Emerald Coast wins cross country state championship

LAKELAND, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - The Emerald Coast Middle School cross country program traveled home from Lakeland with a state championship over the weekend.

The Stingrays celebrate capturing the state title Saturday.

Competing at the FLYRA Middle School State Cross Country Championships, the boys team placed first overall and the girls finished third.

Eighth grader Jonah Kirspel led the boys with a second place overall finish, followed by classmate Payne Griner in 16th. The Stingrays paced a field of 28 teams and 233 individual athletes.

Three girls placed inside the top 20 for the girls: seventh grader Annabelle Melberg in third overall, seventh grader Mimi Jersey tenth, and Claire Griner 13th.