new personal best time of 19:18.3, over 11 seconds better than her prior top time, to finish fourth overall.
South Fork freshman Emerson Brinn grabbed a sixth-place finish with a time of 19:33.8 for the Bulldogs, who were missing one of the state’s top runners for a good reason.
Junior Addison Boyer competed at the Wingfoot XC Classic in Carterville, Georgia, Friday night and finished fourth overall in the championship race running a time of 18:37.10 competing against some of the top runners from across the country.
Pine School’s Amelie Galbraith took 17th overall with a time of 21:14.1 and Vero Beach’s Ava Baysura was a spot behind in 18th running 21:23.1.
Jensen Beach was the area’s highest-finishing team taking sixth place led by Chloe Haley and Ava Vancour finishing 34th and 36th each running just over 22 minutes for the Falcons.
St. Edward's cross country girls win SSAC Championship
St. Edward’s girls cross country team took the victory at Saturday’s SSAC Championships in Lakeland at Holloway Park.
Junior Carrington Brown took the race victory, setting a new personal best time of 21:58.91 to lead the way for the Pirates.
Luna Rivera grabbed the runner-up finish with a time of 23:01.03 and Jaquelyn Perrin made it a 1-2-3 finish for St. Edward’s running 23:16.62.
Anna Marie Zugrave took sixth with a time of 24:18.55 and Isabella Cooper made it five Pirates in the top 10 with a time of 25:46.15.
St. Edward’s boys finished third as a team led by Gaven Sullivan’s sixth-place finish running 19:36.87 and Jack Curley’s eighth-place finish running 19:46.58.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Jensen Beach cross country's Colbert, Cannata go 1-2 for third time