After just one year of running track, Franklin County junior Genevieve Printiss had a big day last week at districts, winning both the mile and the two-mile.
The wins at the Class 1A, District 2 meet at Bozeman School, in both the 1,600-meter and the 3,200-meter races, earned her a berth in the Region 1 meet, slated for April 25 at Bishop John J. Snyder High School in Jacksonville.
In the high jump, seventh grader Kiani Allen leaped 1.17 meters for third place, and a berth in the regionals as well.
In the 1600-meters, Printiss edged out Bozeman junior Savannah Gardner by a half-second, posting a 6:02.90 mile.
“It was a good race,” said Printiss. “There was a lot of headwind. I stuck behind that girl until the last 400 meters and sprinted around her. I want to be faster at regional, that’s my goal, to beat my PR (personal record of 5:56.64) there.”
In the 3,200 meters, Printiss ran well behind her PR of 13:14, finishing with a 13:55, about 10 seconds ahead of Port St. Joe seventh grader Emily Lacour.
“For districts I try to run the race for the placement, not so much the time. It’s whatever gets you first,” she said. “For regionals, I would love just a 13, a flat 13, but I’m not sure that’s possible.”
Printiss, a standout at cross country, runs twice a day, about three to five miles before school, and afterwards as well, sometimes shorter distances with the team's spring workouts, but sometimes another three to five miles.
Her running partner is junior Simon Hodgson, and she shared in his pain after he finished just out of the money, and was denied a chance to advance to regionals.
In the 1,600 meters, Hodgson took fifth, about 14 seconds slower than his PR and 18 seconds behind the winner, Cottondale senior Garry Barnes.
In the 3,200 meters, Hodgson was sixth, with an 11:34.75, about 36 seconds slower than his PR and 30 seconds behind the winner, also Barnes. Junior Brian Barfield finished 15th in the 3,200 meters, running a 16:53.68.
Among the girls, who were coached by D’Aria Prince, Paul Bankston and Principal Chip Clatto, sixth graders Kyla Culver and Sarai Crumbliss competed in the 100-meter dash prelims, with times of 14.85 and 16.89 respectively.
In the 100-meter hurdles, sophomore Peyton Millender ran a 19.93 in the prelims, just about a PR, as she tied for fifth in her race.
In the long jump, eighth grader Tiauana Benjamin leaped 13 feet 10.25 inches, to finish fifth, a few inches short of advancing to regionals.
Among the boys, in the 400 meters, junior Elijah Grier ran 17th, with a PR of 1:00.64. In the 800 meters, sophomore Fisher Edwards ran 19th, with a PR time of 2:48.82, seven seconds better than he did all season.
In the long jump, freshman Isaiah Barber was 11th, leaping 4.98 meters, a meter better than his previous PR.
In the shot put, sophomore Duncan Whaley threw for a PR 8.52 meters, good enough for 17th place. Junior Ethan Moses threw 8.44 meters, a hair shy of his PR, good enough for 19th place.
In the discus, Whaley threw 24.07 meters, just shy of his PR and good enough for 18th place.
Absent from the event was former coach Jason Luquis, who was removed from his teaching post earlier this year for violating school policy.
Printiss’ mom, Angie Printiss, said Principal Chip Clatto has been instrumental in the track team's recovery and success after Luquis' removal.
“Principal Clatto has attended track practices and several meets and has run very effective running workshops,” she said. “He essentially saved the team.”
Genevieve Printiss said she is looking forward to the upcoming regionals, where she will face tough competition. She said her times are such that she would be running about eighth in regionals for both events, and only the top four go to state.
“I’m very excited, this is great,” she said.