Cross-Country runners met the challenge of a rain-soaked course at UVI St. Croix Campus in the 29th Veterans Day 5K/V.I. Cross-Country Championships to take top spots.
The first race of the day at 8 a.m. saw Mikaela Smith go undefeated in cross-country this year in the girls under 14-mile race with a winning time of 6:50. Slowed by flu symptoms (as were her sister Michelle and her brother Malique) this week and the course conditions may explain how her St. Croix Track Club teammate Stefanie Matthew closed in on Smith to finish second in 7:11; Annika Benders also of the St. Croix Track Club finished strong in third place in 7:39.
The girls under 10-mile race was very close with Michelle Smith of St. Croix Track Club taking first place in 9:34 and just three seconds ahead of Rory Ramsdell of Good School in 9:37; Charlotte Halk of Good Hope School finished third in 11:12 nearly 2 minutes faster than her previous times.
Rayvon Freeman of Eulalia Rivera School took first place for the boys under 10 with a time of 8:42; Jedell Titus of Alexander Henderson School was second in 9:03 and Eric McCount III of the St. Croix Track Club was their in 9:48.
Rodney Griffin of the St. Croix Track Club dominated the boys-under-14 race with a time of 6:13; Valence Modest SCTC was second in 6:50 and Phar- Merchant of Ricardo Richards School was third in 7:02.
Britney Sage of the St. Croix Track Club took first place going away for girls 16 and under with a time of 18:03; Ashley Padie of the St. Croix Educational Complex High School was second in 21:01; Bernita Daniel of St. Croix Central High School was third in 23:47.
Malique Smith of the St. Croix Track Club and recovering from flu symptoms eased through the rain soaked two-mile course for first place in the boys under 16 with a time of 13:42; Duncan Coles of Good Hope School was a strong second in 14:02; Karim Jno-Fin of ECHS was third in 14:16.
Stephanie Rhoden of Manor School went undefeated in cross-country for the year and finished first in the under 20/open 3.1 mile race in 25:31; Sonja Knezovich unattached was second in 30:17 and Jessica Huitalt Good Hope was third in 39:24.
Ultra Distance runner and long time V.I. Pace Runner used the Veterans Day 5K as a final tune-up for an upcoming 50 mile race and out distanced Alex Rodriguez of St. Croix Central High School to take first on Saturday in 21:01. Rodriguez, the winner of the previous three cross-country races in the V.I.Pace Runners/4-H Cross-Country Series, took the lead early while Klein paced himself through the first two laps of the three lap race. In the final mile and just after the only relevant incline on the course, he pulled even with Rodriguez and held on for the win. Rodriguez time was 21:11; Jeremy Kariah – St. Croix TC/Good Hope school was third in 22:26.
1 Mile Under 10 Girls
1. Michelle Smith – St. Croix TC/Good Shepherd – 9:34
2. Rory Ramsdell – Good Hope – 9:37
3. Charlotte Halk – Good Hope – 11:12
1 Mile Under 10 Boys
1. Rayvon Freeman – Eulalie Rivera – 8:42
2. Jedell Titus – Alexander Henderson – 9:03
3. Eric McCount III – St. Croix TC/Church of God – 9:48
1 Mile Under 14 Girls
1. Mikaela Smith – St. Croix TC/Good Shepherd – 6:50
2. Stefanie Matthew – St. Croix TC/Eulalie Rivera – 7:11
3. Annika Benders – St. Croix TC/Eulalie Rivera – 7:39
1 Mile Under 14 Boys
1. Rodney Griffin – St. Croix TC/Arthur Richards – 6:13
2. Valence Modeste – St. Croix TC/Ricardo Richards – 6:50
3. Phar-I Merchant – Ricardo Richards – 7:02
2 Mile Under 16 Girls
1. Britney Sage – St. Croix TC/Complex HS – 18:03
2. Asley Paddie – Complex HS – 21:01
3. Bernita Daniel – Central HS – 23:47
2 Mile Under 16 Boys
1. Malique Smith – St. Croix TC/Complex HS – 13:42
2. Duncan Coles – Good Hope – 14:02
3. Karim Jno-Finn – Complex HS – 14:16
3.1 Mile Under 20/Open Female
1. Stephanie Rhoden – Manor School – 25:31
2. Sonja Knezovich – Unattached – 30:17
3. Jessica Huitalt – Good Hope – 39:24
3.1 Mile Under 20/Open Male
1. Mike Klein – VI Pace Runners – 21:01
2. Alex Rodriguez – Central HS – 21:11
3. Jeremy Kariah – St. Croix TC/Good Hope – 22:26