2019-2020 Season Preview

"This year’s team looks to improve on the 10th place national finish from last year.  With 5 of the top 6 runners returning, the team looks to be the strongest in school history.  Olivia and Grace D’Angelo along with Isabel Oliveto are the the team’s top runners," Jacki Wachtel, head coach.

Program History

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, six 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 in 2016 and 2017.

Cross Country Coaching Staff

  • Cross Country Head Coach Jacqueline Wachtel

    Jacqueline Wachtel

    Head Coach

    BS, Ohio University
    MS, University of South Florida

    Jacki Wachtel started the PHSC women’s cross country program in 2005. In fourteen seasons at the helm, Wachtel has led the Bobcats to the national stage, ranking 10th at the 2018 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Cross Country meet held at Garden City Community College in Garden City, KS. In 2016 the team won the Inaugural Florida College System Activities Association/National Junior College Athletic Association (FCSAA/NJCAA) Region 8 Women’s Cross Country Championship in Tallahassee. The team defended the title in 2017 and repeated again in 2018 as the Region 8 Champions.  

    Wachtel has observed two of her runners achieve All-American status; PHSC student athlete Kayla Bratcher earned the honor at the Half Marathon National meet in 2011; Samantha Greenlee became a two-time All American in 2012 and 2013 through her success in the Half Marathon National meet and the 5K NJCAA National Cross Country meet. Olivia D’Angelo earned All American honors at the 2018 5k championships and the half marathon championships. Grace D’Angelo and Quincy Mayer also earned All American Honors at the 2018 half marathon championships. 

    Wachtel graduated from River Ridge High School in 1997, having achieved high school state championship status for the 3,200 meter (two mile) race in 1994. She continued her running endeavors on a cross-country/track scholarship to Ohio University (OU) where she spent 12 seasons on the cross-country, indoor and outdoor track teams. After earning her bachelor’s in secondary education from OU in 2001, Wachtel returned to the Tampa Bay area and earned her Masters of Science in biostatistics from the University of South Florida.

    Prior to signing on as head coach at PHSC, Wachtel spent two years as head coach for the boy’s track team and the boy/girl cross country team at J. W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Fla. From 2002 to 2008, Wachtel was a math instructor at the high school as well. She continues to teach at the high school level at Pasco eSchool in addition to being an adjunct math instructor at PHSC.

    She continues to compete in races, most recently taking first place in the Iron Girl Half Marathon in Clearwater, Fla. She finished first in the female overall category in the 2019 10k RAP River Run in New Port Richey, Fla.

  • Cross Country Assistant Coach Lee Rietsma

    Lee Rietsma

    Assistant Coach

    Lee grew up in Grand Rapids, MI. He has been a runner since middle school and competed all 4 years in the High School Cross Country State Championships. Lee is a post collegiate runner and still competes locally and throughout the country in distances 5k – Marathon.

    Lee is in his third season as the Assistant Coach for the Bobcats. He received his USA Track & Field Level 1 Coaching Certification in May of 2013 and is currently pursuing his studies in Physical Therapy.

    His most memorable accomplishments were finishing 2nd overall in the Space Coast Marathon with a time of 2:44:46. He has also ran the Boston Marathon 5 times with a best time of 2:47:17