Crowell excels, LHS prepares

Published 10:16pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lakeland High School’s cross country team yielded the top runner for the boys in Tuesday’s conference meet at Bells Mill Park on an otherwise quiet evening for the Cavaliers.

Junior Jake Crowell took first place easily with a time of 17:54.23, just shy of his personal best of 17:53, the best overall time for all runners in Suffolk this year.

Lakeland High School junior Jake Crowell took first place in Tuesday's conference cross country meet at Bells Mill Park with a time of 17:54.23. His coach expects him to win and drop time next week in the conference tourney.
Lakeland High School junior Jake Crowell took first place in Tuesday’s conference cross country meet at Bells Mill Park with a time of 17:54.23. His coach expects him to win and drop time next week in the conference tourney.

Lakeland head coach Christopher Novakoski said Crowell is exactly where he wants him to be. Of course, continued improvement is always an objective.

Much of the focus, even this week, is already on next Tuesday’s Ironclad Conference Tournament.

Novakoski made it clear the goals are for Crowell to not just win it, but also drop time.

“We want to see him in the 17s again,” Novakoski said. The lower Crowell can go in the 17s, the better his chances in a competitive field at regionals.

After Crowell, things drop off a bit for Lakeland’s boys team. It finished fourth out of four teams competing on Tuesday. Novakoski wants to see sophomore Jalil Bonds return to the 19s, and was pleased to see the other boys cutting their times.

The girls’ team finished third out of five teams, despite not having its top four runners contribute to the team score.

Novakoski decided after several 5K meets in a row, junior Juli Durand, senior Alexus Copeland, junior Leanna Harville and sophomore Jen Rockwell would only go two miles, rather than the full 3.1.

“There was really no point, and they needed a week away from it,” he said.

Based on the girls’ performances thus far, Novakoski is confident they will do well next Tuesday.

“When I let them loose next week, I would expect to see them jump a couple spots,” he said. “I don’t know if we’re going to beat Nansemond River, but if we don’t, we should be pretty close.”

The Ironclad Conference Tournament will be held at Bells Mill Park in Chesapeake on Tuesday.

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