Sports Editor

Harmony's Wagner 20th in diving at state swim meet

After romping through the conference, district and regional cross country meets, the Harmony Longhorns girls squad ran to a top-ten finish at the Class 3A state meet last weekend in Tallahassee, blazing past their state finish last year.

There was improvement all over for them and the St. Cloud boys team, who also qualified for the Class 4A meet for a second straight year.

Gunning for a top-ten spot, and putting a top-five finish past the moon, the Longhorns still finished in the stars, going seventh (276 points), six slots better than last year, over the hilly Apalachee State Park course.

“Nearly all of our girls had run the state course before, so there weren't too many surprises,” HHS Coach Shasta Edwards said. “It was really muddy when we previewed the course on Friday so we were worried about that, but things mostly dried up for Saturday.”

Senior Allison Hicks, who won the Orange Belt Conference meet and led the Longhorns at districts and regionals, was in front of their pack again, was 25th in 19:33, 12 spots and over 30 seconds better than her Tallahassee time last year.

“Allison is a fantastic young lady who works incredibly hard but we've literally waited years for her to finally bust through the 20-minute mark wall,” Edwards said. These last few weeks have been the best of her high school cross country career and a fantastic way to wrap things up.”

The rest of lineup saw Brooke Mullins go 30th in 19:43 along with Alanie Rivera (90th, 20:58), Ashanti Ramirez (97th, 21:03) and Claire Darrin (105th, 21:13).

“There weren't any breakout performances for our girls on Saturday morning, but everyone was very consistent.  So it was a good way to end the season.”

St. Cloud’s boys also improved their finish from last year, moving up nine spots to 11th (319).

SCHS John Anthony Hernandez

John-Anthony Hernandez

Junior John-Anthony Hernandez was 25th in 16:36. OBC champion Zach Cloud was 29th in 16:39, bettering his 2017 state run by 35 places and 25 seconds. Senior Alex Miranda (78th, 17:16) improved 51 seconds and 67 places himself.

Sophomore Frank Cordovez (123rd, 17:46) and freshman Ferdinand Gutierrez (142nd, 18:12) also factored in the Bulldogs score and set the bar for themselves in the future.

“It went pretty well,” Bulldogs Coach Kevin Harkema said. “We were hoping for 10th and finished 11th so we were close to our goal.  Zach was a bit disappointed because he was wanting to get in the top 10, he was in about 14th with a half mile to go. Overall though the team ran strong and I was proud of their efforts.”

With just three seniors on those two squads combined, a double three-peat at state is not so far fetched.

Harmony’s Wagner 20th in diving at 3A state swim meet. Amelia Wagner, the only Osceola County athlete to qualify for a state swim meet, was 20th in girls diving Nov. 9 at the Sailfish Aquatic Center in Stuart, tallying 238.80 points.

“She did good not to let the pressure of states get to her. She had a smile on her face the whole time and enjoyed getting to know divers from other teams,” Harmony swim coach T.J. Walters said. “It was great to she her enjoy that day and not worry about it.