Austin Epstein is headed back to the regional cross country meet, although he will be the first to tell you his performance in Saturday’s meet wasn’t his best of the year.
Epstein finished sixth overall at the District 2-3A meet Saturday morning at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, clocking in with a time of 18:41, more than two minutes off his best time of the year (16:34.39).
“It was absolutely bad today,” Epstein said. “I had some cramping and the hills made it tiring. I’m not saying I would have won had the course been flat, but I think it would have been closer.”
The terrain indeed made the course more difficult to run and Epstein, a junior, said he “expects to die” when he runs the course at the college.
No runner finished with a time better than 18 minutes, though, as Mosley’s Ethan Mines won with a time of 18:05.81. The next four runners were from Niceville, which won the district championship.
Navarre was fifth overall, also finishing behind Fort Walton Beach, Crestview and Choctaw. In addition to Epstein, junior Joshua Tilton also qualified for the regional meet, coming across the line in a time of 19:26 to finish 15th overall.
The only other runner to qualify for the Raiders was senior Sophia Tucker, who placed 10th in a time of 22:06. Tucker also qualified for the regional meet last season.
Read the full story in the Oct. 29 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.