Leon High locked up both individual titles in the District 3-3A cross country championship at Apalachee Regional Park on Saturday morning.
The 25th ranked runner in the nation, Sukhi Khosla, cruised through the 5K 3.1 mile course with a time of 15:51. Khosla paced the front pack the first 2.5 miles before pulling away the last half mile.
“It was just districts, so I didn’t want to go too hard,” said Khosla. “I just kind of sat in until a half mile to go and took off from there.”
Khosla set the course record for Apalachee Regional Park with a time of 14:59 at the Pre-State meet two weeks ago. The State meet will be held at the same course on Nov. 9.
Freshman Audrey Dogan from Leon ran a personal record 19:35 en route to the girl’s individual title. It was Dogan’s first win of her young career.
“Coming in I was a little nervous, but then once I started racing my nerves started to go away,” said Dogan. “I knew what I needed to do, so I just kept being really focused and pacing myself.
Dogan’s experience on this course paid dividends for the young runner.
“I’ve run this course before, so it wasn’t that challenging. I think running is really a mental game, so you have to be there mentally to be there physically.”
Chiles captured the men’s team championship, finishing tthree points ahead of Leon. Cooper Zimmerman, Avery Bartlett, and Tyson Murray all placed in the top 10 for the Timberwolves, whose average time was 16:33.
“We had a good day,” said Chiles coach Scott Gowan. “
We realize this is the first of three meets. You gotta run districts this week, regionals next week, and states the following week. I basically told them lets advance into round two, so we ran under control and ran a smart race. We were able to win a close one over a very well coached Leon team who ran very well today.”
Stanton and Robert E. Lee from Jacksonville will join Chiles and Leon’s men’s teams for the Regional Championship meet in Lake City.
Chiles and Leon’s girl’s teams qualified for the Regional Championship, along with district winner Stanton.