PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — North Bay Haven is the only high school in Bay County sending its boys and girls cross country team to State.
Both teams are coming off a county championship and a big performance at regionals.
“Definitely an ego boost to the team, but at the same time, I know that our team is one of the most hardworking teams,” senior Charleen Elizondo said. “Every single one of us prioritizes this sport and we love it with our whole heart. It’s definitely rewarding to know that we’re representing our county.”
This is the second year in a row both North Bay Haven teams have qualified for state competition, but last year the teams did not perform as well as they hoped for.
“They were just too excited and they weren’t ready, they were emotionally drained,” Head coach Osmond Ashmen said. “This year, they’re not that they’re like, okay, we’re ready. We’re going to state again and we’re going to prove something. And that’s what I expect from them.”
For seven of the North Bay Haven runners, the state meet will be their final time crossing the finish line.
“I’m just trying to romanticize it as much as I can at this point,” senior Lakyn Carmichael said. “It’s going to be my final high school cross-country race. It’s something I’m looking forward to.”
The Buccaneers compete for the state title on Saturday, November 5 in Tallahassee.