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Tavares Middle cross-country team to compete at national level

Congratulations to the Tavares Middle School (TMS) Cross-Country Track & Field Team. The runners, who also compete as the Red Sea Running Club, won the AAU State Team Championship in three age groups last week, after winning the middle school state championship three weeks ago, and will compete in the AAU National Championship on Saturday, Dec. 3!
The team is led by head coach Kevin Von Maxey, a 7th grade Language Arts teacher at Tavares Middle School;  associate head coach April Von Maxey, a 5th grade Science teacher at Tavares Elementary School; and assistant coach Tony Segreto, an 8th grade Science teacher at Tavares Middle School.
Kevin Von Maxey started the running club as an after school program in 2004 and collaborated with coaches at Gray Middle School and Windy Hill Middle School to put on Lake County’s first middle school cross-country meet in 2005. Today, 11 schools and more than 300 athletes across Lake County participate in cross-country track and field.
Since 2005, the TMS Cross-Country Team has had tremendous success, including winning the 2016 Florida Youth Runners Association (FLYRA) Middle School Boys Florida State Championship. Twelve times they placed in the top 10 in the FLYRA State Championship, seven times in the top 5, and twice as state runners-up.
Additionally, the boys and girls teams have won over 80 invitational races including the nationally-renowned Disney Classic twice (2012, 2013), the FleetFeet Invitational, and the Jim Ryun Invitational. They also placed 3rd in the Footlocker USA Regionals in North Carolina in 2013.
The runners are:
  • Boys 11-12: Riley Novack, Matthew Raucci, Connor Wickson, Aidan Chiariello, Wyatt Babington, Julian Borrero (Imagine South Lake Charter), Colton Cardwell (Montverde Academy)
  • Girls 11-12: Zarrah Barbaza, Abbigail Beard, Mackenzie Mulligan, Sarah Raucci, Ava Foster, Felicity White
  • Boys 13-14: Jackson Babington, Bradley Davies, John Spurrier, Luke Burris, William Cook, Clayton Purdy, Lazarus Seabury, Collin Chiariello, Clayton Carter, Eli Keeling
  • Girls 13-14: Candice Bruinsma, Lina Filkin, Abby Gotfraind, Sydney Foster, Dylan Smith
We wish the TMS/Red Sea Running Club the best as they head to Tallahassee this weekend for the AAU National Championship!