JACKSONVILLE, Florida — Success truly breeds success on the Bolles' stadium track.
Congregated on one side of the track is Tony Ryan's girls' cross country team. The 2015 State Champions are younger than previous installments -- the Bulldogs only have one senior and one junior on their roster -- but are still in great position for another top-three finish.
Their eleventh straight, top-three finish.
"[We're] definitely one of the most competitive teams in the state, and when I first came to Bolles that was intimidating," junior Helena Kummings said. "But the team aspect makes us who we are."
The stakes are even hider on the other side of the track.
Led by Stanford-commit and 2017 individual State champion Charles Hicks, the defending team champion Bolles' boys are also eyeing another strong, State Meet. But their goals are even loftier: with a strong State showing, the Bulldogs could become the first Florida high school to ever send back-to-back contingents to the National Meet in Portland, Oregon, in late November.
"Every year -- since we've been finishing higher and higher -- I just think that our expectations have grown," Hicks said. "We're just at this point where we're asking ourselves, 'how can we do better?'"
The 2018 Florida State Cross Country Meet is Saturday, November 10 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. The Bolles girls' team will compete in the Class 2A race at 9:10 a.m. The boys' team will compete in the 2A race at 10 a.m.
UPDATE: Congratulations to the Bolles' boys cross country team on its second straight team title, and congratulations to the Bolles' girls team for also capturing the Class 2A championship. It is not only the 11th straight podium finish for Tony Ryan's girls' side, but their 11th team title in school history. The Bolles School becomes only the third school, and first since 2000, to sweep the boys and girls championships.