TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Over 7,000 people made the trip to Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee Friday morning to either watch or compete in the Florida High School Athletic Association State Championships. There were eight races over four classifications, and keeping gold in his hometown is Leon's Patrick Koon. Koon took first place in Class 3A with a time of 15:23.8, and he said to get the win on his home course in front of his home fans just adds to the already incredible moment.
"I just told myself that I worked hard for this moment and just to give it my all because this is when it counts," he said. "I was able to dig deep that last half of the race and pull away. It feels amazing to win a state championship on my home course. I've been running here for so long and it's a dream come true."
Koon's finish helped steer the boys to a ninth place finish.
Other top 15 finishes include:
Class 1A girls
Gracie Koeppel, Maclay - 8th
*Maclay girls finished 4th as a team
Class 3A girls
Lillee Tang, Leon - 10th
*Leon girls finished 10th as a team
Class 4A girls
Kelly Davis, Chiles - 11th
*Chiles girls finished 9th as a team
Class 4A boys
Ben Kirbo, Chiles - 4th
Wyatt Townsend, Chiles - 15th
*Chiles boys finished 6th as a team
From Ben Kirbo: "It's my last race with the team and it's state of course, it's a big deal. Just to share the race with guys I've been running with up to four years, maybe five years, isnce middle schools. It means a lot, we're a close team, bunch of brothers. We all pushed it to the limit and gave it all we had."
For a full list of finishers, click here.