The St. Cloud boys and Harmony girls cross country teams have made return trips to the state meet, being held this morning in Tallahassee.
The Bulldogs will run in the Class 4A boys race at 8:20 a.m., and the Lady Longhorns go in the 3A girls race at 9:35 at Apalachee State Park.
Harmony has blazed a trail to Tallahassee this season, winning the Orange Belt Conference, District 3A-8 and, on Saturday, the Region 3A-2 race at Lecanto High School. The Longhorns (58 points) beat out Ocala Vanguard (67) by putting all of its runners in the top 18.
OBC champion Allison Hicks led the Longhorns in fourth place (19:26.55), following by Brooke Mullins (seventh, 19:36.21), Vanessa Bolen (12th, 20:13.71), Alanie Rivera (17th, 20:43.85) and Ashanti Ramirez (18th, 20:44.30).
HHS Coach Sasha Edwards called last Saturday “A great day for the team.”
“Hicks has definitely raised the bar for the girls, but I would not discount Mullens or Bolen, they both have more to give,” she said. “I have to give major credit to our 4-7 as well. They all had fantastic races and almost all of them (achieved personal records) to cinch the championship.”
Edwards said her runners expect to finish in the top 10 in Class 3A this morning.
“Top five is their stretch goal. At this point, I am happy to have had the opportunity to share with them in their success,” she said. “They are a fabulous group of young ladies.”
Harmony’s boys team finished 10th (241), led by Stephen Romer (33rd, 17:40.06).
At the Region 4A-2 meet in Cape Coral, St. Cloud’s boys were fifth (135) of the six from regionals that qualified for the state meet. OBC champion Zach Cloud was fifth (16:10.91), and was joined in the top 10 by John-Anthony Hernandez (ninth, 16:27.14). Alex Miranda (29th, 17:07.46), Frank Cordovez (44th, 17:31.15) and Ferdinand Gutierrez (59th, 17:59.01) also contributed.
Celebration was 15th (379), led by Hudson Rucker (34th, 17:22.28). Gateway was 16th (401), led by Andre Carrera (52nd, 17:53).
St. Cloud’s girls team was ninth, led by Lelani We (45th, 21:19.92). Celebration was 13th, led by Gabriela Macedo (39th, 21:05.71).