Marathon HIgh School’s boys’ cross country team ranked 12th in the state and the girls’ team ranked 13th at the state cross country championships in Tallahassee this past weekend. It’s a major improvement over last year when both teams were ranked somewhere in the 20s.

Coach Jim Murphy told the Keys Weekly that it was a different field in 2020. Normally, the top 32 teams race at states. In 2020, only the top four teams in every district advanced.

“Getting to states was a lot tougher. This year, we were the only public school in the 1A division in Tallahassee; there weren’t even any charter schools,” Murphy said. “We were running against private schools.”

Top MHS runner Jonathan Pitchford placed 6th overall with a time of 16:21. Allison Paskiewicz was the top MHS finisher on the girls’ side, placing 68th. 

“Jonathan had a plan going in which was to stay with the top runners and he did that,” said Murphy. “And Sarah had her best race in two years, running the 5k course while her sister Allison had a PR with 23:17.”

Initially, the teams were scheduled to run on Friday morning, but that was pushed back to Saturday morning that dawned very foggy. The state championship was the culminating race for six MHS seniors.

“Coach Joey Gonzalez and I have a lot of recruiting to do,” said Murphy.

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