The word “November” means “month of racing” in some obscure ancient language.  Maybe.  I thought I heard somebody say that once.   Mighta been me, though.

    Anyway, November IS the month of racing.  The oppressive heat of the south Florida summer has backed off, sparing us scores of heartbeats and quarts of hydration.  

    Our own KWSR Grand Prix Season went into a kind of summertime snooze, only briefly stirring for a couple of shake-out runs.  If it seems like more than six months ago that we started this season, it should.  That flurry of races back in April got us off the blocks, and now we gather a few deep breaths for the big kick to the finish.

    Zonta ABC 5K gets it rolling.  One of the longest-standing on the local circuit, Zonta always draws a big turnout from our club.  Two weeks later, the Mariner’s Hospital 5K mixes things with the heavier Middle and Upper Keys dynamic.  And the Grand Finale is another of Key West’s biggest favorites, the Hog’s Breath Saloon’s 5K Hog Trot.  

    All are large races – 385, 195, and 436 runners, respectively in 2015 – so the competition will be deep and tough.  Those who picked up some “softer” points in the smaller events of the last few months should be smirking.

    Our women’s leader is master’s runner Katie Leigh, who carries a 16-point advantage into this final month.  However, as Katie herself is quick to point out, her 82-point total already includes the season-max 6 scores.  Improving on her three 10-pointers is possible, but it will take some fancy footwork to do it.

    Behind Katie, 18-year-old Jane Welzien lurks with a 4-race total of 66 points.  An AG #1 and an AG #2 would be 18, so this one should be nail-biter.

    Priscilla Weeks (3 races) and Kelly Maatta (4 races) are tied for the bronze medal with 44 points.  Chelsea Stamy sits just 8 points behind them and has 3 races in her pocket.

    KWFD’s Keith Durden scored an easy win at the Colorful 5K and moved into first place, 60-52, over prep star Owen Allen.  GP Winter Champion Ed Clarke holds third with 48.  All of those three have just 3 scores in the bank.  Fourth-place Anthony Farretta has 46, and Laz Ledesma has 45, but they both have only 1 more score they can add.  

    Allen will miss at least the Zonta race; he’ll be competing in the State Championship Meet that day.

    What about Doug Weeks, you ask?  Coach Doug has been busy assisting Terence White with the KWHS harriers, so has not been free to race on weekends.  Still, he has 40 points (two 20-pointers) and is only a victory away from tying for the season lead.

    The latest GP update also has the Age Group breakdown.  See where you stand, and cipher out where you might be able to stand.  

    Lace ‘em up and step it out!  The Month of Racing has begun!

Joel Zaila, Matt Pinkley and Aydan Child break to the  front of the field in the Boys 1A race.

     KW’s Nicole Matysik ran a tremendous race, hanging tough with the leaders in what is clearly the State’s strongest region.  Her 18:35 on a wet and windy day was impressive, and her fourth place finish is the best ever by a Key West runner, boy or girl.  Only one runner from any of the other regions matched the times posted by the top 6 in this Region 4-2A race, so Nicole looks to be in hunt in Tallahassee.

     In the 2A Boys race, lanky sophomore Owen Allen became just the third runner in KWHS history to break 17 minutes for 5K.  His 16:54 PR and soph class record earned him an eleventh place finish.  He became the first Conch sophomore boy to secure an individual State Meet berth.

Keys Prep Harriers Movin’ On!

     Two sophomores will represent Key West HS as individuals, and the 7-member boys team will carry the Marathon HS flag at the FHSAA State Championships in Tallahassee on Saturday 11/5.


Leigh & Durden Lead The Way

Click here for full standings


Zonta ABC 5K, 11/5, 8 AM

Mariners Hospital 5K, 11/19, 8 AM

Hog’s Breath 5K, 11/26, 8 AM

October 31, 2016 GP & XC RACING SEASONS HIT HIGH GEAR Nicole Matysik in the lead pack at the 2-mile mark of the Region 4-2A Championship Race.