2020-2021 Season Recap
It was a record setting day for the women’s crosscountry team as they competed in the NJCAA DII National Championship in Ft. Dodge, IA on November 14, according to Steve Winterling, PHSC Athletic Director. The team entered the championship ranked 10th in the country and looking to avenge their FCSAA Region 8 loss to seventh-ranked Daytona State College two weeks prior.
“On a grey, cloudy 45-degree day and winds blowing 10-15 mph, PHSC ran their best race of the season on a rolling hill golf course,” said Winterling. Jensen Mayer led the team with a 5K (3.1 miles) time of 20:26, finishing 25th overall to earn AllAmerican honors. Katerina Dobkowski was the second Bobcat to cross the finish line with a time of 21:00 followed by Sydney Stoltzfoos (21:32), Emily Jenkins (21:38), Gabrielle Marshall (21:44), Hayley Schaefer (21:51) and Jessica Perez (22:12).
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The team averaged a season best of 21:16 to finish seventh overall edging out Daytona State College (21:19 average) who finished eighth. “I am so proud of the team’s accomplishments this year. Not only is this the highest ranking ever in the 16-year history of the program, six of seven Bobcat runners achieved a personal best time,” said Jacki Wachtel, PHSC Women’s Cross Country Head Coach.
In a (NJCAA) decision to eliminate extra travel due to COVID-19 and keep the teams in Ft. Dodge, the annual NJCAA Half Marathon Nationals meet (13.1 mile race), usually held the week after the 5K championship, took place three days later. With race temperatures at 32-38 degrees, the Cross Country Bobcat team closed out their 2020 season placing fourth at the Half Marathon. The top three PHSC runners score and averaged 1:41:01. Sydney Stoltzfoos led the team placing 10th with a time of 1:39:14 followed by Jensen Mayer (11th/1:39:49), Gabrielle Marshall (13th/1:44:49), Katerina Dobkowski (14th/1:46:08), Jessica Perez (15th/1:46:42), Hayley Schaefer (17th/1:47:40), and Emily Jenkins (18th/1:47:49).
“It was another great season for Head Coach Jacki Wachtel and Assistant Coaches Lee Rietsma and Grace D’Angelo,” said Steve Winterling, PHSC Athletic Director.
PHSC's women's cross country program was created in 2005 and became the first cross country program in the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA). Since the inaugural season, nine other FCSAA programs have joined this growing sport. Under the direction of head coach, Jacki Wachtel, PHSC consistently ranks nationally in the top twenty-five and has won the NJCAA Region VIII cross country championship four consecutive years (2016-2019).