PHSCs D’Angelo named FCSAA Runner of the Year; Wachtel named Coach of the Year. Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) defended their third straight state/regional title as National Junior College Athletic Association/Florida College System Activities Association (NJCAA/FCSAA) Region 8 Women’s Cross Country Champions in Tallahassee on Friday, October 26. PHSC finished first with a team score of 22 points. Daytona State College finished second with 54 points followed by Tallahassee Community College (63), South Florida State College (105), and Florida Gateway College (108).
The PHSC team averaged 20:34 for the 3.1-mile course, beating second place Daytona State College by nearly a minute. “I am very proud of all of the girls and their hard work. They are dedicated, persistent and coachable. This gives us good momentum heading into our national meet,” said Jacki Wachtel, PHSC women’s cross country head coach, also named Women’s Cross Country Region 8 Coach of the Year for the third straight year.
Freshman Olivia D’Angelo was named FCSAA Runner of the Year and smashed the region meet record with a time of 19:44. Isabel Oliveto (20:20), Quincy Mayer (20:21) and Grace D’Angelo (20:43) rounded out the top four places and joining Kris Gray, Daytona State (20:44.5) on the FCSAA/NJCAA All-Region/All-State team.
Also placing in the top 20 team placing were PHSC freshmen Avery Mayer (12th/ 21:35) and Megan McDowell (19th/20.20) and sophomore Montana Gottman (18th/20:20).
“I am proud of our entire Bobcat team and their coaches, Jacki Wachtel and Lee Rietsma. This is such a dedicated group of runners who train at 5:30 a.m. three times a week and at 9:30 a.m. twice a week in some tough weather conditions,” said Steve Winterling, PHSC athletic director and FCSAA state cross country chair and NJCAA pollster.
The currently ranked 12th in the nation PHSC Bobcats will compete in the NJCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Championship on Saturday, November 10 in Garden City, Kansas. For more information about PHSC athletics, visit www.phsc.edu/athletics.