November 20, 2023

Mount Dora High Excels at State Cross-Country Championships

2.3 min read| Published On: November 20th, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Mount Dora High Excels at State Cross-Country Championships

2.3 min read| Published On: November 20th, 2023|
Mount Dora High School’s cross-country team wrapped up an impressive season at the FHSAA State Championships in Tallahassee, with standout athlete Hannah Douglass leading the charge. The lady Canes secured a commendable 14th place finish as a team, marking their third consecutive appearance at the state level.

(Hannah Douglas showing off her medal she won for a 12th place finish. Excellent run to place 12th in all of Class 2A!)

Hannah Douglass, an exceptional runner, left an indelible mark on the competition by achieving a blazing fast personal record (PR) of 18:46 and securing a 12th place finish overall. The collective effort of the team, including Bailey Roman, Noelle Vu, Cecilia Zagorini, Mina Fourari, Belle Orser, and Lilliana Vu, contributed to the team’s success throughout the season. The girls would ultimately wrap up 14th place as a team.

(The Mount Dora High girls cross-country team. Hannah Douglas finished 12th and Bailey Roman and Noelle Vu secured 70th and 74th place to help Mount Dora High to a 14th place overall finish.)

As the season concludes, the team will bid farewell to two remarkable seniors, Noelle Vu and Cecilia Zagorini, who played pivotal roles in shaping the team’s character and values. Their leadership and example-setting will undoubtedly resonate with the younger members as they pursue future goals.

(This was incredible to watch. Donovan Spears (Mount Dora High) leads the Boys 2A State Championship Race. This is like Mercer leading Alabama! While Spears could not keep the pace, he led teams like Bolles, Berkley Prep, Cocoa, Ransom Everglades and more. An amazing showing by a Lake County athlete.)

The boys’ team, represented by Donovan Spears and Marc Florexil, showcased exceptional talent and dedication. Donovan Spears, in his sophomore year, made an impressive debut at the state meet, taking an early lead with a remarkable first mile of 4:57. You can see him in the photo above. We talked with coach Adkinson who says “It was not Spears gameplan to lead that early but he was afraid of being boxed in which led him to being out front with the big dogs. Donovan is a true competitior at heart and it made the whole race much more challenging but even going out at that speed, he managed to finish close to his personal best.” Although unable to maintain the pace, Spears is poised to learn from this experience and aims to solidify his place in Mount Dora High School’s cross-country history.

(Hannah Douglas gives two thumbs up as she was thrilled with her performance. The best run of the weekend by a Lake County athlete in Class 2A. Worth noting that another Lake County runner Cheyenne Thomas finished 6th in Class 3A for Tavares High as a freshman.)

Senior Marc Florexil, a standout athlete with aspirations in collegiate soccer, now shifts his focus to the sport he loves. Despite concluding his cross-country journey, Florexil’s contributions have been invaluable to the team’s overall success.

(Donovan Spears left stands with Marc Florexil right.)

As Mount Dora High School’s cross-country season concludes, the achievements and experiences gained promise a bright future for the team, with Hannah Douglass standing out as a shining example of excellence at the state championships.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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