Creekside junior Claire Openshaw is the St. Johns County Runner of the Year after finishing inside the top 3 in five of her eight races in 2018.
Maybe it’s time for St. Johns County to annex the victory podium at the FHSAA swimming championship.The winners’ list from Friday night: Summer Stanfield. Ian Cooper. Olivia Peoples. Jack VanDeusen. Four relays, too, two from Bartram Trail and one each from Creekside and Nease, to mark the most successful swimming season in county history.That’s not even including the overall girls team championship for Creekside, which edged Bartram Trail in a county 1-2.Those swimmers combined for nine
St. Johns County displayed is dominance in the pool as Creekside edged Bartram Trail for the second straight year and Nease finished fifth. The Bears and Knights finished second and third in the boys competition.
A day after Creekside won a second consecutive girls state swim title and finished third in the boys championships, the Knights took home a pair of third-place finishes at the Class 3A state cross country championships in Tallahassee.Ashlyn Iliff (18:23.9) and Claire Openshaw (18:28.1) finished 10th and 11th at Apalachee Regional Park to lead the Knights girls, while three Creekside boys finished among the top 50.Four St. Johns County teams finished among the top 10 in the 3A boys race with
Claire Openshaw and Elizabeth Iliff finished 1-2 at the Region 1-3A girls cross country championships to lead Creekside to a second-place finish in the girls 5K race Saturday at New World Disc Golf in Jacksonville.Creekside finished with 67 points to trail winner Tallahassee Chiles by 24 points. Ponte Vedra (fourth place, 146 points) and St. Augustine (sixth place, 164 points) will join Creekside at next week’s state championships.Openshaw ran a time of 17:52.96 to finish first, while
Four county girls teams also advanced to regionals with Creekside dominating with just 22 points, followed by Ponte Vedra (59), St. Augustine (71) and Nease (113). Bartram Trail (114) finished just one point behind the Panthers to miss the regional cut.
Creekside’s Claire Openshaw (18:27.2), Elizabeth Iliff (19:11.0) and Blake Petrick (19:24) finished first, second and third, respectively in the girls 5K race, while Megan Graser (20:03.8) was sixth and Emily Tomasi (20:27.4) was 10th.
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Creekside 52, Nease 29
Sophomore wide receiver Jack Goodrich caught three long touchdown passes from senior quarterback Tai Lavatai as the Creekside offense continued to roll, pulling away in the second half for a 52-29 home victory over St. Johns County rival Nease (0-5).
Creekside (4-1) was led by Lavatai’s two rushing TDs and three TD passes to Goodrich, who totaled 185 yards on three TD receptions and is averaging 39 yards per catch this season.With the score tied at 21 late in the first half, Creekside went into the half ahead 24-21 on Brandon Marchand’s 32-yard field goal.
After holding Nease to a three and out to start the second half, Lavatai found Goodrich open over the middle for a 74-yard score. Creekside then recovered an on-side kick and scored three plays later on Jalen Hines’ 30-yard run for a 38-21 lead.
Creekside forced six Nease turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, on-side kick recovery). Senior DB Conan Mueller had two interceptions, sophomore DB Jack O’Brien had a fumble recovery on a botched Nease fake punt and an interception. Senior LB Evan Wiley had a fumble recovery.
Lavatai has accounted for 23 TDs this season (18 passing, five rushing). Goodrich has 15 catches (seven for TDs) for 589 yards, including four TD grabs of more than 60 yards in the last two games.“ Jack Goodrich has tremendous ball skills when the ball is in the air. He’s also a baseball player, so those skills really show when he gets a chance on those long passes from Tai,” Creekside coach Sean McIntyre said.Nease junior QB Joseph Nieves rushed for 121 yards and three TDs and passed for 117 yards.
Creekside’s 4-1 start is its best since starting 6-1 in 2011 when the Knights went 8-4 and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Creekside leads the series 5-4 against Nease.
The two schools are located 9 miles apart.The Knights begin District 3-7A play next week at home against rival Bartram Trail. Nease has lost six consecutive games dating to the 2017 season finale.
Creekside defeated Episcopal in high school football Friday.
Star of the game: Creekside senior QB Tai Lavatai passed for five TDs and ran for a sixth as the Knights (3-1) won a 72-40 shootout at Episcopal (2-2). The Navy commitment passed for 384 yards and scores to five different receivers to counter a three-TD night from Episcopal WR Davis Ellis.
Creekside 3, Oakleaf 2
Down two games to zero, Creekside won a marathon third game, 35-33, and went on to defeat Oakleaf in five games — 16-25, 22-25, 35-33, 25-22, 15-11 — in a District 4-8A match Thursday night at home. Jessica Lary led the Knights (5-5, 1-3) with 15 digs, while Jaden McBride had a match-high 21 kills and Kaitlyn Helinsky tallied 47 assists and four aces.